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Julie Martinez Mittelwest – You Want to Know if You Can Prevent Health Issues With Your German Shepherd Dogs?

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Julie Martinez Mittelwest German Shepherds has done a series of articles on health issues that are present in this breed.  You can read about them here:

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As mentioned in previous articles, each breed will have some breed-specific health concerns, and will present some challenges.  Please be aware, we as breeders do our best to produce the best and healthiest litter to our potential customers and owners, but some problems will still surface.  Below we will outline some things that can be done to raise a healthiest German Shepherd Dog, and some things to be aware of.  Our customers often ask us if these types of health issues can be avoided.

Here is the situation:

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  • Some of the common problems are genetic in nature. This means that they are inherited from parents, who might or might not have them present.  These genetic health issues have become common today in the breed due to imprudent breeding practices over the years.  Julie Martinez Breeder is committed to  eliminating these genetic diseases and follows a protocol for best practices. There are numerous books written on this topic and this is relevant to other popular breeds.
  • When looking to purchase a German Shepherd, ask the breeder if they do gene testing. This can save you a lot of problems in the future.  Gene tests determine if a German Shepherd carries a Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) gene.  If a puppy tests positive for it, there is a 25% chance that it becomes afflicted with this devastating condition in the future.  If the breeder does test for it, ask for proof, as certificates are issued for each dog tested.
  • If you are looking to purchase a pure-bred German Shepherd, Julie Martinez Mittelwest recommends asking to see full lineage of the dog, and discussing the potential genetic conditions with your breeder.
  • Other set of problems that a dog might develop are environmental in nature. Which in essence means that is caused by the way you raise your dog or puppy.  Be aware of the conditions that are ideal for this breed and only then purchase it and bring it into your home.  German Shepherds are large, intelligent dogs and must have an active lifestyle in order to be healthy.
  • A lot of health risks can be avoided by proper nutrition. Healthy, natural nutrition is the best for this breed.  Dry, canned and kibble variety of foods are not your best option.  You can supplement your dog with it, but it will serve your dog best to be eating as natural as possible to avoid a variety of digestive and auto-immune diseases.  Natural, raw diet is always the best.

 

 

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Julie Martinez Mittelwest Complaints Received -The Most Common Health Problems in German Shepherds

We often get complaints from customers on the health of the dogs that we breed.  I must inform a potential buyer, that each breed comes with some definite health risks, and genetics and inter-breeding play a role in it.  We do our best to breed only the healthiest dogs, but unfortunately that is not always possible and health concerns will show up.

mittelwestJulie Martinez Mittelwest examines orthopedic illnesses at first.  This breed, German Shepherds quite often are prone to suffering from high rates of hip and elbow dysplasia.  As evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation of America of over 86000 x-rays for German Shepherds about nineteen percent are dysplastic.  That is not a good percentage.  And if you really evaluate the situation, it would become clear that the true situation is even worse, as most of the bad X-rays were not sent for examination and evaluation.  When it comes to elbow dysplasia, the situation is equally as bad; when evaluating 23000 X-rays, about twenty percent were dysplastic (this comes out as 8th worst out of all the breeds) and if you account for true numbers, it is even higher.

Another very common orthopedic health problem for this breed is panosteitis.  You can also encounter osteochondritis and cruciate ligament rupture quite often in German Shepherds.  Furthermore, if you look at medical reports, you will also notice Wobbler’s syndrome, hypertrophic osteodystrophy.

Julie Martinez Mittelwest Complaints that customers quite often also report a problem with dogs’ skin.  This is another area that is breed related and cannot be isolated through breeding alone.  It is quite rampant for this breed and particularly allergies, which cause itchy skin in dogs, pyoderma (which is folliculitis and furunculosis).  Also you can add seborrhea, lick granuloma, demodectic mange and sometimes calcinosis.  Autoimmune maladies and diseases – this is where a canine’s defective immune system turns on its own body and attacks it, are also very frequent in this breed.  Skin is repeatedly is a target of the defective immune system and as a result you see such diseases as sebaceous adenitis, lupus, perianal fistula, nail bed disease, vitiligo and some others.

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In other instances, an attack from defective immune system can result in problems for other organs and you will see such diseases as degenerative spinal melopathy, megaesophagus, and myasthenia gravis.

Reviews Additional Tips Necessary to Raise a Good Dog

Teach Good Citizenship

Julie Martinez Mittelwest Kennels Reviews the essential elements, those that are required early in your puppy’s life.  The first 16 weeks of your puppy’s life are a sensitive learning period – during this time socialization skills can be acquired and developed in earnest.  Make sure that during this growing period your puppy is used to all types of people, as well as different animals.  Bring treats with you; give them to people, so they could give them to your furry companion.  It will help your puppy form associations of good things for all kinds of individuals and form a kinder, less aggressive disposition in your dog.

Prevent Resource Guarding Early.

Puppies tend to get very territorial to all things close to them, like their food bowls, favorite people, toys, etc.  Work with your puppy daily to eliminate even mildly aggressive resource guarding behavior, thus protecting everyone involved (including the puppy).  When it’s still young, make sure that your puppy associates you and your family members and friends with good things when you or them approach their favorite guarded object.  You can accomplish this by supplying them with treats as you or family member approach.  Initially, teach children to show caution when nearing puppy’s items like food bowl or toy, until he learns not to do so.

Encourage Bite Inhibition

Julie Martinez Mittelwest Kennels reviews and warns that behavioral problems such as biting are the Number 1 reason why a lot of animals are relinquished to shelters or put to sleep.  Teach your puppy early not to bite, this is one of the most important lessons that you need to train your puppy on.  Establish yourself early as the pack leader will also help your companion remember that he must respect,obey and follow your commands, which in turn will help him curb this behavior.

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Julie Martinez Mittelwest Kennels Reviews another important fact and reminds you to remember that your dog craves your approval, but also needs guidance and teaching.  “If he bites or attemps to bite, tell him “NO”!  Then close his mouth for a minute”, Julie Martinez suggests.

Do You Want To Breed Your Own Puppies?

Breeder Julie Martinez Mittelwest Kennels Wonder Lake IL explains the process behind breeding your own female German Shepherd dog.  It takes time and effort to establish and prove your female’s breed worthiness, find a proper stud dog and take the necessary steps to educate yourself about the breed that you chose.  Once this has been done, you are ready to breed your first litter.

julie martinezFirst step should be to contact the stud dog owner and make sure that the dog will available during the timeframe that your female is in heat.  Please make sure that your female checks in at proper weight, is in good health and condition.  If you find out that your female is under or overweight, you should wait until that normalizes before breeding her.  This can put unneeded risk for her and the puppies.  All of these conditions should be met in order to ensure that your female avoids all possible complications during pregnancy and whelping.

Julie Martinez Mittelwest Kennels Wonder Lake IL cautions to watch your female very close as she gets close to coming into season.  It is important to catch the first day of her heat.  Be aware of the fact that some females will keep themselves clean and it could be easy to miss that day.  If this is a case with your female, wipe her with a white issue daily and check for any signs of blood.

You can consider it the first day of the heat cycle when you notice any discharge.  Immediately contact the owner of your partnering stud dog and let them know that your female has entered her heat cycle.  You will also need to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and have necessary testing done, such as brucellosis at this time.

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You will also need to start thinking about doing the progesterone testing.  Some breeders will elect to conduct this type of a test at a regular interval, while others do not do it at all.  These tests can be expensive and it is sometimes required to do a few of them at a time and costs can add up.  However, be mindful that the added cost can be the difference between having a nice size litter and not having any puppies at all.  With this in mind, the initial added cost can be worth it.

Julie Martinez Mittelwest Kennels Wonder Lake IL is an established German Shepherd breeder in the greater Chicago area.