We feed all of our dogs and puppies quality premium dog foods. Currently we are having excellent results with Kirkland’s Nature’s Domain Salmon and Sweet Potato grain-free blend (COSTCO). Kirkland’s Nature’s Domain is an “all-life-stages” food, which means you can feed it to both your young puppies and adult dogs. We prefer to use a lower protein, grain free food to help with proper growth. Should you choose to feed a puppy blend, please make sure it is specifically made for “large breed puppies”. The primary ingredient in premium food is meat based (Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Lamb, etc.). Premium food promotes good health, strong teeth, shiny coats, and firm stools. Most importantly, studies done specifically on German Shepherd puppies has shown that raising GSD puppies on Adult formulations or those which are for “large breeds” helps reduce the incidence of Pano, weak pasterns, and pancreatic insufficiency. This has been practiced by GSD breeders for many years without any negative effects on growth or size at maturity. FEEDING YOUR LARGE BREED PUPPY TOO MUCH PROTEIN CAN CONTRIBUTE TO PANO. Additionally, over-feeding may also contribute to pano and various other problems within this breed. Please make sure you feed your puppy a quality premium large breed or adult food and keep the portions appropriate. SocializationOur puppies are raised underfoot, socialized with other dogs, extensively handled, and exposed to variety of conditions. To ensure your puppy’s temperament remains as sound as the day it leaves our home, once your puppy is fully vaccinated, take it places as often as possible. Allow a variety of people to pet your puppy (children, elderly, men, women and people of different ethnicity). Introduce your puppy to other FRIENDLY dogs of various breeds. Be VERY careful to protect your puppy from unpleasant or traumatic experiences, such as taunting by children or being assaulted by an unfriendly dog. These can have a lasting negative affect, which can be difficult to overcome. The fear period is between 8 and 16 weeks, so exposure is very valuable during this time. Keep in mind that your puppy is not fully vaccinated until 16 weeks of age, so be careful to only take your puppy to "safe zones" (no dog parks, shopping centers etc) so as to not expose your puppy to parvo or any other life threatening illnesses. TrainingGerman Shepherds are very intelligent dogs with lots drive. Responsible owners channel this intelligence and drive in the proper direction with adequate love, attention, and training. Bored, lonely, and/or neglected GSD’s can become highly destructive and/or aggressive. We recommend that you enroll your puppy into an obedience class by 6 months of age. The Buyer agrees NOT to start Schutzhund Bite/Protection Training of this puppy, until it has reached a minimum of 10 months of age. (Thus allowing the puppy the physical as well as mental maturity level not to harm or damage the puppy). Obedience training is the first step to protection training and minimal, non-stressful training can be completed in preparation for protection training. Positive re-enforcement training (marker training) is the only acceptable training for a puppy. Compulsion training can permanently damage a puppy and should NEVER be used on a puppy or young dog. This training should be stress free and fun for the young puppy. The Buyer agrees that he/she is not acting as or in part of, an agent in the purchase of this puppy and that the Buyer will not sell this puppy or any of its progeny to any agent, pet, store, or guard dog business. It must be pointed out that Schutzhund training, police training, obedience training, SAR training, protection training, tracking, etc. are just that – training. No dog can just walk on the field and do these things. They must be trained, and trained correctly. We can sell you a dog with a good potential to do these things, but it is up to you to develop this potential in your puppy. We would also like to point out that there are a lot of good dog trainers in the world. However, there are as many bad trainers as well. Choose your trainer very carefully!!!! There are some that use harsh and unproductive punishment methods to training dogs. Don’t do anything crazy to your dog no matter who tells you to do it!! We will be more than happy to help you with training ideas or refer good trainers to train with. Dogs, especially young dogs (puppies) should only have positive re-enforcement during training as it helps create a bond and makes training “fun”.DepositWe accept $300.00 deposits to ensure your pick in each litter. MONEY IS NON-REFUNDABLE BUT TRANSFERABLE TO ANOTHER VOM HAUS MIDDLETON LITTER (THIS MEANS EVEN IF THE FEMALE DOES NOT CONCEIVE AND OR DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH MALES/FEMALES). THIS INSURES THAT YOU HAVE A COMMITMENT WITH VOM HAUS MIDDLETON GERMAN SHEPHERDS AND WILL BE FAITHFUL WITH GETTING A PUPPY FROM US. WE WILL ONLY ACCEPT CASH, CHECK, AND PAY PAL FOR DEPOSITS. THE BALANCE DUE ON YOUR PUPPY MUST BE MADE PRIOR TO, OR ON DELIVERY AND CAN ONLY BE CASH OR CHECK. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….BUYER AGREES TO NEVER GIVE, TRANSFER, OR SELL THE SAID PUPPY OR ITS OFFSPRING (IF BRED) TO ANY PET SHOP, PET BROKER, HUMANE SOCIETY, OR LABORATORY. IF THE BUYER DISPOSES OF THE DOG IN VIOLATION OF THIS AGREEMENT, THE BUYER WILL BE FINED $1,000.00 FOR EACH OCCURRENCE, PLUS ATTORNEY AND COURT FEES ASSOCIATED WITH THE COLLECTION OF SAID FINE.…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….It is our hope that you will take exceptional care of this puppy through its entire life. This means providing socialization, training, medical, proper nutritional, physical needs as necessary, treating your dog as part of your family, and giving it lots of love for the remainder of its life. We wish you and your puppy the very best. Give the love, care, and attention your puppy deserves and you will be rewarded with a loyal, devoted, and beautiful companion for many years! Please drop us a note and photo of your puppy every so often. I am concerned about and enjoy knowing how puppies from our breedings are developing. This also assists in improving our breeding program. Feel free to call me with any questions or concerns that arise regarding your puppy @ 530-440-5703 or e-mail to email@example.com (A quick call to your breeder can sometimes save you unnecessary vet expenses!)This contract is agreed upon by Buyer and Seller.Both will sign and retain a copy for his/her records.
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I have read the attached “Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete”
I have read the attached article “Panosteitis (Pano) in young dogs”
Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete
One Veterinarian’s Opinion
© 2005 Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP
Extensively revised and updated
Canine Sports Productions
Those of us with responsibility for the health of canine athletes need to continually read and evaluate new scientific studies to ensure that we are taking the most appropriate care of our performance dogs. This article reviews scientific evidence that, taken together suggests that veterinarians and owners working with canine athletes should revisit the current standard protocol in which all dogs that are not intended for breeding are spayed and neutered at or before 6 months of age. The results of a number of publications are briefly summarized in the areas of orthopedics, cancer, behavior, and other health considerations.
Bitches spayed at 7 weeks had significantly delayed closure of growth plates as compared to those spayed at 7 months, and those spayed at 7 months had significantly delayed closure of growth plates as compared to those left intact. (1) In a study of 1444 Golden Retrievers, bitches and dogs spayed or neutered at less than a year of age were significantly taller than those spayed or neutered after a year of age. (2)
In a study of 203 agility dogs, the author demonstrated that the tibia and radius and ulna were significantly longer than the femur and humerus, respectively, in dogs that were spayed or neutered at or prior to 8 months of age as compared to intact dogs. (M.C. Zink, unpublished data) Several studies have shown that spayed and neutered dogs have a significantly higher prevalence of CCL rupture (3–6), even when controlling for body size. (3) Dogs that were neutered at least 6 months prior to a diagnosis of hip dysplasia were 1.5 times more likely to develop hip dysplasia than sexually intact dogs.(7)Spayed/neutered dogs had 3.1 times higher incidence of patellar luxation. (8)
Discussion: Dogs that have been spayed or neutered at or before puberty can often be identified by their longerlimbs, lighter bone structure, narrower chests and narrower skulls than intact dogs of the same breed. This differential
growth frequently results in significant alterations in body proportions and particularly the lengths (and therefore weights) of certain bones relative to others. For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months, prior to a dog being spayed or neutered, but the tibia (which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age) continues to elongate for several months after that point because of the removal of the sex hormones, then the relationship between the femur and tibia will be different than what was genetically determined. This may result in an abnormal angle at the stifle and a longer (and therefore heavier) tibia placing increased stress on the cranial cruciate ligament (of the knee or stifle joint).
It is well known that spayed and neutered dogs are more likely to be overweight or obese than sexually intact dogs (9), and this can be a contributing factor to orthopedic diseases. Thus, keeping the spayed/neutered canine athlete lean can help mitigate the increased risk of orthopedic conditions.
Spayed females had more than 5 times greater risk than intact bitches of developing cardiac hemangiosarcoma and neutered males had 1.6 times higher risk than intact males had of developing cardiac hemangiosarcoma. (10)
Spayed females had 2.2 times increased risk for developing splenic hemangiosarcoma. (11) Male and female Rottweilers that were neutered or spayed before a year of age had 3.8 and 3.1 times greater risk, respectively, of developing bone cancer than intact dogs. (12)
In a second study, spayed/neutered dogs had a 2.2 times higher risk of developing bone cancer than intact dogs. (13) Neutered dogs had a 2.8 times greater risk for developing any prostate tumor than intact dogs. (14) Neutered
dogs had a 4.3 times higher risk of developing prostate carcinoma. (15, 16) Neutered dogs had a 3.6 higher risk for developing transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder than intact dogs, and a 3 times greater risk of developing any bladder tumor. (14) Spayed/neutered dogs had more than 4 times greater risk for developing transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder than intact dogs. (17)
In a survey of 2505 Vizslas, spayed or neutered dogs were found to have a significantly higher risk of mast cell cancer, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and all cancers together than intact dogs. (18)
Discussion: One study indicated a slightly increased risk of mammary cancer in female dogs after one heat cycle (8% increase), greater risk with two heats (26% increase) and increased risk with each subsequent heat. (19) However, a recent systematic review of the publications that advocate neutering to reduce the risk of mammary tumors in dogs indicated that 9 of 13 reports had a high risk of bias and the remaining 4 had a moderate risk of bias. This study concluded that the evidence that neutering reduces the risk of mammary cancer is weak and do
not constitute a sound basis for firm recommendations. (20) Additionally, at the time when several of these studies were conducted (late 1960s), it was found that incidence rates for all malignant neoplasms were 453.4/100,000 in female dogs. Mammary tumors accounted for half of these tumors, or 198.8/100,000. Thus, the actual overall risk at that time of any bitch getting a mammary tumor was only 0.2%. (21) In any case, the figures for increased risk of mammary cancer must be compared with the 200 to 400% increased risk of other cancers in spayed females. While about 30% of mammary cancers are malignant (22), as in humans, when caught and surgically removed early, the prognosis is very good. (23) This is in comparison to the other cancers listed, such as hemangiosarcoma and bladder cancer, which are often fatal. Given the balance of cancer risks listed above, owners of canine athletes should strongly consider leaving the ovaries intact for at least two heat cycles. In addition, the veterinary field should be developing programs for regular examinations including imaging to facilitate early diagnosis of mammary cancer in all intact female dogs, as has been performed in women for decades.
Early age gonadectomy was associated with an increased incidence of noise phobias and undesirable sexual behaviors, such as mounting. (24)
Significantly more behavioral problems in spayed and neutered bitches and dogs, with fearful behavior being most common in spayed bitches and aggression in neutered dogs. (25, 26)
In a prospective study, German Shepherd Dogs spayed between 5-10 months of age had significantly increased reactivity. (27)
Discussion: A number of the early studies claiming to show positive behavioral effects of spay/neuter were significantly flawed. For example, one of the most often quoted publications to support improvements in behavior, particularly aggression, after gonadectomy does not actually provide any statistical analysis. Additionally, 88% of owners of dogs in this study stated that their reason for castrating the dog was to attempt to resolve an existing behavior problem. Owners were also surveyed regarding the dog’s behavior a mean of 27 months post - castration. These factors likely introduced a significant amount of bias. (28) Another performed statistical analysis but showed that the age when the dog was neutered was not correlated with the degree of provement. (29) Most critically, neither of these two studies included a control group of intact dogs. One of the more important undesirable behavioral effects of spay/neuter for canine athletes was a finding of a significantly lowered energy level. This was shown in a study that was well controlled and examined over 3500 dogs. (26)
Other Health Considerations
Female, and sometimes male, dogs that are spayed/neutered before puberty have an increased risk of urinary incontinence and it is more severe in bitches spayed earlier. (30-33)
Spayed female dogs displayed a significantly higher risk or hypothyroidism when compared to intact females. (34) A health survey of several thousand Golden Retrievers showed that spayed or neutered dogs were more likely to develop hypothyroidism. (2) Neutered male and spayed female dogs had higher relative risks of developing hypothyroidism than intact females. (35)
Neutered females had a 22 times increased risk of developing fatal acute pancreatitis (multivariate analysis) as compared to intact females. (36)
Risk of adverse reactions to vaccines is 27 to 38% greater in neutered dogs as compared to intact. (37)
In a study of female Rottweilers there was a strong positive association between retention of the ovaries and longevity. (38)
I have gathered these studies to show that the practice of routinely spaying or neutering every dog at or before the age of 6 months is not a black-and-white issue. Clearly more studies need to be undertaken to evaluate the effects of prepubertal spaying and neutering, particularly in canine athletes. After examining the risks and benefits, I have significant concerns with removal of the gonads in both males and females. It is clear that the gonads are not just important for reproduction, but play a critical role in growth, development and long-term health.
If we leave the gonads intact, how can we prevent the production of unwanted dogs? For males, the obvious solution is to keep them away from bitches in heat. But if an owner needs more certainty that a dog will not be bred, the answer is to perform a vasectomy. One possible disadvantage is that vasectomy does not prevent some unwanted behaviors associated with males such as marking and humping. On the other hand, females and neutered males frequently participate in these behaviors too. Training is the most effective solution to these behaviors. Another potential issue is finding a veterinarian who can perform the procedure. Veterinary schools do not currently teach students how to perform vasectomies. However, the methodology has been described and any board-certified surgeon can learn the technique. For a list of veterinarians who will perform the technique, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In females, the issues are more complex, because having a bitch in heat is inconvenient and leaving the uterus intact substantially increases the risk of pyometra (a serious, potentially fatal uterine infection). One solution might be
to perform a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), leaving the ovaries intact. Unfortunately, the effects of this technique on female dogs have never been studied. It is not known whether these dogs would continue to ovulate and perhaps show behavioral changes, although it is likely that there would be no discharge. Further, dogs that have this surgery will have intact ovaries, so veterinarians would need to establish an effective monitoring system for early detection of mammary cancer in intact bitches, as is available for women. In addition, there is the possibility of the dog developing stump pyometra if small amounts of uterine tissue are left behind during the hysterectomy.
My current recommendation for performance dogs is to have them go through at least two heat cycles before spaying. Perhaps in the future hormone replacement therapy will be available for spayed females, but little is known about that at this time. For males with retained testicles, there is a logical solution, based on fact. A large prospective study showed that the incidence of testicular cancer in cryptorchid dogs was 12.7/1000 dog-years at risk. (39) In other words, if 100 dogs with retained testicles live to be 10 years old, approximately 13 of them will develop cancer in the retained testicle. The average age at which tumors develop in undescended testes is 8.7 years. (40) These tumors are commonly benign, though they can grow quite large. Based on this study, I recommend that dogs with retained testicles have surgery to remove the retained testicle some time during the first three years of life and at that time they have a vasectomy on the remaining spermatic cord. This solution allows the dog to have the benefit of its sex hormones, but prevents passing this likely genetic condition on to offspring. Most of all, it is important that we assess each dog and its living situation individually, weighing the risks and benefits of removal of the gonads. There is no single solution that fits every dog.
The author is grateful for excellent in-depth discussions with Samra Zelman on the literature regarding spaying and neutering and for her careful review of this article.
Panosteitis (Pano) in young dogs
Panosteitis is a bone disease of dogs that is characterized by bone proliferation and remodeling. It is often painful and can last as long as 18 months, though more commonly it lasts from 2 to 5 months. It is characterized by lameness that often comes and goes and changes from leg to leg. It is a common problem in several large breeds and the cause is currently unknown. The treatment is symptomatic but the outcome is usually very good.
Who gets panosteitis?
Panosteitis is most common in large breed dogs between 6 and 18 months of age.
Occasionally, middle-aged German Shepherds will have a bout of panosteitis. It affects dogs worldwide and has been recognized and studied since the 1950's. Male dogs are much more likely to get panosteitis then females. There is a higher incidence in several breeds including German Shepherds, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, and Basset Hounds.
What causes panosteitis?
The cause of panosteitis is currently unknown. There have been many theories as to the cause of this disease. Originally, it was suspected that the disease was caused by a bacterial infection. However, several investigational studies failed to isolate any bacteria. In addition, the disease responds poorly to antibiotics, further suggesting a cause other than bacterial.
Other studies showed that if bone marrow from affected dogs was injected into the bones of healthy dogs, the healthy dogs would contract the disease. It has therefore been speculated that a virus may cause the disease. The high fever, tonsillitis, and altered white blood cell count would also go along with the viral theory. Another interesting twist to the viral theory is that panosteitis was first identified as a problem at the same time that modified live distemper vaccines became widely available on the market. Since wild distemper virus can be isolated from bone tissue, some researchers feel that there might be a link between distemper virus vaccine and panosteitis, however, more research in this area will need to be done before any serious speculations can be made. Another theory is that panosteitis might have a genetic link. Because of the greatly increased incidence in certain breeds and families of dogs, it is very likely that there is a genetic component involved in this disease.
Lately, there have been some claims that nutrition, particularly protein and fat concentrations in the diet, may have an impact on the incidence of the disease. But here again, more research needs to be done to substantiate these claims. Most likely this is a multifactorial disease that has several different causes including viral, genetic, and possibly nutritional.
What are the symptoms?
Presenting symptoms include a history of acute sudden lameness not associated with any trauma. It is usually a large breed male dog between the ages of 6 to 18 months. There are periods of lameness lasting from 2 to 3 weeks and it may shift from leg to leg. The most commonly affected bones are the radius, ulna, humerus, femur, and tibia, though the foot and pelvic bones may also be involved. The dog may show a reluctance to walk or exercise. When the affected bones are squeezed, the dog reacts painfully. Occasionally, affected dogs will have a fever, tonsillitis, or an elevated white blood cell count.
How is panosteitis diagnosed?
Panosteitis is often diagnosed based on a combination of presenting signs and radiographs (x-rays). The presenting symptoms are listed above. If a dog is suspected of having panosteitis, then radiographs are indicated to confirm the diagnosis. Individual radiographs of each affected limb should be taken. Often, radiographs of the unaffected limbs are also taken to compare the bone changes. In early forms of the disease, a subtle increase in bone density is observed in the center part of the affected bones. During the middle part of the disease, the bone becomes more patchy or mottled in appearance and the outer surface of the bone may appear roughened. In the late phase, the bone is still slightly mottled, but is beginning to return to a more normal appearance.
How is panosteitis treated?
There is no specific treatment for the disease. Since this condition is often very painful, painkillers such as buffered aspirin or carprofen (Rimadyl) are recommended. (Do NOT give your cat aspirin unless prescribed by your veterinarian.) These products are used as needed to help control the pain. Antibiotics are not routinely used unless there are indications of concurrent infections. In severe cases, steroids are used, but because of the potential long-term side effects of these drugs, painkillers are often tried first. This disease is self-limiting and after it runs its course, there are very few long-term side effects or need for further treatment. As mentioned earlier, the disease usually lasts for two to five months, but can last much longer. There are several conditions with similar symptoms, so if a dog continues to have symptoms after the normal period of time or is not responding to treatment, she should be reevaluated.
How is panosteitis prevented?
There is currently no way to prevent the disease. However, because of the potential genetic link, breeding animals should be screened to ensure that they are not potential carriers of the disease. Despite the numerous puppy foods catering to large breed dogs, there is no current evidence that confirms that these foods will lower the incidence of the disease when compared to standard commercial puppy food. If an animal shows symptoms of the disease, they should be promptly diagnosed and treated and exercise and activity should be reduced until the symptoms have gone away.