Ear infection in your gsd puppy

How common are ear infections in dogs?

Infections of the external ear canal (outer ear) by bacteria or yeast, are one of the most common types of infections seen in dogs. This is called otitis externa.

Some breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, seem more prone to ear infections but they may occur in any breed.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

A dog with an ear infection is uncomfortable; his ear canals are sensitive. He shakes his head trying to get the debris and fluid out, and scratches his ears. The ears often become red and inflamed and develop an offensive odor. A black or yellowish discharge commonly occurs.

Don’t these symptoms usually suggest ear mites?

Ear mites can cause several of these symptoms, including a black discharge, scratching, and head shaking. Ear mite infections generally occur most commonly in puppies. Ear mites in adult dogs occur most frequently after a puppy carrying mites is introduced into the household. Sometimes ear mites will create an environment within the ear canal which leads to a secondary infection with bacteria and yeast (fungus). By the time the dog is presented to the veterinarian, the mites may be gone, but a significant ear infection remains.

Since these symptoms are similar and usually mean an infection, can I just go to the vet and get some medication?

There are several kinds of bacteria and at least one type of fungus which might cause an ear infection. Without knowing the kind of infection present, your veterinarian will not know which drug to use. In some cases the ear infection may be caused by a foreign body or tumor in the ear canal. Treatment with medication alone will not resolve these problems. Also, the dog must be examined to be sure that the eardrum is intact. Administration of certain medications can result in loss of hearing if the eardrum is ruptured. This determination is made by the veterinarian and must be done in the office.

How do vets find out which drug to use?

First, the ear canal is examined with an otoscope, an instrument that provides magnification and light. This permits a good view of the ear canal. This examination allows veterinarians to determine whether the eardrum is intact and if there is any foreign material in the canal. When a dog is in extreme pain and refuses to allow the examination, he must sometimes be completed under sedation or anesthesia.

The next step is to examine a sample of the material from the ear canal to determine which organism is causing the infection. This is called cytology. Examination of that material under the microscope is very important in helping the veterinarian choose the right medication to treat the inflamed ear canal.

How are ear infections treated? The results of the otoscopic examination and cytology tell the veterinarian what to do. If there is a foreign body or tick lodged in the ear canal, the dog is sedated so that it can be removed. As stated previously, some dogs have such a heavy buildup of debris that sedation is needed to cleanse the canal and examine it completely.

Cytologic study of debris from the ear canal dictates which drug to use. Sometimes it reveals the presence of more than one type of infection (i.e., a bacterium and a fungus, or two kinds of bacteria); this situation usually requires the use of multiple medications or a broad-spectrum medication.

An important part of the evaluation of the patient is the identification of underlying disease. Many dogs with chronic or recurrent ear infections have allergy problems or low thyroid function (hypothyroidism). If a underlying disease is found, it must be diagnosed and treated, if at all possible. If this cannot be done, the dog is less likely to have a favorable response to treatment. Also, the dog might respond temporarily, but the infection will relapse at a later time (usually when ear medication is discontinued).

What is the prognosis?

Nearly all ear infections that are properly diagnosed and treated can be cured. If an underlying cause remains unidentified and untreated, the outcome will be less favorable. A progress check may be needed before the process is completed.

How important is it to treat an ear infection?

Dogs with ear infections are miserable. Their ears are a source of constant pain resulting in head shaking and scratching. However, that is not the only problem. Head shaking and scratching can also cause broken blood vessels in the ear flap, requiring surgery, and chronic ear infections can penetrate the ear drum and result in an internal ear infection.

My dog’s ear canal is nearly closed. Is that a problem?

Closing of the ear canal is another result of a chronic ear infection. There are medications that can shrink the swollen tissues and open the canal in some dogs. Some cases will eventually require surgery.

What is the purpose of surgery?

The surgery for a closed ear canal is called a lateral ear resection. Its purposes are to remove the vertical part of the ear canal and to remove swollen tissue from the horizontal canal. Removing the vertical canal should be successful, but removal of large amounts of tissue from the horizontal canal is more difficult. In some cases, the ear canal is surgically obliterated. This solves the canal problem, but it leaves the dog deaf on that side.

What can be done if the ear canals are completely closed?

The most severe consequence of a chronic ear infection is total closure and hardening of the ear canal. When this occurs, the lateral ear resection will no longer be helpful. The appropriate surgery for this situation is an ear canal obliteration. The entire ear canal is surgically removed. Since severe scarring and calcification occur, this can be a lengthy surgical procedure requiring a skilled veterinary surgeon.

Is there anything I need to know about getting medication in the ear?

It is important to get the medication into the horizontal part of the ear canal. Be aware that the dog’s external ear canal is “L” shaped. The vertical canal connects with the outside of the ear; the horizontal canal lies deeper in the canal and terminates at the eardrum. The ear canal may be medicated by following these steps:

*
1.
Gently pull the ear flap straight up and hold it with one hand.
2.
Apply a small amount of medication into the vertical part of the ear canal while continuing to keep the ear flap elevated. Hold this position long enough for the medication to run down to the turn between the vertical and horizontal canal.
3.
Put one finger in front of and at the base of the ear flap, and put your thumb behind and at the base.
4.
Massage the ear canal between your finger and thumb. A squishing sound tells you that the medication has gone into the horizontal canal.
5.
Release the ear and let your dog shake his head. If the medication contains a wax solvent, debris will be dissolved so it can be shaken out.
6.
If another medication is to be used, apply it in the same manner.
7.
When all medications have been applied, clean the outer part of the ear canal and the inside of the ear flap with a cotton ball soaked with a small amount of rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol. Do not use cotton tipped applicators to do this as they tend to push debris back into the vertical ear canal.


Pleases care for your GSD the same way you would your self if your ears are bothering you.

Determining if Your Dog has an Ear Yeast Infection

As a responsible pet owner, you should know that there are several steps to take to discover if your dog has an ear infection due to yeast.

It’s important, as a dog owner, to be very familiar with your dog’s regular routine and behavior, so that if a change occurs, you’ll notice that the dog is behaving differently. First, know how energetic the dog normally is, and be able to describe his normal energy levels and routines to a veterinarian. Does your dog frequently take time to lie down or is he always on the go? Is he eager to go outside for walks, or does he remain on his bed when you open the door? These are just a couple of lifestyle habits you should be aware of.

Second, does your dog regularly fidget, lick, shake his head, or scratch certain parts of his body? Or is he free from habitual scratching, only indulging occasionally? From the time you first get your dog, you should take the time to get to know its habits.

If you do notice odd behaviors, it’s important to keep notes so you can inform the vet. The vet will want to know what behaviors have changed, and if there has been an accompanying change in the dog’s activities or surroundings. For instance, if your dog is usually landlocked, but you recently took him swimming, and now you’re noticing a change in behavior, the vet will need to know this information. You also will need to describe in detail the behaviors that are alarming. Some of the common behaviors in a dog with a yeast ear infection include scratching the ear, whining, rubbing the ear on the carpet or furniture, shaking the head and moping around with less energy than usual. Symptoms you might notice on the ear itself are redness, swelling, crustiness, discharge, and a foul smelling odor.

Once you are able to describe your concerns and the events you’ve noticed, the vet will take a sample from inside the dog’s ear to determine if yeast is really the problem. Bacterial infections may present with almost exactly the same symptoms, but will need different treatment. In addition, the vet will need to examine the dog and his entire ear, inside and out, to rule out other problems like matted hair or an object lodged in the ear. Sometimes, if a dog has grass stuck far inside the ear, or if the dog has contracted ear mites (from contact with an infected dog), the symptoms will mimic those of a yeast infection.

If your vet, upon examining the sample under a microscope, confirms the overgrowth of yeast, he will be able to prescribe a topical solution to kill the fungus. He will also advise you about how to avoid recurrence.

Once you know your dog very well, and familiarize yourself with telltale symptoms of yeast, you will be able to save your dog from any further problems with yeast infection in the ears.

So please take your GSD in to a vet often to check there ears or you can check them your self.

Treating pain in your GSD

Controlling and treating pain in your GSD is essential to his overall well-being. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS

) are a class of drugs commonly used to control pain and inflammation in dogs. NSAIDs are used to help many dogs lead more comfortable, pain free, lives.

Exactly what are NSAIDs?

NSAIDs are used to help to control signs of arthritis, including inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Inflammation, the body’s response to irritation or injury, is often characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain.

Exactly how do NSAIDs work?

NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostanglandins

. These are chemicals produced by the body that actually cause inflammation. Some NSAIDs may also be used to control the pain and inflammation following surgery.

Your veterinarian may prescribe an NSAID when treating pain in your GSD such as from osteoarthritis or to control pain following a surgical procedure.

Here are Veterinary NSAIDs approved for use in dogs:

* ETOGESIC (etodolac)

* RIMADYL (carprofen)

* METACAM (meloxicam)

* DERAMAXX (deracoxib)

* PREVICOX (firocoxib)

* ZUBRIN (tepoxalin)

* NOVOX (carprofen)

Did you know, in the United States, there are NO veterinary NSAIDs approved for oral use in cats?

What should you know before giving your dog an NSAID?

* Never give aspirin or corticosteroids along with an NSAID to your dog.

* NSAIDs should be approached cautiously in dogs with kidney, liver, heart and intestinal problems.

* Never give your German Shepherd an NSAID unless directed by your veterinarian.

* Don’t assume an NSAID for one dog is safe to give to another dog. Always consult your veterinarian before using any medication in your pet.

* Only give the NSAID as prescribed by your veterinarian. Do not increase the dose, the frequency, or the length of time you use the drug unless first discussing this with your veterinarian.

What should you discuss with your veterinarian?

NSAIDs offer pain relief and improved quality of life to many dogs. However, before giving an NSAID, or any drug, you should first talk to your veterinarian. You should discuss:

* what the NSAID is being prescribed for

* how much to give when treating pain in your GSD

* how long to give it

* possible side effects

* what to avoid while your dog is taking an NSAID

* what tests are needed before giving an NSAID to your dog

* how often should your dog be re-examined

* your dogs previous medical history and any previous drug reactions

* all medication and products your dog currently receives

What side effects should you watch for?

Most NSAID-side effects are mild, but some can be serious. Common side effects seen with the use of NSAIDs in dogs may affect the kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal tract and may include:

* Not eating or eating less

* Lethargy, depression, changes in behavior

* Vomiting

* Diarrhea, black tarry-colored stool

* Yellowing of gums, skin, or the whites of the eyes

* Change in drinking

* Changes in skin (scabs, redness, or scratching)

Whenever You Give Your GSD an NSAID, Remember to Watch out for these Signs:

Behavior Changes

Eating Less

Skin Redness, Scabs

Tarry Stool/Diarrhea/Vomiting

STOP the Drug & Call Your Veterinarian!

Very Important: If you suspect a possible side effect to an NSAID when treating pain in your GSD, STOP giving the drug to your dog and call your veterinarian immediately!

So please investigate any medications before you give them to your GSD. Same as you would for your self or your child.

Parvovirus and your gsd puppy

Canine parvovirus (CPV) disease is currently the most common infectious disorder of dogs in the United States.

‘Parvo’ is a highly contagious disease characterized by diarrhea that is often bloody. Prior to 1980, most canine parvovirus that caused disease was Type 2 (CPV-2). After 1980, CPV-2 was replaced by CPV-2a became more common and in 1986, another variation called CPV-2b appeared. In the past few years, a new strain, CPV-2c has been detected. Today, CPV-2b has largely replaced the previous strains as the most common parvovirus causing disease in the dog. There is currently some discussion that there may be other strains that are beginning to emerge and have yet to be formally identified. Current vaccinations have helped to control the spread of this disease but despite being vaccinated, some dogs still contract and die from parvo. There is much that we do not know about the virus or the best way to control the disease, but we are learning new information daily. Misinformation about the disease, its spread, and vaccination is widespread. We hope that with a better understanding of the disease, pet owners will be able to make good health decisions for their dogs that will help prevent and reduce the spread of this disease.

How is parvovirus spread?

Parvovirus is spread through contact with feces containing the virus. The virus is known to survive on inanimate objects – such as clothing, food pans, and cage floors – for 5 months and longer in the right conditions. Insects and rodents may also serve as vectors playing an important role in the transmission of the disease. This means any fecal material or vomit needs to be removed with a detergent before the bleach solution is used. The bleach solution should be used on bedding, dishes, kennel floors and other impervious materials that may be contaminated.

The normal incubation period (time from exposure to the virus to the time when signs of disease appear) is from 7-14 days. Virus can be found in the feces several days before clinical signs of disease appear, and may last for one to two weeks after the onset of the disease.

What are the symptoms of parvovirus infection?

There is a broad range in the severity of symptoms shown by dogs that are infected with parvovirus. Many adult dogs exposed to the virus show very few, if any, symptoms. The majority of cases of disease are seen in dogs less than 6 months of age with the most severe cases seen in puppies younger than 12 weeks of age. There are also significant differences in response to parvovirus infections and vaccines among different breeds of dogs, with Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Labrador Retrievers being more susceptible than other breeds.

The most common form of the disease is the intestinal form known as enteritis. Parvovirus enteritis is characterized by vomiting (often severe), diarrhea, dehydration, dark or bloody feces, and in severe cases, fever and lowered white blood cell counts. Acute parvovirus enteritis can be seen in dogs of any breed, sex, or age. The disease will progress very rapidly and death can occur as early as two days after the onset of the disease. The presence of gram negative bacteria, parasites, or other viruses can worsen the severity of the disease and slow recovery.

A less common form of the disease causes myocarditis (inflammation of the heart).

How is parvovirus infection diagnosed?

Not all cases of bloody diarrhea with or without vomiting are caused by parvovirus and many sick puppies are misdiagnosed as having ‘parvo.’ The only way to know if a dog has parvovirus is through a positive diagnostic test. In addition to the more time consuming and expensive traditional testing of the blood for titers, a simpler test of the feces with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay antigen test (ELISA), commonly called the CITE test, is also available through most veterinary clinics. Testing of all suspect cases of parvo is the only way to correctly diagnose and treat this disease. A complete physical exam and additional laboratory tests such as a CBC and chemistry panel help to determine the severity of the disease.

How is parvovirus disease treated?

The treatment of parvovirus is fairly straightforward and directed at supportive therapy. Replacing fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea is probably the single most important treatment. Intravenous administration of a balanced electrolyte solution is preferred, but in less severe cases, subcutaneous or oral fluids may be used. In severe cases, blood transfusions may be necessary. Antibiotic therapy is usually given to help control secondary bacterial infections. In those dogs who have severe symptoms, antiserum against endotoxins may be given. Corticosteroids may be given if the animal is in shock. In cases of severe vomiting, drugs to slow the vomiting may also be used. After the intestinal symptoms begin to subside, a broad spectrum de-worming agent is often used. Restricting the food during periods of vomiting is also necessary and parenternal nutrition (providing nutrients intravenously) may be necessary.

Undertaking the treatment of affected dogs and puppies without professional veterinary care is very difficult. Even with the best available care, the mortality of severely infected animals is high. Without the correct amount of properly balanced intravenous fluids, the chance of recovery in a severely stricken animal is very small.

All parvoviruses are extremely stable and are resistant to adverse environmental influences such as low pH and high heat. Exposure to ultraviolet light and sodium hypochlorite (a 1:32 dilution of household bleach – ½ cup bleach to 1 gallon of water) can inactivate parvovirus. The bleach solution can be impaired by organic matter and needs to have adequate exposure time and proper concentrations to work effectively.

Immunity and vaccination

If a puppy recovers from parvovirus infection, he is immune to reinfection for probably at least twenty months and possibly for life. In addition, after recovery the virus is not shed in the feces. There are many commercially prepared attenuated (modified) live CPV-2 vaccines available. The current vaccines protect against all strains of the canine parvovirus, including the relatively new parvovirus-2c strain. Although some people have expressed concern about the possibility of modified live vaccines reverting to a virulent strain after being given and then causing disease, studies have repeatedly shown that this does not occur. Commercially prepared vaccines are safe and do not cause disease.

The primary cause of failure of canine parvovirus vaccines is an interfering level of maternal antibody against the canine parvovirus. Maternal antibodies are the antibodies present in the mother’s milk during the first 24 hours after the puppy’s birth. The age at which puppies can effectively be immunized is proportional to the titer of the mother and the effectiveness of transfer of maternal antibody within those first 24 hours. High levels of maternal antibodies present in the puppies’ bloodstream will block the effectiveness of a vaccine. When the maternal antibodies drop to a low enough level in the puppy, immunization by a commercial vaccine will work. The complicating factor is that there is a period of time from several days to several weeks in which the maternal antibodies are too low to provide protection against the disease, but too high to allow the vaccine to work. This period is called the window of susceptibility. This is the time when despite being vaccinated, a puppy can still contract parvovirus. The length and timing of the window of susceptibility is different in every puppy in every litter.

In one study of a cross section of different puppies the age at which they were able to respond to a vaccine and develop protection covered a wide period of time. At six weeks of age, 25% of the puppies could be immunized. At 9 weeks of age, 40% of the puppies were able to respond to the vaccine. The number increased to 60% by 16 weeks, and by 18 weeks of age, 95% of the puppies could be immunized.

When we examine all of the information about maternal derived antibodies, windows of susceptibility, breed susceptibilities, the possibility of unidentified strains, and the effectiveness of different vaccines, we begin to see why there are so many different vaccination protocols and why some vaccinated animals still develop the disease.

Vaccination protocols have been developed that will help protect the widest range of dogs. In using these protocols, we understand we will be vaccinating some dogs that are not capable of responding and we will be revaccinating some dogs that have already responded and developed a high titer. But without doing an individual test on each puppy, it is impossible to determine where the puppy is in its immune status. We also realize due to the window of susceptibility, some litters will contract parvovirus despite being vaccinated. By using quality vaccines and an aggressive vaccination protocol, we can make this window of susceptibility as small as possible. The generally recommended protocol is to vaccinate puppies against parvovirus beginning at 6-8 weeks of age, and revaccinating every 3 weeks until the puppy is 16-20 weeks of age. A booster is given at one year of age and every 1-3 years thereafter.

Conclusion

In summary, parvovirus is a very common problem that is a huge killer of puppies. Due to its ability to be transmitted through hands, clothes, and most likely rodents and insects, it is virtually impossible to have a kennel that will not eventually be exposed to the disease. Modified live vaccines are safe and effective, but despite the best vaccination protocol, all puppies will have a window of susceptibility of at least several days where they will be at risk. In addition, the newer CPV-2c strain presents new challenges since it is less detectable in laboratory tests and current vaccines may not be as effective in providing protection against it. Prompt treatment by a veterinarian will increase survivability in infected puppies and working with your veterinarian on a vaccination program that is best for your puppy is important.

The parvovirus is dangerous for your gsd puppy so please get  your gsd puppy the shoots they need.

Information on vaccinations for your gsd

Introduction

Immunizing dogs against disease seems to be a simple process; pet owners may even take vaccinations for granted. It is both the most routine procedure performed in veterinary clinics and also the one most prone to confusion and misconception. This article attempts to answer some common questions dog owners have about vaccinations.

How does a vaccination work?

In simplest terms, a vaccination stimulates the dog’s immune system to protect itself against disease. When the antigen or infectious agent enters the dog’s body, it is recognized as foreign and antibodies are produced to bind to it and destroy it. Even though the invader is gone, the cells that manufactured the antibodies “remember” it and will respond more quickly the next time the same agent is confronted.

Don’t dogs get sick from a vaccination?

When vaccines were first being investigated, patients were actually given a less severe form of the disease or a related disease, with the idea that it was better to be a little bit sick now rather than a lot sicker later. Giving people cowpox to prevent smallpox was an early form of vaccination. Todays vaccines are attenuated (weakened), killed, or only pieces of the virus and don’t actually transmit the disease.

What about vaccine reactions?

It is true that some animals have a systemic reaction, including a low-grade fever or muscle aches and pain. This reaction is more common in young and toy breed dogs and causes them to eat less and sleep more for 24-48 hours. Rarely, dogs will have a more severe reaction, characterized by hives, swelling of the face, or even vomiting. This reaction is easily prevented by giving antihistamine at the time of subsequent vaccinations. Leptospirosis, the component most likely to produce such strong reactions, can be left out of some vaccines. If your dog has had a vaccine reaction in the past, don’t skip future vaccinations but do warn the veterinarian so he can take steps to prevent a recurrence.

Which is better, killed virus vaccines or modified-live types?

Each type of vaccine has strengths and weaknesses. Modified-live vaccines provide stronger, longer-lasting, and more rapid protection, including local immunity. They are less expensive and may require only one dose to be effective. They have a potential to become active and cause disease, especially in a patient with a weakened immune system; to create immunosuppression, or to cause abortions in pregnant dogs. Careful handling and storage are required to prevent breakdown of the active ingredients.

Killed vaccines cannot become virulent and are less likely to be immunosuppressive or cause abortions. They remain stable during storage. They are more likely to cause allergic reactions, require more initial injections and more frequent booster shots, and do not produce local immunity.

A good example of the differences between modified-live and killed vaccines is the use of Bordatella vaccinations for kennel cough. Killed vaccines require two injections but are only 60-80 percent effective against disease and don’t provide local immunity at the level of the airway. Modified- live vaccines are given intranasally, require only one dose, and start providing local immunity within 48 hours.

Can you overload a puppy with too many things at once?

Probably not. Some researchers blame the rise of immunemediated disease on frequent vaccinations with large numbers of modified-live viruses. They feel this overstimulates the immune system, causing it to recognize everything as foreign and leading to tissue rejection. Currently, this theory is not accepted by most veterinary practitioners. Those who do adhere to this theory advise giving separate vaccination every few days instead of using combination vaccinations.

What this approach fails to consider is the interference caused by too-frequent administration of vaccines. Because the first shot will create a blocking effect and not allow the body to respond to a second or third shot a few days later, it is better to administer several antigens together than to divide the vaccines into many injections.

It sounds like vaccinations are dangerous. Is it worth the risk?

Absolutely! The risks associated with vaccines are slight compared with the risk of contracting a fatal disease like distemper, rabies, or parvovirus.

Shouldn’t vaccines contain the most things possible?

No. Some people feel they receive a better value for their money if a vaccine contains six or seven or more antigens instead of the five-in-one combination most often used. Vaccination schedules based on your dog’s age, breed, and lifestyle as well as your geographic location and your veterinarian’s advice are more effective than trying to squeeze the most antigens into a one cc injection.

My dog was vaccinated against (parvo, kennel cough, etc) and got it anyway. Why?

Vaccine breaks occur for many reasons. Fever, steroids, disease, and maternal antibodies will block the patient’s ability to make antibodies. Improper storage and handling of the vaccines or incorrect administration will also lead to vaccine failure. If given too close together, vaccines can be blocked by earlier shots; given too far apart, the memory response of the immune system is not properly stimulated.

Vaccines given to very young puppies (under six weeks of age) or to sick or immunocompromised patients may be ineffective. In the case of parvovirus, it has been demonstrated that Dobermans and Rottweilers are more susceptible to infection. Some veterinarians recommend extra vaccinations for these dogs or for dogs who are often in contact with other dogs.

How many shots does a dog or puppy need?

There is no one answer for this question, but a few basic rules apply. A minimum of two multivalent vaccinations (including distemper and parvo) given three to four weeks apart are required for every dog or puppy over three months old. An additional vaccination against rabies is also necessary. Vaccinations against coronavirus, Bordatella, or Lyme disease are based on owner’s needs and veterinarian’s advice.

It may be confuseing but please get your gsd vaccinated.


What to feed your gsd puppy

Feeding German Shepherds? What are you feeding your GSD? There are many different and great brands and types of dog

foods on the market.

I always suggest you feed your puppy or dog a very high quality food such as Wysong all-natural pet food, or Solid Gold. If at all possible I recommend you buy the highest quality dog food that you can afford.

There are even foods by Royal Canin and other brands specifically formulated for the German Shepherd Dog breed specifically. No matter which food you use, the idea first is to get a high quality puppy/dog food recommended and currently used by your breeder or rescue and keep your dog on it.

If you need to change the diet of the German Shepherd later on for some reason then do your research accordingly and well ahead of time because feeding German Shepherds a good diet is very important. And if you occasionally find them eating grass, don’t worry.

Some puppies can suffer from stress after leaving the kennel which in turn could develop into diarrhea. If you keep the puppy on the same food and on the same feeding schedule that the breeder used it will help to relieve stress and keep the puppy’s tummy settled.

If you experience loose stools, poor coat quality, etc., with your German Shepherd, and you have ruled out many other potential problems then chances are high that another food is needed because your dog is not getting all it needs from it’s current food.

Feeding German Shepherds a good quality food is very important.

I do not suggest that you go hopping from one dog food to another in your search for a new dog food, however, you need to do your research first – read labels, speak to your vet, your breeder and other pet owners then switch – if you find a good quality food that your GSD enjoys (and is doing well on) then stay with that food.

Concerning a German Shepherd puppy and it’s diet, one of the best guidelines to follow is to watch the weight of your puppy as well as the coat condition and the actual “poops” it produces. If your GSD puppy has a poor coat, bad “poops”, maintains a low energy level or just doesn’t act like a normal, healthy, energetic puppy, then chances are high that poor diet is the cause.

Get your puppy to the vet for a check up to rule out any other causes such as worms and then discuss with them the chances of changing to another better food and ask for suggestions on one to choose when you are feeding German Shepherds.

Black GSD

Some people strongly advocate a raw diet. I, myself, have no experience with this form of feeding German Shepherds but if you are interested in learning more about the BARF (Bones and Raw Foods) diet for your dog, please do more research online concerning Raw Feeding.

I recommend feeding young GSD puppies 3-4 times a day until they are around 3-4 months old at least. I also understand that sometimes this is just not possible. If this is the case, feed your GSD puppy at least twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.

I feed twice daily, even with my adults. I do not like giving my dogs their entire daily quantity of food in one meal, plus I enjoy spending the extra time with them and this extra feeding does just that for me (and more so). Actually, there are many scientific studies indicating that feeding twice daily (or more) is a good defense against your dog becoming bloated.

Keep in mind, when feeding German Shepherds you do not want your dog to be very active either before or directly after you feed them. Once they’ve eaten give them at least a couple of hours of rest for the food to have time to digest properly before further physical activity. The same needs to be followed before your dog eats as well. Limiting all physical activity before and after meals is an excellent way to keep your dog from getting bloat.

Next question: When should an owner quit feeding their GSD puppy puppy food and switch them to adult food? This issue is a very controversial and complex one. I always suggest that new owners keep their GSD puppies on puppy food until at least 7-9 months or longer, depending on the individual puppy.

My thinking is this, if the GSD puppy is doing well on the puppy food and is maturing properly, not too slow, not too fast, then I see no need in changing the food just for the sake of changing the food. Here’s what you should do if you don’t agree with me (and I won’t be upset, I promise): do a little research on your own, speak to your Veterinarian and let them give you the pros and cons of when to make the food change.

In the end you will probably have to vary the quantity of food according to the special demands, age and activities of your own dog anyway. Metabolism varies in dogs just as it does in humans, so this makes it impossible anyway to have any hard and fast rules as to quantities of food in the first place.

 

The best guide in many ways, is to carefully observe the weight of your own dog and to use this as your starting points. You don’t want them too heavy, or too thin as well and feeding German Shepherds can take time to learn exactly how much is needed.

It is important to note here that as the dog ages they will probably require much less food as well.

A Few Tips For Feeding German Shepherds:

Don’t let your children approach a dog that is eating (in or out of a crate)!
All dogs should be fed at least twice a day to avoid getting “bloat”.
After feeding the dog, don’t run/or play with it for at least 1 hour!!
So remember investigate what foods you are feeding your GSD and make sure you keep your GSD’s ideal whight.

How to care for your GSD’s nails

Caring for your german shepherds nails is an important part of his grooming program. If you take your GSD for long walks on concrete ground, his nails will wear down gradually to a normal level, but if he is usually exercised on soft ground, you may need to cut his nails about once a month.

Trimming german shepherds nails is not a difficult operation and you’ll get more confident after the first couple of times. It is important to approach this with care as the nails of dogs have a quick, or small blood vessel that runs from the foot to about half way down the nail. If you should cut the nail too short and into the quick you will cause a sharp pain to your dog and draw blood.

At first, cut the german shepherds nails conservatively until both you and your dog get used to the process.

There are special tools for cutting your german shepherds nails.

Guillotine cutters slice the nail like a guillotine, but from the opposite direction. They clamp it on the top and slice it from the bottom. It’s possible to reverse the direction, just one of the problems with using this type of tool. They also tend to put more pressure on the nail, potentially squeezing the quick uncomfortably.

Scissor-style cutters, if properly sharp, can do a great job of slicing cleanly and quickly with just a little practice.

A nail file is an alternative option, but a slow one.

Dremel tools, which operate like a small wood grinding drill, are an option. They have a rounded attachment that can grind the nail down to the desired length but they have to be used with great care. The problem with the Dremel is that at high speed they can become too hot too quickly so keep an eye on the temperature of the grinder or your dog will run a mile the next time you try to use it.

Before you begin, get your German Shepherd on the floor on it’s back and get him at ease. It’s important they stay calm and don’t jerk a foot at the wrong moment.

Wash and clean the german shepherds nails before you begin. This will help you to distinguish where the quick starts so you don’t cut the nails too short and it will also get the dog used to you handling his feet.

Try to leave about 1/8th of an inch of nail below the quick or your dog will feel pain from the pressure of walking.

Clip or grind each nail in turn, taking special care with any dew claw nail, if your dog still has them. To keep any of the dog’s hair out of the way, you can take a baby sock and poke a hole for the nail, then slide it over the foot. That will push the hair back away from the nail.

Don’t forget to make a fuss of him and give your dog some kind of reward afterwards. When you’ve cut your german shepherds nails a few times, both you and your dog will grow in confidence and it won’t be such an ordeal for either of you.

You can always take the dog to a grooming parlour if you’d rather not attempt this task yourself.

So take good care of there nails

So if you get a gsd please please do not neglect them by locking them up and leaveing them. because these dogs needs a lot of attention like children need so if you are to busy to properly care for them.

How to care for your GSD skin

German Shepherd – Skin

The attractive coat of the German Shepherd can unfortunately be quite attractive to parasites too. Beneath the coat on the skin itself, hot spots can be created by skin infections, which can arise from a poor diet or from an infected cut.

 

Flea and similar parasite infections are best dealt with by regular flea treatments from the high street or pet shop. The other main precaution is to make sure your dog gets a bath and/or thorough brushing after swimming or running near bushes, etc.

Minor lesions in the German Shepherd skin will usually heal quickly. They can be treated with antiseptic cream but in many cases a few licks from your dog will heal them quickly. If an infection hasn’t been discovered previously, excessive licking is usually the first clue of something more serious, and if it is not a parasite then it could well be that a “hot spot” has been created through infection of the lowest skin layers. Common antibiotics will normally cure these but any difficulty arises through your dog’s continuous licking of the area.

The most practical solution is to cover the area in a way that prevents your dog tearing any covering off, which can be a challenge. Depending on where the cut is, either wrapping and taping the area with gauze may work, or a sock on a foot or leg, or even a jumper or tea shirt to cover the torso. The other common solution is to apply the cone-like collar to prevent your dog getting at the infected spot.

Callouses are the other common skin problem but usually only form in older dogs through constant rubbing, often due to the dog’s posture when sitting or lying against or on a hard surface. Although callouses can be treated and discomfort eased with creams or veterinary treatment, in many cases they will simply reform and become a fact of the older dog’s life without being a major problem.

How to care and groom your GSD

German Shepherd Coat – Care & Grooming

Your pets coat in important to there health.

German Shepherd coats have two layers, more pronounced in the long-haired variety. The inner layer is dense and quite soft to keep your dog warm whilst the outer, more coarse and longer layer serves to keep bushes and other objects away from the interior.

The sheen of the coat is a good, visible indicator to your dog’s health. Grooming and brushing are almost secondary to maintaining the coat’s condition through a good diet. Sources of high protein and high fat, the latter through a good-quality kibble are best. The prime source of protein should be meat in the form of beef, chicken or lamb. German Shepherds will eat and benefit from vegetables such as carrots and small amounts of greens but these should be in kept in moderation for the GSD as its origin is primarily carnivorous.

Brushing your German Shepherd should be done at least twice per week and depending on the type of coat, it’s best to use a range of brushes, ranging from the metal rake type and good quality stiff brushes to finer ones with a small pair of round-edge scissors in reserve to cut out any mats that form, especially near the ears and lower sides of the face in long-haired varieties. Mats in the coat itself will be found more easily by initially brushing against the direction of the fur. Whilst most brushing is done in the fur’s directiopn, this will more often than not cover small mats as they are forming.

Bathing your German Shepherd is needed to reduce odours and especially after swimming, but must not be overdone as this will reduce the natural oils essential to the coat condition. Depending on the variety of your dog and the thickness of its coat, a little trial and error may be required to find the right shampoo to use, even amongst good quality ones or dedicated dog shampoo. I found with the long-haired GSDs I had that a baby shampoo worked very well, used sparingly on  some occasions depending on the state of the coat. In all cases, it is important to ensure that the shampoo is thoroughly rinsed out, or dandruff and temporary deterioration in the coat will occur.

The coat of your German Shepherd needs to be cleaned often so care for your gsd’s coat.

German Shepherd Ears: Care and Treatment

German Shepherd Ears: Care and Treatment.

German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) are very healthy dogs but like most breeds susceptible to particular ailments. A German Shepherd’s ears are one of her strongest attributes but need to be kept clean and can be prone to infections.
The usual sources that should be kept in check to prevent potential inflammations are:

  • Long hair can get into the ear both through growing from around the back of the ear and shedding.
  • As German Shepherds like to brush past bushes and through grass when out walking, all kinds of detritus, especially seeds, get into their ears.
  • Occasionally, overactive glands in the ear secrete the equivalent of ear wax which can get trapped quite deep in the ear.
  • Water from swimming or bathing often lodges for a short time, despite the dog’s efforts to shake it out vigorously.

The usual telltale sign of ear irritation, in the majority of cases usually of a minor nature, will be your German Shepherd trying to remove the irritation herself. At this point it is always worth checking for and if necessary removing anything obvious. In my experience, if nothing can be seen, it can be left for a short time and see if a problem recurs, because in many cases it will clear itself.

Cleaning the ear & removing detritus:

Keeping your pet’s fur trimmed around the outer ear, preventing matting below the ear as well are good precautions. Don’t cut the fur too short or it can very occasionally become ingrowing, creating further problems.
Dealing with something inside the upper ear must be done with great care and I would strongly advise not probing too much in your dog’s ears. However, in an adult dog, the ears are quite large and a gentle wash with a soft cloth around the top of the ear or even using cotton buds on areas you can clearly see, providing you make no attempt to go beyond that, will resolve the majority of cases. Mixing a very low concentration (say about 5%) vinegar with water makes a solution that will usually help.

If your pet continues beyond two to three days to show signs of discomfort, then a visit to the vet is in order.

In my 40 years’ experience with dogs including long-haired German Shepherds, despite many instances of ear irritation, using the above practices has meant it has never escalated. However, this is one of those ailments that is worth being aware how to deal with in these easy stages, but like most, at some point it’s time for veterinary expertise.

So if you get a gsd please please do not neglect them by locking them up and leaveing them. because these dogs needs a lot of attention like children need so if you are to busy to properly care for them.