Not again... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Not again...

So, Duke's not feeling well... again. We will probably be skipping tomorrows Wiggle Waggle Walk event and trading it for a vet visit.

Anyway, just wanted to get everyone's experiences on this and I guess just vent a little. I've had dogs all my life. All sorts of breeds and mixed breeds. And back in the day... there wasn't a lot of information on better kibble, health testing, and most of the little issues dogs have. Growing up we specialized in Golden Retrievers, and rescued pit bulls. My dogs were all fed Science Diet (the horrors!! I know), given heart guard on occasion and were never on flea preventatives (only when the summer months got bad... we used Advantage a bit then and flea baths). They went to the vet sometimes not even once a year... we gave all their shots, except rabies. Our neighbor was our veterinarian (he owned a clinic right up the road from us too). So for the most part... he came over (or we went to his house) and checked the dogs out each year and gave their rabies. Saved us the drive and the stress on the dogs. Plus, $45 vet check ups gets pricy when you have more then 1 dog.

Now, compared to everything I do for my dogs these days... you would think the others were abused, unhealthy, and not cared for. However, this was completely not the case. ALL of them lived (and some still around within my family) past 12+ years as happy, healthy, and well trained dogs. All of them had perfect health. For example, my female golden died at 13.5 of cancer that sprung up pretty quick. Until her last 2 weeks of life... she had only been sick and brought in to the vets (Non-check up vet visits) 3 times in her entire life. 1 was an infection in her uterus, the other just a little cysts she got when she fell on the pool deck pretty hard (had to be drained), and the 3rd was just a simple doggie "cold" that she picked up at the park. None of my dogs had blood work done for any illnesses, never had any extra shots, or surgeries, No teeth cleanings, no b12 shots, no major food switches because of allergies or digestive problems, etc. They were well loved and taken care of (from what we knew to do back then) and they were the shinning example of healthy.

My question is.... are shepherds REALLY this medically expensive?! I'm not just basing this off my two..... Every time I turn around someone is being rushed to a vet.... well bred dogs to puppy mill dogs. Raw fed to grade A kibble, to bottom of the line kibble. I've never heard of so many issues! I expected hip dysplasia, along with knee problems and digestive issues, bloat, nerve issues... etc. But, On here, in person, with my dogs, at vets clinics and friends dogs.... I am seeing more actual sicknesses... like colds, LOTS of bacterial issues, lack of appetite for unknown reasons, random bursts of diarrhea, gas, etc.

Why are dogs so unhealthy these days?! With all the care they get and new products, better food, better research on what's good and bad for them.... you would think dogs would be HEALTHIER these days. Is this just a breed thing? Do they have bad immune systems? Zira came from terrible breeding, I expected her issues.... but, Duke too?! Also my other friends have tons of vet bills to pay off as well from the past few years.

On the other hand, I know a few others out here that barely care for their dogs... crappy food, no vet check ups, dog gets into whatever it wants, ingests a ton of random toy parts, some not even exercised, literally just someone's property.... what I would consider not an acceptable life for a dog. BUT the dogs are healthy, live long, AND seem generally happy! After spending thousands and thousands of dollars each year on my dogs health, care, general maintenance, and food (we're not even going to add in training and equipment).... this makes me a bit nauseous.

I'd like to hear everyone's experiences.... How often are you at the vet? How's your dogs health? Is your dog finicky with his food/eating? What gives you the most trouble with them?

After seeing the vet more often then some of my family.... I'm a little concerned.

For those that have read all the way up to the end.... I apologize for the rant.... I'm just so frustrated. My horses were cheaper and healthier then these dogs.

-Zira (01/09/11)
-Pakros von Jagenstadt "Duke" (01/06/10) -CGC
-Storm vom EnZ (05/16/12)
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 12:48 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about Duke not feeling well again. Going to vet repeatedly is NOT a fun adventure (or money saving).

I just finished re-reading Dr. Martin Goldstein's book on Natural Healing. I'd read his first book years ago and was aghast at some of the stuff that I have read.

My first cat was diagnosed with diabetes at 10 years of age. He was eating, at the vet's recommendation - GASP - Science Diet. I read Dr. Marty's book, found a holistic vet and have never looked back. I switched to raw food and within 2-3 months I had reversed his diabetes and he was back to being a perfectly healthy cat.

Since then, I have never fed kibble to either cat / dog or parrots. I make ALL their food. It's time consuming yes, but in the long run, much healthier.

Last summer I brought my dog in for a check up. She was 6.5 years old. The holistic vet was on holidays, so I met with a regular vet. BIG MISTAKE. Abby had had her vaccines when she was a puppy, and I had titred her when she was 4. She was fine. They brought her in the back to do some blood work because I wanted to titre again. For some reason that boggles my mind, they did the blood work and then they vaccinated her WITHOUT my consent.

They brought her back to me and said, she behaved beautifully while we did the blood work, and by the way, we vaccinated her since she hasn't been vaccinated in over 5 years. I was LIVID. They KNEW they were drawing blood so she could be titred - why the heck did you vaccinate? Long story short ... 24 hours later she died in my arms waiting to see the emergency vet. I had them freeze her until my holistic vet came back and he performed the necropsy. I don't remember all the technical details off the top of my head, but basically, my holistic vet said, yes, the vaccines killed a perfectly healthy dog. There was NOTHING wrong with her before hand. Absolutely NOTHING.

In Dr. Marty's book, he talks about the toxins in vaccines, and how many horror stories he has witnessed, the staggering increase in disease, cancer, etc. in dogs and cats. He talks about how all our "progress" is actually making more of our pets worse off.

Do I think you're nuts for thinking this? ABSOLUTELY not!

When I was looking for a holistic vet, I searched high and low and have been very pleased with my vet.

Has Kyleigh had her vaccines? Some of them. She's had ONE parvo and ONE distemper vaccine. But she also had a detoxifier right after each vaccine, and they were not given at the same time. I haven't done the rabies vaccine yet. She won't get it this fall, nor over the winter, but she will get it in the spring.

My current cat is 14 (not the same cat with the diabetes, he'd be about 35 if he was still around!) I adopted him when he was 6. He did of course have the whole run of vaccines when I got him. He's been back to vet once a year, and has never been vaccinated since. Mainly because he doesn't go outside. I make his food, and he is in perfect health. How healthy? He can still effortlessly jump from the floor to a 4 foot perch to get away from Ky (and then to tease her!)

My parrots - I brought them to the vet when I first got them. They got a check up, and we did blood work to get a baseline. I've never had to bring them back, and they are in perfect feather.

I have many friends who have changed from conventional to holistic medicine for both themselves and their pets, and the positive changes have been dramatic.

I'll end this by saying that while I love Dr. Marty's book, I would NOT encourage someone to go out and buy the book and simply do what he's written. If you want to change to an alternative medical solution, find a holistic vet that KNOWS what they are doing. Holistic medication is still medicine ... it can do just as much damage if you don't know what you're doing.

Good luck with Duke at the vet.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TrickyShepherd View Post
I'd like to hear everyone's experiences.... How often are you at the vet? How's your dogs health? Is your dog finicky with his food/eating? What gives you the most trouble with them?
Buddy is 10. Other than a constant battle with ear infections and a hemotoma in one ear he has been really healthy. I give shots myself that I buy at the local feedstore or Big R. I broke down this year and had the senior bloodwork done.

Buddy has been fed mostly Science Diet large breed or occasionally Royal Canine. Just recently switched to Natures Recipie and his coat looks much better. I don't do any flea or tick medicine as they are not a problem here.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 01:07 PM
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I'm sorry that your dog is sick. I hope it isn't anything serious.

I'm wondering about everything as a whole, myself. The dogs that seem to have no problems just don't get the attention drawn to the problems, if you know what I mean. Take poop - how many dog owners never even look at it? They don't know if it's proper or not. I treat myself the same way, I never see a doctor unless I think I'm dying or I need stitches, lol. My 'yearly' checkups are every 3-8 years, lmao. But I still have my tonsils, wisdom teeth, gallbladder, thyroid...I'm almost 50 so I'm doing better than anyone I know, just by rarely seing a doctor, lol.

But I hover over my dogs. My puppy has seasonal allergies and he has Burrows solution for his ears. I also have allergies at this time of year, and at the same time that my puppy's ear turned red, I had a weird crackle in mine. Which I of course ignored. So now both our ears are fine. Crazy.

So is there something to the body healing itself? Mainstream medicine, homeopathy...can I add "complete ignorance" to the list of possible ways to treat an illness? That sounds incredibly stupid and I would never neglect my dogs, but I do it to myself and other people's neglected dogs are healthy, so what's up with that?
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 01:09 PM
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Koda has been to the Vet twice in 15 months that I've had him. One for skin issue, he got bitten by fireants and I thought I can take care of it myself and it got infected. The Vet just gave him shampoo and cream.

The second time was just a month ago for his 3 year rabies shot/check up.

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Rest in Peace my boys
Zeus 2000-2009
Odin 2010-2011
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 01:41 PM
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Jazz is a Shiloh and they are prone to the same issues as GSDs. His first year he had chronic diarrhea, SIBO, and we tested him for a bunch of things and probably spent about $3000 in vet visits. A food change at about 1.5 years seems to have turned him into a pretty healthy boy. He does have ragweed allergies but I don't have to bring him in for that. Other than his annual checkup, I haven't really been in for anything after that first bad year. He's 3 years old now.

Bunny is a 6 year old GSD/Husky mix. I've brought her in a couple of times for an unknown allergy which we eventually dealt with by finding a food she does well on. She had incontinence issues after she was spayed and was on estrogen pills for a year, and she's been treated for a UTI once.

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
Bunny, GSD X, 7.5 years old
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 01:42 PM
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I am really sorry to hear that Duke is not doing well

I'd like to hear everyone's experiences.... How often are you at the vet? How's your dogs health? Is your dog finicky with his food/eating? What gives you the most trouble with them?
You already know the answer to these questions so I won't go over the details again. Both of my GSD's came from very different breeding's and both had/have serious health issues We are at the vet at least once a week. Things were going ok for a while and now we are having some poop issues again, it just never ends!

As of right now I have pretty much decided not to get another GSD due to all the problems in the breed.


Olivia von Jagenstadt "Nikki" 11/21/2009

Heidi Mouse 02/10/1995 - 02/21/2009
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 02:18 PM
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What is wrong with our "dogs" not just the GSD breed is over vaccinations, vax. too young, 5 or 7 in 1 shots, rabies at the same time, spot on pesticides for flea and tick, heartworm prevention, processed foods that contain GMO's, rendered fats of questionable sources ("animal fats" or "meat" or "meat meal" may be in part destroyed cats and dogs from shelters and vet clinics, road kill, and any and all meats not fit for HUMAN consumption - this includes tumors and lesions and other removed from carcass's), irradiated meat from china...

You then go to vet to find out what is causing diarrhea, or itchy skin and the pup is put on harsh drugs to eliminate the "cause" maybe it secodary bacterial infection so here is some abx. - oops, didn't work, must be mange - try a stronger dose of ivermectin, didn't work? try steroids, it works! But stopped it and came back worse, maybe its fungal (which it probably was in the first place)...but do allergy tests because it couldn't be the toxic pesticide you are putting in 3 month old puppy's blood....blood that circulates through ALL the organs in the the pup has diarrhea, so it must be parasites or SIBO, or coccidia and now the designer illness is IBD and "drug resistant bacteria or super bugs" lets give meds for worms, still bad poop, lets do meds to kill bacteria, killed all bacteria, well lets run more tests - must be giardia, take this, 2nd and 3rd round...

Now my dog is limping...well take this NSAID, we'll anaesthetize and x-ray for's a pain killer for post radiographs because it is painful to rotate the hips, and while under you might as well neuter/spay...the pup will need post surgical abx. in case of infection...

Fast dog has kidney failure, cancer, DM, seizures...Well say the Vet "You have done everything you could for your dog, sometimes you just get a lemon"

"Iatrogenic Caused" what is wrong with our dogs

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Unknown

Last edited by GatorBytes; 10-19-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 02:48 PM
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Im somewhat reluctant to comment as it could then invite trouble. So knock on wood. Daisy had parvo,impacted anal glands, chronic ear infections as well as the cancer that I still cant believe we missed. Lucky was treated for H/W when I first got him and other then when he fell off our deck wrestling w/ Daisy he really hasnt needed anything. He will be 11 in Feb and he he has been good health wise. Oh please knock on wood as you read this. Lucky has been vacinated regularly ,given H.W and at least three to 4 months a year given flea /tick preventative.I thank god he has been so healthy. In the past two years Ive done more cooking for him and when Daisy was alive her. Both were fed Diamond Lamb and Rice until two years ago. Lucky eats Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice. When I was little our GSD Jumper was fed table scraps and I think Old Roy.He lived for 16 years. Born in 67 died in 83.

Daisy 11/26/99-7/25/12
Miss Chevy Cruz - 1/25/2013-1/29/15
Thunder -1/25/13 -7/25/15
Lucky-GSD -Rescue -2/16/03 - 03-21-16
Charlie- GSD-Rescue - 7-4-12
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 02:51 PM
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GatorBytes ... did you read the same book???
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