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Discussion Starter #1
So I am going to admit that as a dog owner all of my life I (including my parents) have never done as much research about my dogs in the past as I have with my GSD. I have always had well behaved healthy dogs that lived long happy lives including a GSD from when I was a kid. I have been absorbing everything on this site and my DH and children are telling me that I am being extremely paranoid about everything for my GSD puppy...limiting water and activity around mealtimes....changing all of our dogs to Diamond lamb and rice (RAW is something i have never known anyone to do)....not letting her jump around too much or rough play because of her hips...not letting her walk in front of us while walking or walk too far...what age to get her spayed ( all of my past dogs have been spayed/neutered before 6 months with no problems)..That it has got me thinking...is Knowledge power or are we overthinking and being paranoid....Is Ignorance bliss?
 

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That could be me you are talking about! I think Knowledge is power, if some information we learn can perhaps prevent difficulties down the track then I would rather that than be ignorant (like I was to a degree with my previous dogs). JMO :) I know I have never spent so much time researching dog food before!
 

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That could be me you are talking about! I think Knowledge is power, if some information we learn can perhaps prevent difficulties down the track then I would rather that than be ignorant (like I was to a degree with my previous dogs). JMO :) I know I have never spent so much time researching dog food before!

Same here.

I feed my dog a kibble that I think is great and it works great for him (BB Blue Wilderness) I make him lay down and relax for 1 hour after both meals so he doesn't get bloat. I dont give him ice water in the summer for fear of bloat. I will never own a 2 story house because I dont want him to get bad hips from going up and down the stairs all day. I waited until he was 15 months to get him neutered so that he was a little more mature before getting it done. If I can do something to prevent him from getting bad hips or bloat then I'll do it and I dont care how insane I get. :wild:
 

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Here's how I see it. We may be a little paranoid...but how awful if something happened and then you wonder if you had just done things differently...You do the best you can because you believe it to be the best you can do.
 

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I think knowledge CAN be powerful, as long as you realize that nothing is infallible - so I also think that what we do needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of common sense. To me that can sometimes be the better option.
______________________________________
Susan

Anja SchH3 GSD
Conor GSD
Blue BH EWH T1 GSD - waiting at the Bridge
 

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I'm a pretty laid back person, but have turned into such a paranoid freak over our little guy! I have NEVER researched a topic and spent countless hrs researching GSD, breeders, health, food, etc.

Everything you mentioned in your post I do. Not too much jumping, watching food/water intake to prevent bloat and on and on.

I still get up in the middle of the night to make sure he's breathing *sigh* lol

Knowledge is power, I just have to learn how to balance being a concerned pet owner and nervous nelly that can't relax! When you figure it out let me know!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well hopefully I haven't missed anything....Before this site I had never even heard of a titer for shots...I just have to remember to to balance everything out....
 

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Knowledge is definitely power! Knowledge has saved my pets lives countless times.
For example when my 11 year old Golden Retriever bloated. I knew the signs of bloat and rushed her to the emergency vet. She had gastric torsion, her stomach and the start of her intestines were twisted. She needed emergency surgery. If I had chalked her symptoms up to an upset stomach or waited until the morning to bring her to my regular vet she would never have survived. The vet said I was very lucky that I caught the bloat early so the blood supply had not been cut off too long and they did not have to remove any tissue, they just had to untwist her organs and monitor her.
In gastric torsion the blood supply to organs is reduced or cut off. If it is not caught early the tissues start dying and parts of the GI tract can die off and require removal. If tissues need to be removed this is a lot more serious and the prognosis worsens, or there may be too much damage to save the dog. That's just one example where knowledge was critical but I can think of others as well.
 

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As someone said, its good to be knowledgeable, but keeps a healthy dose of common sense. One thing to keep in mind, is that not everyone is going to agree on everything.

Walking in front of you for instance. Some will tell you its a no no, some will tell you that its OK. My dogs walk loosely in front of me, behind me, beside me. (on a 4ft leash so I can reel them in quickly if needed) and we have no problems with anything. Walking time for us is relaxing time, not training time.

I keep water down all the time for my dogs, I have no trouble with them rough housing so long as its kept under control and I can stop it if its needed. (ive had to go "ok knock it off!" a few times, and they stop)

Food wise, feed what you feel comfy with. I stopped doing the food debate. To me a dog being fed crappy food is better than a dog starving! There is also no guarantee that your dog will not get bloat if you give water and food on a schedule.

I think for alot of things, its something people have to find their own "niche" in and take into consideration the dogs age, training, size, etc etc. The key is to relax, take q's from your dogs and listen to your gut. If its clearly something you dont feel comfy with, then don't do it. If its something your not sure off, give it some time and maybe more research and a watchful eye on the pup until you do get a better feeling of what you want to do.
 

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Food wise, feed what you feel comfy with. I stopped doing the food debate. To me a dog being fed crappy food is better than a dog starving! There is also no guarantee that your dog will not get bloat if you give water and food on a schedule.
My Golden bloated on an empty stomach, she hadn't drank a lot of water and had not exercised that day. :shrug:
 

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we4elves:
I think knowledge is power and that when your GSD means everything to you, ignorance is not bliss. I had owned two shepherds and never had serious problems with them getting into the trash and chewing on thrown out bones. Their powerful jaws always seemed to pulverize everything, even the leftovers in the trash which were off limits.

Now, on my third GSD, I had the experience of him getting into the trash, eating some left over chicken bones, and having to be taken to emergency where hydration and medicine helped him to safely pass the bones and come through with no damage.

If I had belonged to his forum earlier, and had come to know that the chicken bones could be a serious danger, I would have purchased a new, tamper proof trash can earlier so that my dog could never have gotten a hold of those bones. My ignorance has now been enlightened that even large breed dogs can fail to chew bones properly and get deathly ill.

But there is a point at which we must also back off and not hover over the dog to much lest they pick up the paranoia also :).
 

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My Golden bloated on an empty stomach, she hadn't drank a lot of water and had not exercised that day. :shrug:

That really stinks :(

Just goes to show that sometimes you dont know when it may or may not happen. Why its good to know what to look for.
 

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If I had belonged to his forum earlier, and had come to know that the chicken bones could be a serious danger,
LOL, I have the opposite problem due to the knowledge I have gained.

Whenever I tell anyone my dogs are raw fed and I feed the raw, bone in chicken, I get horrified looks and people exclaim, "But chicken bones are dangerous! Dogs can't eat chicken bones!" I have to explain that COOKED chicken bones are dangerous, while raw are perfectly fine and natural for them to eat. I usually use the example that a wolf in the wild certainly isn't going to pick the meat of the bones if he catches a checken. :D
 

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My Golden bloated on an empty stomach, she hadn't drank a lot of water and had not exercised that day. :shrug:
This also happened to Kelly - he bloated w/torsion on an empty stomach.

He ate dinner the night before and woke up the next mornning with an upset tummy so he didn't get breakfast. He had access to water but I don't recall that he drank any or if he did it was very little.

His stomach rumbled, roared and growled all day and late that afternoon, close to 24 hours after his last meal, he vomited white foam and I rushed him to the ER ... diagnosis was bloat w/torsion! He had emergency surgery and an uncomplicated recovery.
 

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I had to double check your post (I thought I had written it!). I am the exact same way. My 24 yr old daughter has asked me to please stay off the internet! I never worried about diet or bloat before w/ my other shepherd and she lived to be 12. I used to be so much more laid back than I am now. I actually think I am being more controlling than I used to be, especially in regards to feeding the dogs.
 

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I have more time, energy and information to worry about every little thing, but JudynRich, you've inspired me! I'm going to close the laptop, make a gin and tonic, sit on the deck, watch Stosh chase fireflies and enjoy having a healthy, happy and laid back pup.
 

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I always take pride in telling my care free, ignorance is bliss, husband "I told you so". My dogs are my life, and i dont ever want to have to say that regarding them (though i do love it when i say it haha). I'm paranoid, yes, but i dont want to have to use those words when one of them is hit by a car, sick, or bites someone/attacks another dog. knowledge is def. power. I've put both my dogs on a primarily raw diet, exercise carefully, train diligently...it consumes my life, but i take pride in it. you should too! My paranoia has given me the healthiest, happiest dogs i've ever had...and seen in my town too :).
 

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This also happened to Kelly - he bloated w/torsion on an empty stomach.

He ate dinner the night before and woke up the next mornning with an upset tummy so he didn't get breakfast. He had access to water but I don't recall that he drank any or if he did it was very little.

His stomach rumbled, roared and growled all day and late that afternoon, close to 24 hours after his last meal, he vomited white foam and I rushed him to the ER ... diagnosis was bloat w/torsion! He had emergency surgery and an uncomplicated recovery.
That is very similar to what happened with Ginger except for the upset tummy. I had been out of town and my family members were home with her but there was a misunderstanding, I thought they had fed her in the morning before I got home and they thought I was feeding her after I got home so she did not get fed that morning. After I got home that afternoon she gagged a few times and threw up saliva, and I looked her over and found that her stomach was distended at one side so off to the ER we went (of course it was on a weekend when the regular vet was closed) and when I got in the door I told them I thought she was bloated so they rushed her into the back immediately. We were very lucky that this happened after I came home because I am not sure my family members would have noticed the signs or recognized it as an emergency! Despite her age (11yrs) she recovered quite quickly and easily. When the ER vet showed me her x-rays they asked if I wanted to euthanize her because they were not sure if she would be able to handle the surgery, but I knew my dog and the ER vet did not know how strong she was (my regular vet agreed with my assessment when I spoke to her the next day.)
 
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