Dogs are normally fit and healthy but as with most pedigree breeds, there are certain hereditary conditions that can be a problem as well as other health issues that are more prevalent in any breed which need to be considered if you are thinking of getting a puppy.
If you are buying a puppy it is important to ensure that you only purchase a healthy dog from a reputable breeder. Most reputable breeders don’t need to advertise but if they do they tend not to use free papers or other general advertising media but will usually place their advert in a specialist dog magazine or paper. The Kennel Clubs always provide a list of breeders but this does not signify that they are reputable only that they register their puppies with the KC.
Your puppy should be vaccinated at 8-10 weeks and again a couple of weeks later to protect against common illnesses and in particular against parvo virus which is a killer. Talk to your vet about routine vaccinations as there is increasing support now for not giving yearly boosters to your dog. Worming your dog once in three months is advised as well as treating any flea or tick infestations.
Your Dog will need a good diet from weaning and there is an enormous variety of foodstuffs. There is growing interest in feeding a more natural diet rather than dried foods so this is something to think about especially when considering the possible long term effects of diet.
In general, to keep your dog fit and well you need to give him a healthy diet, lots of regular exercise and have lots of time for him. Dogs are very sociable dogs, they bond strongly with their family and love to be with them – so have lots of times for them. Brush coats regularly to keep it nice and shiny and to remove any dead or matted hairs. Don’t give sweeties or other foods that will rot his teeth and make sure the teeth stay clean and free from plaque and tartar. You don’t have to brush them, cleaning can be achieved by including in the diet a whole raw rabbit or chicken – bones fur etc. included. Don’t cook otherwise the bones will splinter. Crunchy dried foods also may help clean the teeth.
Illnesses seen in the Dogs
Hereditary and non hereditary
There are some special health problems that are associated with Dogs, some of which are hereditary and which you may be able to avoid by choosing a reputable breeder.
This is the most common hereditary condition and you can reduce the chances of your dog being affected by checking the hip scores of the parents and by keeping exercise to a gentle level until your dog is at least 6 months old. OCD is a disease which usually affects the shoulder or elbow joints and again can be prevented by keeping exercise down during those early months.
An illness seen quite often in Dogs and although it is quite alarming when it first happens, it can be successfully controlled with medication.
A disease like multiple sclerosis in humans is a progressive paralysis of the hind legs which generally starts in late middle age and for which there is no treatment.
This is a blood clotting problem which can lead to uncontrolled bleeding in male dogs so check with the breeder that there is no history of this in the parents. It is the male dogs that are affected by the disease but the bitches can be carriers.
this has become more common in Dogs and the dog becomes unable to digest food properly becoming increasingly thin with excessive appetite. Treatment is lifelong and requires pancreatic enzymes to be given either in powdered form or as capsules with food.
Bloat or gastric torsion
this is a real emergency and a life threatening condition, which has become more common in deep chested dogs over the years. Experts are divided but good tips for reducing the risk are that it is best to feed 2 small meals rather than one large meal a day and to avoid feeding your dog before strenuous exercise.
Some of our Savanah puppies are implanted with an electronically scan able Identipet micro-chip by our vet before they leave our kennels. The implantation procedure is virtually painless and takes only seconds to carry out; once done, the dog is permanently identifiable and cannot be mistaken for any other. The microchip, which contains an unalterable identification number, is approximately the size of a grain of rice, and is encapsulated in a biocompatible inert glass capsule with an anti-migration cap to prevent migration. This microchip is implanted beneath your puppy’s skin, usually in the area between the neck and shoulder blades, where it remains. The microchip is of the ISO 1185 type, which is an internationally acceptable microchip, readable on standard electronic hand-held scanner devices.
At the time of collecting your pup we implant the chip and fill in a form with all your contact details. These details are sent to Identipet and are entered onto Identipet’s central secure database that is easily accessible to veterinary surgeons or animal welfare organisations seven days a week. So should the unthinkable happen, and your puppy escapes, strays or is stolen, once it has been found and scanned by one of these organisations, your details will be available to them via Identipet, and you will be notified immediately of where your pet is being kept
Locating and recognising your missing dog is one thing. Proving your ownership of him or her is an entirely different scenario. Organised gangs of pet thieves (stealing dogs for breeding, re-selling, dog fighting and so on) are active worldwide and the ability to demonstrate your proof of ownership could be vital. You’re being able to positively identify your puppy by his or her microchip number satisfies this requirement.