Tag Archives: canine health

Canine Addison’s a letter to owners of any breed that is known to carry Addison’s

As I hear about illnesses (there are very few) in the Australian Labradoodle and Labradoodle I go back and forth with the idea of telling everyone and risking worry or not passing on the information and risk a possible (even if a miniscule chance) health issue.  Obvious we all hear about health symptoms online or on TV, even in humans, and think that sounds like me or my mom, or my daughter and run off worried to the doctor.   So that said I don’t want to cause panic, everyone please relax, I do not believe your dog is not at risk, we have NOT found any illness in our parent dogs, puppies or pedigree lines. I am just passing the word as I think a good breeder should do.

Most health concerns in the Poodle, Labrador or even Cocker spaniel can be removed from lines or greatly reduced incidence thru health testing.  As you all know we do extensive health testing of our parent dogs and continue contact with you all in hopes of hearing about the long term health of your puppies, thus helping us be better breeders.  Currently we are happy to say all are happy and healthy.  In 10 years of breeding (about 2-3 litters a year on average) we have only lost one offspring to cancer and one wonderful breeding dog was lost to an obstruction in his bowel (not health related but environmental).  I would have to assume I have not heard of all losses, aches or pains but I would also have to assume those were environmental (accident related).  So health testing is the main line of defense; however some illnesses have yet to have DNA or testing available to predetermine a condition and direct our breeding strategies.  Currently I am aware of some labradoodles (again NOT in our program) with seizure disorders (I have written an article on seizures available online) and some dogs with Addison’s (again NOT in our program).  But I would have to say never say never these issues cannot be predetermined so it is always possible in any breed whereas some (poodles and Labradors) are predisposed to these conditions.

So I have determined to send out this update from Rainmaker Ranch Labradoodles this year on canine Addison’s.

Canine Addison’s a letter to owners of any breed that is known to carry Addison’s

Where is Addison’s centered?

Addison’s is an imbalance in the adrenal glands; it is an imbalance in hormone levels.  Addison’s is believed to be primarily genetic with environmental triggers.  The adrenal glands are located in front of the canine kidneys and produce hormones.  These hormones are important in a body’s ability to cope with stress (physical and psycholocigal) plus balance minerals critical to life.  Of the two adrenal glands, the Adrenal cortex produces hormones essential to life, including mineralocorticoid, glucocorticoid.  Addison’s is basically hyposecretion of the hormones or the lack of mineralocorticoids whereas the result is a loss of sodium, and the ability of the body to retain potassium and water.  All of the various adrenal produced hormones (there are more than just mineralocorticoid) need to be balanced, the increase in one or decrease in one hormone causes illness.  Commercial drugs (corticosteroids or steroids) are available to substitute for the lack of mineralocorticoids produced naturally.  However, while low levels of mineralocorticoid causes illness (Addison’s), high levels of these steroids (given for other reasons) has a profound effect in the opposite direction and can actually trigger Addison’s or bring on an Addison’s crisis in dogs that carry the genetics for Addison’s.   Simply put Addison’s is believed to be genetic, even requiring two or more specific genes; however environmental factors are believed to trigger these genes.  Without the trigger even those with Addison’s genetics may never have or even know they carry Addison’s.

When would you see the signs?

Usually after a stressful situation (psychically or psychological) in dogs between the age of 18 months to 7 years of age Addison’s symptoms may arrive.  The younger age in that range occurs if, for other reasons, steroids have been given to the dog.

The problem with Addison’s is that many times it goes undiagnosed until it is too late.  What to look for are the commonly reported symptoms, which can vary from dog to dog, and include loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, hind-end pain, muscle weakness, tremors, shivering, increased thirst, dehydration, excessive urination, a painful or sensitive abdomen, muscle or joint pain, and changes in coat, which may become thicker, thinner, longer, or even curly and about 15 to 20 percent of Addisonian dogs will have dark, tarry stools or blood in their vomit, mental depression, patches of darkened skin, a slow and weak pulse, low body temperature, low blood pressure, and pale mucous membranes. These symptoms usually come in waves; the dog is sick and then seems to get over it for no apparent reason multiple times over a year or longer.   Many owners miss these bouts as they can be short in time. This temporary illness is when the adrenal functions are fluctuating but not yet at a critical stage.  As the illness progresses a lack mineralocorticoid results in marked changes in blood serum levels (potassium, sodium and chloride).  Excess potassium causes a decrease in heart rate leaving the dog predisposed to circulatory collapse and renal failure (acute renal failure is a common misdiagnosis).  An adrenal crisis is an acute medical emergency. The dog will need fluids, emergency doses of glucose and perhaps glucocorticoid.  This is sometimes given even if the ATCH (Addison’s test) is not back yet but blood levels indicate changes in levels of potassium, sodium and chloride (specifically elevated potassium, low sodium, elevated BUN and creatinine, elevated liver enzymes, low glucose, high calcium, low protein (albumin and globulin), anemia, low cholesterol, and metabolic acidosis. A sodium/potassium ratio of less than 27 is strongly indicator of Addison’s) indicating Addison’s.  Once these drugs are given the dog will be over the crisis and seem back to normal.  This of course is a preliminary indication that the problem is indeed Addison’s.  Note, only an ACTH stimulation test can determine positive Addison’s.   Currently there is NO test to determine if your dog carries the necessary genetics for Addison’s.  UCDavis is working on this test but it may be years before one is available.  Currently, prior to any illness the best you can do is follow the recommendations:

  • ·         Always keep your dog on high quality foods low in grains (no wheat, corn, and soy); I cannot say this enough; a good food is well worth the price in exchange for long term health.  Dogs are carnivores not omnivores, they are not able to digest grains and making a canine body to digest grain causes daily stress on the dogs complete system.
  • If you are worried, because a dog in your dog’s pedigree line has Addison’s, you can supplement with licorice root (pill or liquid) daily (consult a holistic vet) to help your dogs body deal with stress. Research has shown that licorice helps prolong the activity of natural (and synthetic) corticosteroids like hydrocortisone.
  • Digestive enzyme powders (probiotics or good bacteria) are a sensible addition for any dog with digestive problems and can be found at almost all pet stores.
  • Melatonin (consult a holistic vet) is recommended occasionally (one 3-mg tablet or capsule for a medium-sized dog) 20 to 30 minutes before stressful events such as fireworks, thunder, long distance moves, etc., if a dog has reactions.
  • ·         Be aware of Addison’s symptoms
  • ·         IF a crisis arrives along checking for other issues (obstructions, etc) request a blood test be preformed to check potassium, sodium and chloride levels.  If levels indicate possible Addison’s, run a ACTH test (this test is two blood draws one hour apart, after the first an injection is given to stimulate cortisol both blood tests check for cortisol levels) and IF the crisis is a critical situation treat for Addison’s with fluids and glucocorticoid.  The ACTH test is a blood test and can take up to 24 hours to get the results, the time some dogs do not have.

IF your dog has been diagnosed with Addison’s the recommendation is to move to a holistic veterinarians for long term treatment.   A dog on long term treatment can lead a normal happy life.  Treatments vary depending on a dog’s size and the extent of illness plus a negotiated price at your vet for blood work and finding the lowest cost treatments. But in general, long term treatment can be holistic or commercial drugs or usually best a combination of both to reduce dependence on synthetic drugs and lower costs, all and all about $30/month on average.  Addison’s groups on line can help find the lowest prices for long term treatments.  Each dog will vary on what is effective and what is not so obviously that cost varies as well.

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Labradoodle Allergies, they are what they eat…

We have been asked many times about selecting a dog food and what foods are toxic.  This is all published on our blog but we believe it is helpful and worth restating in an email to the families of our puppies.  All the best, Krista, Kathy, Cindy and Alisa of Rainmaker Ranch Labradoodles

We use the best puppy food available. We do not feed people food to our dogs ever, some things you would never imagine are actually toxic (listed below). Please read the labels and understand what you are feeding your dog.

To find a good food read the first 5 ingredients on the bag. http://www.thepetcenter.com/article.aspx?id=3395 the ingredients are listed in order of amount with the highest quantity listed first.  Now ask the following questions:

What are the protein sources? We believe the primary source should come from quality animal protein, not vegetable protein or grain. Foods that list 2 or more grains in the first 5 ingredients may have more vegetable protein than animal protein. We prefer Chicken as the main ingredient.

What about grains? Two or more grains listed in the first 5 ingredients means your food may have more vegetable protein than animal protein. Grains such as soy, corn, corn gluten and wheat gluten can be difficult to digest, which means less nutrition, possible allergic reactions and more clean up. Wheat, barley, rice, corn and oats are all man-raised crops that a dog would never eat in the wild.   These ingredients are not properly digested and in many situations cause a dog to show allergy symptoms.

Are there by-products? Some manufacturers consider by-products inferior sources of protein and, depending on the source, they can be difficult to digest. Most dog foods contain protein sources labeled as “meal”, “digest” or “by-product”. These ingredients contain meat sources that are typically unsuitable for human consumption.

What are the fat sources? Some fats are better than others. We believe the primary fat source in dog food should be animal based because animal fats contain a profile of fatty acids that are easily metabolized and thus are generally more available to the body.

Toxic items

First all dog owners should know where their emergency vet is located.  The last thing you want is to be looking for the place when your dog is ill, late at night, so be prepared and do a dry run during the day.  It may save a life.

Second you need to be aware how to make a dog throw up if he or she does ingest something they should not.  This can be anything from a sock to the following foods.  Please call your vet or emergency vet clinic for advice on if inducing vomiting is a good idea based on the item and time.

Vomiting will not help in some situations and could harm him or her even more, please…

  • Do not induce if the dog has already started vomiting.
  • Do not induce if the dog has lost consciousness, has trouble breathing, or she has become too weak to stand.
  • Do not induce if the dog has swallowed bleach, drain cleaner or a petroleum distillate product. These products will burn the esophagus and mouth parts again on the way up.
  • Do not induce if the dog swallowed the material more than two hours ago because the item or substance has likely passed into the small intestine, at which point your dog can’t vomit it back up.

You can induce if…

  • your vet has advised you to do it during your phone call;
  • your dog has ingested antifreeze (ethylene glycol) no more than two hours ago

That said, follow these steps to induce vomiting.

  1. Into a small bowl, glass or mug, pour some three percent hydrogen peroxide, the same you have for a childs cut.
  2. Pour about 3 cc’s for every 20 pounds of your dog’s weight into a small cup.
  3. Open her mouth slightly tilting her head back, pour a steady stream of the hydrogen peroxide toward the back of her mouth, which will force her to swallow it.
  4. Wait ten minutes. If she hasn’t yet started to vomit, repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Call your vet immediately if she doesn’t vomit after the second dose.

 

So what is toxic to your dog besides the obvious, antifreeze?  Well here is a list of those that will cause harm.

  • Grapes, Raisins
  • Candy, gum containing xylitol
  • Mushrooms
  • Castor Bean
  • Cocoa powder, cooking chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate in order of most toxic
  • Onions and garlic
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pear pits, the kernels of plums, peaches and apricots, apple core pits (contain cyanogenic glycosides in cyanide poisoning)
  • Potato peelings and green looking potatoes
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Moldy/ spoiled foods
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Coffee grounds, beans and tea (caffeine)
  • Hops (used in home brewing)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Broccoli
  • Raw salmon
  • Apple (stem and leaves)
  • Yew (American, English, Western)
  • Wild Cherry
  • Japanese Plum
  • Ficus(Cuban Laurel)
  • Cherry
  • Balsam Pear
  • Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle-Leaf)
  • Oak
  • Philodendron (Devil’s Ivy)
  • English Ivy
  • Jasmine
  • Vine
  • Matrimony Vine
  • Virginia Creeper
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Caladium
  • Colocasia (Elephant’s Ear)
  • Deiffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
  • Philodendron (Saddle Leaf, Split Leaf)
  • Poinsetta
  • Mum (Pot and Spider)
  • Umbrella Plant
  • Aloe Vera
  • Mistletoe

Puppy Socialization: 9 Easy Steps to Help Ensure a Well-Rounded Puppy

In our book Canine Health and Dog Training go hand in hand. We are happy to be able to provide the following article.

By Marc Street, Veteran dog trainer and owner of The Happy Dog and Very Important Pets Spas (VIP), reprinted with permission

Once you bring a new puppy into your home, you need to be aware of his special needs. Dogs are social animals, and instinctively have a need to bond with their ‘pack’. Your puppy needs to learn how to respond to you, but also to other dogs. Here are some simple things you can do to ensure that your puppy becomes a welcomed member of the canine society and your home.

  1. Touch your puppy. Puppies need to be handled. Rub their ears, massage their paws, get them used to being poked and prodded. By getting your puppy used to being touched, visits to the vet and groomer become easier. The more you do this the more likely your puppy will be accustomed to being touched, and will be less likely to resist.
  2. Pass your puppy. Your puppy should meet 100 people before he’s 6 months old. Pass the puppy becomes a game. A new puppy is hard to resist, which is good for him. Let others hold him, pet him, touch his ears, the pads of his feet, etc. Remember that when you pass a puppy to someone, make sure that they are supporting your puppy and have a good hold on him before you let go. The last thing you want to do while socializing your puppy is drop him, which could be a traumatizing experience for the puppy and all!
  3. Feed your puppy. Your puppy needs to accept your presence around his food bowl. You can avoid future problems by not allowing your puppy to become protective of his food bowl. A dog that becomes protective of his food may become aggressive when approached. If your puppy does act protective, take it as a warning sign and seek professional help ASAP. Work to get him used to your presence while he is eating.
  4. Play with your puppy. Spend time with your puppy. Teach him games such as fetch and hide & seek. Take your puppy’s toys away from him. He needs to learn to accept that you can take his toys. By doing so at an early age, you are helping your puppy not to become protective of his toys. If your puppy becomes aggressive when you take away his toys, your red flags should go up. Seek professional help; behavior like this will not go away on its own.
  5. Teach your puppy. Every puppy should know some basic commands. SIT, DOWN, COME, DROP IT, and LEAVE IT. Take a “puppy kindergarten” class as soon as you get your puppy. It’s a great place to start, and it should be a lot of fun for all. Do some research and ask around to find a reputable trainer.
  6. Roll your puppy. When playing with your puppy, roll him over onto his side. Hold him there for a few seconds and then let him go. If he struggles don’t let him go. You’re trying to teach him that physically he can’t over power you. When a dog is on his side, he is in a submissive position. By placing your puppy in this position, he learns that you are the dominant member of his pack, and that he can trust you. He will learn that nothing bad will happen when he allows himself to be vulnerable to you. Make this a fun part of every day.
  7. Puppy play groups. Many people think that they need to shelter their puppy as you would a baby, which leads many dogs to grow up unable to socialize with other dogs. By getting your puppy into a “puppy playgroup” at an early age, he will learn how to interact with others. It’s never too soon for your new puppy to meet other puppies.
  8. Kids and puppies. Puppies need to learn how to behave around children. Children need to learn how to behave around puppies. Your puppy needs to learn that a toddler pulling his tail is allowed, and that snapping in response to a tug is not allowed. Children need to be taught not to pull puppies’ tails, or they may get snapped at. It’s a fine line, however there is a mutual respect that all puppies and kids need to learn early on. Never leave a child unattended with any dog at any time. It only takes a second for a disaster to happen.
  9. Your frightened puppy. Remember that puppies, like toddlers, are learning everything for the first time. The first time they hear a loud noise or something scares them, they will retreat and be afraid. Your first reaction is to smother them with ‘It’s OK’ and lots of attention. Don’t. Act like nothing happened. By drawing attention to his fright, he will grow to be afraid of everything. Let your puppy realize that the noise he heard wasn’t that big of a deal, and he will learn to recover from startling situations quickly.

Marc Street is a Rainmaker Ranch Labradoodles www.labradoodle-breeder.com Recommend Trainer located in West Palm Beach FL, he can be found at Very Important Paws http://www.veryimportantpaws.com/ .

Canine Health, Dog Stress and Training go hand in hand

Be the Alpha Dog.

To understand how puppies and pack animals behave and why is the primary tool in training your puppy for life. I am not going to tell you how to teach your puppy how to sit or stay or come, I will however, teach you and your family how to be successful teachers and leaders to your puppy. Although the information that follows can be used on an adult dog it is intended for Labradoodle and Australian Labradoodle puppies.

All puppies will, within a group of humans or other puppies, try and determine and/or control their place in the pack, be it the leader, second in command or a follower. In my opinion, it is not the responsibility of the puppy to be the leader, to have complete control, or perceived control over the group. This is like assigning a 5 year old child to be leader of the family. The weight on his or her shoulders would be tremendous. The puppy should be, after all, a dog. This to me means alert you, the leader, to potential threats, but not feel the need at all times to protect everyone and the property when you are home. Leadership is a high stress job and after all you want a loving puppy dog, a playful companion not a stressed out, always on alert, attack dog. If you did you would have purchased a different breed. Stress, in dogs, just as it does in humans, also leads to illness.
A dog bred and trained to be a pack leader eventually becomes an adult dog and behaves unlike a family companion. This dog will growl at someone or another dog if they touch its food or toy. It will bark beyond a simple warning bark and may even move into the ultimate protection mode of itself and its “things”.

What are some simple steps to tell your puppy you are the pack leader? Just teaching it to wait is one of the many keys.

  • Wait at the door. Place your dog in the sit and ask him to wait for the command to go through a door, even a wide open one, until you give him permission to move forward.
  • Wait for your dinner. Place your dog in the sit and ask him to wait to eat his meal until you give him permission to eat. This is especially great for kids with parental supervision.
  • Wait to get in car. Make your dog wait outside of the car while the door is opened, hatchback is lifted, or tailgate lowered, until you give him permission to jump in.
  • Wait to get out of the car. Ask him to wait or stay in the vehicle while car door is opened, hatchback is lifted, or tailgate lowered, until you give him permission to jump out.
  • Wait to get out of kennel, crate, or exercise pen.
  • Wait for your leash. Place your dog in the sit and ask him to wait calmly to go out for a walk while leash is attached to collar.
  • Wait and ask to be petted. If the dog nudges you for attentions ask him, do you want something, please sit, or give me your paw before being petted rather than jumping up, pawing, or nudging you for attention.
  • Wait and ask for permission to jump on sofa or bed. Dog sits and waits to be invited onto furniture instead of jumping up uninvited.
  • The best training advice is to find and secure two types of dog trainers. One trainer is found by attending a class. Classes provide a few things. They get your puppy socialization. It is easy to teach a puppy to sit privately at home but try and get him to sit when 10 other puppies and lots of smells are around with humans talking at the same time. Two, hire a personal trainer to come to your home. These trainers can actually see your environment and understand why Rover is actually doing what he is doing. They can see that he likes that specific sofa because it is near the door and window. Be sure and get references on a personal trainer. Find one that has an understanding of behavioral training versus basic commands. Basic commands can be taught in the larger class. Many times your breeder can provide references as well.

    Addison’s Disease, Canine Health Issue

    Addison’s disease has been detected in a limited number of the Australian Labradoodles and Labradoodles.  Addison’s disease is a disease that cannot yet be detected prior to the expression of the disease. The Poodle Club of America and UC Davis (http://cgap.ucdavis.edu/Default.htm), among others, are currently funding and undertaking research to detect the DNA specific to Addisons. When discovered this will allow breeders to pinpoint Addisons affected and Addisons carrier dogs prior to the expression of the disease.   

    Until that time the only available breeding strategy for breeders of any breed where Addisons has been discovered (which includes Poodles and Poodle mixes) is to identify publically and remove from breeding programs dogs that have actually produced Addison’s offspring and to study their pedigrees to understand higher risk pedigree lines.  Higher risk pedigree lines would be those that include parents and grandparents of dogs that have Addisons.  Due to current research indicating Addisons is genetic, polygenic (involves multiple genes) and autosomal recessive (must be inherited from both parents); these ancestor dogs could carry the disease.

    Two actions will greatly enhance a breeder’s ability to develop breeding strategies that include the breeding of high risk pedigree dogs; lowering inbreeding (http://www.canine-genetics.com/Price.htm ), and line breeding in these higher risk pedigree lines by out crossing (breeding to unrelated dogs) and studying Addisons watch databases (http://www.phrdatabase.com/ ) comparing them to your pedigrees.  At this point, with a minimal number of Australian Labradoodle and Labradoodle offspring with Addison’s to consider, pedigree research is in its infancy.   

     

    Dr. Jerold Bell writes about polygenic disease in the following article, entitled

    Managing Polygenic Disease and he uses hip dysplasia as an example:

    http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=TUFTSBG2003&PID=5115&O=Generic.  Applying Dr Bell’s breeding advice to Addison’s disease, breeders can follow thesame strategy they employ to avoid hip dysplasia and thereby improve their risks:

     

          Affected dogs should not be bred.

          A dog with close and/or multiple Addisonian relatives should not be bred to another with similar risks.

          Only very high quality dogs with close Addisonian relatives should be bred.

          High risk dogs should be bred sparingly and only to those with very few

    Addisonians in their lines.

          Producers and offspring of Addisonians should be replaced with a lower risk offspring or parents of the same quality.

          In addition to numbers of related Addisonians, breeders should consider each affected dog’s age of onset, severity of onset and any extreme environmental exposure to determine different levels of risk when assessing depth and breadth of pedigree.

     

    In order for breeders to make the safest breeding choices possible, ALL Addison’s Disease must be publicly reported. For Standard Poodles, the best and most reliable method of tracking most health issues is the Poodle Health Registry, www.poodlehealthregistry.org.” written by Natalie Green Tessier http://www.poodlehealthregistry.org/docs/Standard/Addison_Files/AddisonResearch_Request.pdf

     

    As consumers you should be talking to your breeder about this issue, and breeders should be aware of current research.  Health testing, awareness of the issue and selective breeding strategies are what set breeders apart, so select wisely.

     

    What is Addison’s?

     

    Addisons is the common name for hypoadrenocorticism, or adrenal insufficiency.  It is a disease with symptoms that are common to many other ailments, making diagnosis difficult and at times a process of elimination.  But once Addison’s is correctly diagnosed, with a ACTH test, a properly treated pet dog can live a normal, active life (http://www.addisondogs.com/ ).

     

    “The adrenal, one on each kidney, is made up of two layers, the cortex and the medulla.  The outer area, or cortex, secretes corticosteroid hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone.  The medulla, part of the sympathetic nervous system, secretes epinephrine (adrenaline), which is generally not affected by Addison’s.” written at http://www.addisondogs.com/.  

     Of the three types of Addison’s (Primary, Secondary and Atypical) Poodles and Poodle crosses are considered by experts capable of inheriting Primary Addison’s. Diagnosis is based on the ACTH “stimulation” test that measures cortisol levels before and after stimulation by an injection of artificial ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). In addition to distinguish between Primary and Secondary Addison’s, it’s necessary to measure endogenous (natural) ACTH levels. An Addison’s affected dog can show signs at any age, but most likely between the ages of 4-7 unless illness and/or medication has shortened the time period at which Addison’s would eventually be expressed.   Due to its late expression, lack of DNA testing prior to the actual expression of the disease, and no DNA testing for carrier dogs, an Addison’s affected or carrier breeding dog could have a normal undiagnosed breeding life without the knowledge of the breeder.

    Symptoms of Addison’s disease can be vague.  Initially, the dog may be listless, or seem depressed.  Many dogs are described as just seeming off.  Lack of appetite is also an indicator.  Other symptoms include gastro-intestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea.  Pain in the hindquarters, or generalized muscle weakness, such as a dog that can’t jump onto the bed as he has done in the past.  Shivering or muscle tremors may also be present. 

     These symptoms may come and go over months or years making diagnosis difficult.  If the adrenals continue deteriorating, ultimately the dog will have an acute episode called an Addisonian crisis (Potassium levels elevate and disrupt normal function of the heart).  Arrhythmias can result and blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels.  BUN and creatinine levels, generally indicators of kidney function, are often elevated.  At this point many animals are diagnosed with renal failure, as the kidneys are unable to function properly.  Typically animals are given IV solutions for rehydration, which may produce an almost miraculous recovery.  This too, is a great indication that the failure of the adrenals rather than of the kidneys is creating the symptoms.  

     

    How can addisons be avoided?  Well reducing physical stress can help.

    Nutrition is always a concern. Diet cannot cure Addison’s disease, however, foods made of poor-quality ingredients or diets that lead to nutritional deficiencies are a significant source of stress, and additional stress is just what Addison’s dogs don’t need. Because wheat, corn, and soy are problem ingredients for some dogs, many holistic veterinarians recommend avoiding them. I would always avoid grains and feed a high quality food. In general, foods made from high-quality animal-source ingredients that are easy to digest work best, but because individual responses vary.  It seems obvious to avoid ingredients that seem to trigger symptoms. I would also recommend considering holistic approaches to reducing possible incidents in all breeds whereas this is possible.  We love the whole dog journal and here is an interesting article of many. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/6_1/features/5510-1.html

    Explanation and Breeding Strategies  

     

    The main goal of the Addison’s Breeding Strategies below are to guide breeders to never produce any affected puppies, however until DNA testing is available no one can ensure any Poodle or Poodle cross is not a carrier and therefore will not be affected by Addisons.

     

    We must rely on two current detection methods:

     

    • Assumed Carrier – Assumed carriers are dogs that have produced Addison’s offspring. If a Labradoodle, Australian Labradoodle or Poodle has produced an Addison’s offspring it is suggested that the dog no longer be bred. 

     

    • Higher Risk Pedigree – Higher risk pedigrees are those that have the same pedigree lines as those dogs that are assumed carriers, and in many cases have been inbred or line bred thus increasing these higher risk pedigrees in multitude. In addition, higher risk pedigrees have assumed Addisons carriers closer in relation to the current breeding dog, i.e. parent or grandparent. Production of affected dogs should be prevented by ensuring to the best of ones ability that at least one parent is not of a higher risk pedigree. 

     

    In summary, most of the Australian Labradoodle and Labradoodle breeding stock, even those with higher risk pedigrees may continue to be used for breeding, thus maintaining genetic diversity within our breed. Armed new information we can attempt to prevent breeding a puppy that will be affected with the disease as it ages.

     

    Where do we recommend breeders go from here?

     

    Experts recommend breeders study their pedigrees and have a full knowledge of current assumed carriers.  Poodle pedigrees should be studied in relation to the Poodle Club of America Addison’s database.  Breeding dogs should have yearly CBC and TgAA testing via Antech NY labs or Dr. Dodds, Hemopets.  If any offspring is diagnosed with this condition, notify others so that they may benefit from adjusting their own breeding strategies.

     

    All stud dogs should be tested yearly; every breeder should require this test of studs in service. Note yearly testing cannot fully indicate if the dog is a carrier or affected but will give yearly indicators that may lead to prior or future detection.

     

    That stated, please proceed to expert sources for updates on Addisons diagnostic testing.  Dr. Jean Dodds of Hemopets (http://www.hemopet.org)  and UC Davis (http://cgap.ucdavis.edu ) are currently leading the charge.  Please note I am not a veterinarian, I am a dog breeder.  The information provided here is a collection of published information on Addisons produced by experts in the field, links to some of those are provided.  This article is NOT an attempt to provide new information (as I am not qualified to do so), but to gather current research for breeders and consumers.

    1,2,3…What is toxic to dogs, Canine Health

    First all dog owners should know where their emergency vet is located.  The last thing you want is to be looking for the place when your dog is ill, late at night, so be prepared and do a dry run during the day.  It may save a life.

    Second you need to be aware how to make a dog throw up if he or she does ingest something they should not.  This can be anything from a sock to the following foods.  Please call your vet or emergency vet clinic for advice on if inducing vomiting is a good idea based on the item and time.

    Vomiting will not help in some situations and could harm him or her even more, please…

    • Do not induce if the dog has already started vomiting.
    • Do not induce if the dog has lost consciousness, has trouble breathing, or she has become too weak to stand.
    • Do not induce if the dog has swallowed bleach, drain cleaner or a petroleum distillate product. These products will burn the esophagus and mouth parts again on the way up.
    • Do not induce if the dog swallowed the material more than two hours ago because the item or substance has likely passed into the small intestine, at which point your dog can’t vomit it back up.

    You can induce if…

    ·         your vet has advised you to do it during your phone call

    ·         your dog has ingested antifreeze (ethylene glycol) no more than two hours ago

    That said, follow these steps to induce vomiting. I have seen video’s on the internet so watch one now to learn how, versus later when you are in a panic.

    1. Into a small bowl, glass or mug, pour some three percent hydrogen peroxide, the same item you have for a cut.
    2. Pour about 3 cc’s for every 20 pounds of your dog’s weight.
    3. Open her mouth slightly, tilting her head back, pour a steady stream of the hydrogen peroxide toward the back of her mouth, which will force her to swallow it.
    4. Wait ten minutes. If she hasn’t yet started to vomit, repeat steps 2 and 3.
    5. Call your vet immediately if she doesn’t vomit after the second dose.

    Third, know what is toxic to your dog besides the obvious, antifreeze?  Here is a partial list of those that will cause harm.

    ·         Grapes, Raisins

    ·         Candy, gum containing xylitol

    ·         Mushrooms

    ·         Castor Bean

    ·         Cocoa powder, cooking chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate in order of most toxic

    ·         Onions and garlic

    ·         Macadamia nuts

    ·         Pear pits, the kernels of plums, peaches and apricots, apple core pits (contain cyanogenic glycosides in cyanide poisoning)

    ·         Potato peelings and green looking potatoes

    ·         Rhubarb leaves

    ·         Moldy/ spoiled foods

    ·         Alcohol

    ·         Yeast dough

    ·         Coffee grounds, beans and tea (caffeine)

    ·         Hops (used in home brewing)

    ·         Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)

    ·         Broccoli

    ·         Raw salmon

    ·         Apple (stem and leaves)

    ·         Yew (American, English, Western)

    ·         Wild Cherry

    ·         Japanese Plum

    ·         Ficus(Cuban Laurel)

    ·         Cherry

    ·         Balsam Pear

    ·         Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle-Leaf)

    ·         Oak

    ·         Philodendron (Devil’s Ivy)

    ·         English Ivy

    ·         Jasmine

    ·         Vine

    ·         Matrimony Vine

    ·         Virginia Creeper

    ·         Asparagus Fern

    ·         Caladium

    ·         Colocasia (Elephant’s Ear)

    ·         Deiffenbachia (Dumb Cane)

    ·         Philodendron (Saddle Leaf, Split Leaf)

    ·         Poinsetta

    ·         Mum (Pot and Spider)

    ·         Umbrella Plant

    ·         Aloe Vera

    ·         Mistletoe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Canine Health, the Labradoodle blog

    When is canine vomiting and diarrhea something serious?

    My dog threw up, is he really sick, or is this just something minor?  It is always best to ask your veterinarian this question and let the doctor make the judgment as to if a visit is necessary.  Here are some simple at home tests. 

    1. Is the dog still interested in eating, will they eat their favorite treat, even a small one?
    2. Do they have diarrhea?
    3.  Is there any blood in their vomit or diarrhea?
    4. Do they have a temperature, always have a thermometer for your dog and know that a dog’s temperature should be 101.  A dog can be very sick and NOT have a fever, but it is a warning sign.
    5. Is the dog dehydrated? Grasp the skin between the shoulder blades; it should bounce back upon releasing the skin almost immediately. Skin that takes more than 2 seconds to bounce back or stands up in the position grasped is a sign of dehydration and in need of immediate veterinary attention.
    6. Does the dog have good blood circulation and oxygenation? Check the color of your pet’s gums. Lift your pet’s upper or lower lip and observe the color of the inner lip and gums. A healthy animal should have a pink color to the gums. Brick red or brown, pale light pink, white, yellow or blue colors of the mucous membranes are colors indicative of an emergency (shock, loss of blood, or anemia). Some breeds have dark pigmentation in their inner lips and gums making observations difficult and misleading, know the color of your dogs gums when healthy. For these dogs check for color by gently pulling down on the skin just below the eye with your thumb and observe the color in the inner eyelid.
    7. Will the dog play? Grab their favorite toy and see if they will play.
    8. Will the dog stand? Move them to their feet and see what their reactions are.
    9. Call your veterinarian and tell them the answers to these questions.  If you vet is closed and any of these questions are of concern, go immediately to an emergency room.

    What is Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis, HGE?

    The onset of HGE is usually very quick/immediate, with no previous warning signs or health problems reported in the affected dog. Signs progress rapidly and can become severe within a few hours. First vomiting, then bloody diarrhea, followed quickly by dehydration, shock, collapse, and sudden death.

    Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is a fairly common disorder of dogs that is characterized by the sudden development of vomiting and/or diarrhea.  The vomitus and the diarrhea may contain variable amounts of bright, red blood or dark, digested blood.

    Contributing Factors

    There are no known contributing factors.  Most dogs appear healthy prior to the onset of clinical signs. Dogs with sensitive stomachs are believed to possibly be prone to HGE.

    Affected Animals

    Dogs of all ages and breeds can be affected by hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Young adult dogs of toy and miniature breeds, may be affected more frequently.

    Causes/Transmission

    The exact cause of HGE remains unknown.

    Clinical Signs

    There is some variability in the both the severity and course of this disease but, generally, signs are very sudden in onset.  Vomiting is followed by the onset of bloody diarrhea.  The rapid onset of profound dehydration is one of the hallmarks of HGE.  The continuing loss of bodily fluids can progress so rapidly that hypotension (low blood pressure) and shock develop.   

    There are many causes for bloody diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or HGE, refers to a specific syndrome usually seen in young adult dogs. In HGE, fever is usually NOT present, and the main laboratory abnormality is a marked elevation of the hematocrit (concentration of blood cells) due to fluid shifts and intestinal fluid loss. There is no diagnostic test that confirms the presence of HGE. Its diagnosis is made mainly on clinical grounds.

    Just as there is no unique diagnostic test for HGE, there is no established cause for the illness. Treatment is similar as that for other causes of vomiting and bloody diarrhea in dogs. However, relatively large amounts of fluid are usually needed to replace the fluid lost into the intestinal tract, and to reverse shock, if present. Antibiotics are also given because bacteria may play a role in causing HGE. Although the signs are sudden and severe, and some dogs do not survive, most animals with HGE recover fully with prompt treatment. Prompt veterinary attention is VITAL for any dog with severe gastrointestinal signs and depression, whether due to HGE or other causes.

    Canine hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or HGE, is a syndrome characterized by the sudden onset of vomiting, bloody diarrhea, depression, no fever, a normal white blood cell count, and an elevated hematocrit on bloodwork.

    Changes in the mucosa, or lining tissue, of the intestine result in fluid shifts from the vascular system and changes in fluid secretion into the intestinal tract. These changes appear to cause the symptoms of HGE. Animals can become extremely ill in a very short period of time.

    Treatment requires prompt and aggressive fluid administration, and shock-level doses are usually needed at first. Steroids are given to animals that are in shock, and dogs with severe blood loss may require blood transfusion. Antibiotics are also given as part of the supportive treatment for HGE. Most dogs recover with appropriate treatment, although some may have additional bouts of the same signs after the initial episode resolves.

    Prevention

    Because the cause is unknown, there is no recommended preventive therapy. A bacterium called Clostridium perfringens has been isolated from cultures of intestinal contents in dogs with HGE, but its exact role in the syndrome has not been identified.

    There are many other diseases/disorders that can appear similar to HGE. These include:

    • Parvovirus is a contagious virus that can affect any age or breed of dog, although it is most common in the young, unvaccinated pup. The most common signs associated with parvo are vomiting, diarrhea (often with blood), and loss of appetite.
    • Bacterial enteritis, which is inflammation/infection of the intestinal tract with salmonella, clostridia, is commonly associated with signs that may mimic HGE.
    • Conditions resulting in endotoxic or hypovolemic shock, often associated with the movement of certain bacteria or toxins, or other overwhelming systemic infections, need to be ruled out.
    • Intestinal obstruction or intussusception, which is the telescoping of one part of the bowel into another, secondary to foreign bodies, tumors, or parasites can cause similar gastrointestinal signs.
    • Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease) is an endocrine disorder in which there is a hormonal deficiency, most often corticosteroids and mineralocorticoids, due to a problem with the adrenal glands. These individuals often present with signs extremely similar to HGE.
    • Uremia is when toxins or poisons are not excreted from the body associated with kidney failure. It is not uncommon for these patients to present with gastrointestinal ulceration, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.
    • Pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, often presents for some combination of vomiting, inappetence, and/or bloody diarrhea.
    • Coagulopathies, or bleeding disorders, including thrombocytopenia (decreased platelets), warfarin ingestion, disseminated vascular coagulation (DIC), and bleeding secondary to liver disorders may present with bloody diarrhea.
    • Toxins including arsenic, thallium, Amanita mushrooms, and certain household cleaning products cause bloody diarrhea.

    Written by Krista at Rainmaker Ranch Labradoodles www.labradoodle-breeder.com, editted by Dr. Sandy Fink VDM of West Orange Animal Hospital