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Mar 282015
 

This is an unusual post for this site, but justified by unusual circumstances. Very personal. But it could be your puppy tomorrow. Or your adult dog. So, better read this today!


Very few of you know that my new puppy has been sick. As time passed by, very sick. Finally, sicker than sick. Not himself anymore. Not a different dog either, because he wasn't even a dog anymore. Totally lethargic, listless, the walking dead - only, he wasn't even walking anymore either.

In the end stage, my new puppy vomited all food back out until his stomach was empty, and Diarrhea emptied his bowel. After that, only blood came out - because nothing else was left and his intestines were bleeding. I recorded cyclic fever that reached 40.6 C / 105.1 F.

sick puppy

His limbs in pain, he didn't want to walk. His abdomen in pain, he didn't want to be carried either. He no longer made any sounds. No barking, no whining, not the slightest noise. As quiet as if he wasn't there. His eyes - lifeless too.

He no longer was cheerful when I cooked him his fresh homemade diet. Not even when I placed the bowl in front of him. We put him on fluids per catheter, to support his life. Play had ended too. Playing together, with his favourite tug toy, and playing alone, with his tug rope or his favorite squirrel - all had ended. He had no interest anymore. No strength. No stamina to stand, but also no stamina to play while lying down. Nothing.

As if Harry Potter's dementors had sucked life out of my new puppy!

It was heart-breaking. Producing tears. In me, not in him. Losing a puppy this way is tougher than in an accident, because in the latter case, he is gone, out of sight. While here, he was still there. But also he wasn't.

I could write more about his misery, while for my own misery I don't have words. So let's stop this now. Enough is enough.


You may be wondering: What was the diagnosis? Did you not see a veterinarian??

Of course I did. Several. To make it short, I summarize them here as THREE - the others only duplicated two of these three.

The first vet did bloodwork, stool analysis, and virus tests. He did find some problems (symptoms, like anemia), but he didn't find the cause. He then concluded: "Feed him spinach and liver." Upon the next visit, when my new puppy was in pain, had bloody Diarrhea, and vomited all food back out, he revised this to: "I don't know what your puppy has. It could be a virus, it could be a bacterial infection, it could be parasites, I don't know. Put him on antibiotics."

I paid him nonetheless. 290 Euros / 315 USD.

The second vet did more bloodwork, more stool analysis, and more virus tests. In short, he didn't find the cause either! This didn't hold him back to suggest treatment nonetheless. Urgent treatment: "Your puppy has hepatitis, I believe he has adenovirus. He should be hospitalized immediately, and be put on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. We can't do that here, he needs round-the-clock support."

Hepatitis is a symptom, not the cause. I paid him nonetheless. 245 Euros / 266 USD.

What was still missing is the CAUSE. I said: "I want to know what my new puppy has! WHAT is causing his misery??"

The two veterinarians, and two more with the same views, none of them know. BECAUSE they don't know, they ALL say: "Put him on antibiotics." That's the standard blanket treatment plan of ordinary/average veterinarians who don't know what causes your dog's illness! As in: "We don't know the cause, but antibiotics deal with anything, no matter what your dog has".


No, they don't! The majority of today's antibiotics are ineffective from the start for many diseases, as the bacteria have become resistant - BECAUSE of the foolish blanket treatment with antibiotics over the past decades! Also note that antibiotics do NOTHING for viral infections, fungal infections, and protozoan infections - if at all, they can only help with bacterial infections.

In every of my books, and in countless Periodicals, even in public articles here on the site, I write why the allopathic standard blanket treatment is WRONG. Useless. HARMFUL.

To stick to a summary of three veterinarians, here is the final part of my story:

When I received the third(!) set of blood results today, I did take my new puppy immediately to a veterinary hospital. Because pretty much all blood values have deteriorated dramatically. Without round-the-clock professional care this puppy will die within days! Maybe two, possibly three. Or maybe tomorrow. No one can know for sure when, but surely he would die VERY SOON.

The important bit for you to understand is: He would die within a mere days even with professional care, if he's put on broad-spectrum antibiotics and steroids like all the other vets have suggested! Read on to understand why.

It was taking action, and luck, that I may title this post "Celebrating Puppy Life". Only the action to go to a "third" veterinarian, in the veterinary hospital, and the luck to have been served by a veterinary doctor with the right experience - and the interest to search for the CAUSE! - have saved my new puppy's life!

This veterinarian looked at the blood results (like all other veterinarians did earlier), and suggested a cause for my new puppy's misery that none of the other vets even only mentioned. To gain more confidence in her finding, she then performed a simple blood smear - which again, none of the other vets even considered - and when I came back to the hospital two hours later (with fresh homemade food for my pup, hoping he would eat), she communicated high confidence in her findings because all results - everything the other vets had done with my pup, and the behavioral symptoms that I had reported - support her diagnosis.

Within a mere two hours the right veterinarian had found the CAUSE of my puppy's misery! And only NOW treatment can begin.

My new puppy has had a tick bite (all shown in My New Puppy Diary for site members after login), and I had removed the tick successfully as per our Periodical on ticks. This tick however did transmit a disease to my puppy before I burnt the tick (I did indeed). The lab results will still have to confirm it, but this one-of-a-kind fantastic hospital veterinarian is sure enough that we started treatment immediately tonight, Friday. The lab will only look at the blood sample on Monday, and frankly, by that time my new puppy may well be dead.

According to this prolific hospital veterinarian, my new puppy is suffering from autoimmune hemolytic anemia, the CAUSE of which is an earlier tick bite that transmitted the disease Rickettsia, Babesiosis, or Mycoplasma Hominis to my puppy (which of these three, we will know next week when we get the results for this specific blood test, but I suspect it is Rickettsia because its incubation period matches our case). All three diseases destroy the dog's red blood cells - this is why he has anemia! He is basically being eaten up from the inside.

The culprit of all three diseases is a unique class of bacteria that can only survive inside the cells of a host (normally, bacteria live outside the cells). And thus all three diseases can only be cured with ONE very specific tetracycline antibiotic (Doxycycline) - while broad-spectrum antibiotics do NOTHING to fight these diseases, they do only harm to the dog's body (like all antibiotics do - "anti" is Latin and means against, "bio" means life, thus antibiotic means against life)!

Had my puppy been "put on antibiotics" as the other veterinarians called for, they would after a while have concluded: "These antibiotics don't work, let's try another strain". And then another. And another. None of which would help. If at all, they would be palliation of symptoms, placebo. My new puppy would die despite treatment! This is the crucial bit you need to understand.

Instead, this experienced veterinarian in the animal hospital focused on analyzing first the CAUSE of the dog's misery, such that she could then immediately start with treatment to cure, not with treatment to palliate or suppress symptoms - because then you no longer can find the CAUSE! Now that she knows the CAUSE, this veterinarian can treat my puppy with a single antibiotic, and the right one. The ONLY ONE known to help with the identified disease.

Now I can only hope that all the prior vets' incompetence didn't waste too much time. That my new puppy still has enough blood cells for a recovery. That he will live when I go back to the hospital in the morning, and that he will prosper and develop normally going forward.

So that we can always be celebrating puppy life.


Update: What complicates treatment is that the antibiotic Doxycycline tablets cannot be given as long as the dog is vomiting, therefore he is now first getting an injection of Cerenia (maropitant citrate) to suppress the vomiting. The vet is telling me that the injectable Doxycycline has been forbidden 9 years ago: All dogs who got that, died from it.

Further, the investigative hospital veterinarian has also discovered a protozoan infection in my puppy (Giardia), and a tapeworm infection (Dipylidium caninum). Thus he is now being treated for those as well. Since both of these are zoonotic, she advised me to see my own doctor as our dogs may transmit both of these parasites to ourselves.

Mar 222015
 

Site News and Updates:

  • Online dog cost tables are way off - if you too always wanted to know more accurate dog cost, this initial public article on the subject you will find very helpful: Recurring cost for German Shepherd Dog.
  • I noticed that too many (aspiring) GSD owners don't know what they are up to when they want to get a German Shepherd puppy. In Dec 2014 I started to keep a multimedia diary of raising a very young German Shepherd puppy: My New Puppy Diary.
  • With your MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL free subscription you receive our Periodicals as scheduled.
  • However, as site member you can access innumerable Periodicals via My New Puppy Diary which is a free add-on for existing site members.
  • Although I, so to say, sit at the information hub, even I have learned incredibly helpful stuff from interviewing Top dog experts AND REVIEWING them. You can learn all this too, and even while you commute to work: Dog Expert Interviews with Expert Reviews.
  • Plus: Your booking gives you free access to My New Puppy Diary, and access to all linked Periodicals.
  • Everyone: Note that due to the insane workload with the Reviews, the Dog Expert Interview Series is now limited to 4 (four) Interviews with Reviews. One per quarter, thus it lasts only 4 quarters = 1 year. Regardless of the Clickbank text, you will be auto-unsubscribed after the 4th instalment, ie max. payments: four.
  • For those with dog training needs: By far the best dog training and puppy training value for money in my experience still is The Online Dog Trainer Doggy Dan. At a fraction of what you'd pay even to an ordinary village "dog trainer" for one morning or one evening, with Doggy Dan you have direct access to lifelong dog training insight with the TOP trainer in the world.
  • Free books: Again I have scheduled free book promotions for the coming weeks for anyone new to our site (these are only allowed for the Amazon books):
  • Note that two small books are perma-free anyway (which is only allowed for the Smashwords books):
  • As in the past, I am still giving free privileges to those who participate in the comment section that is under each MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL. Post something helpful to others (more than once), and you be rewarded. Look at Maureen: she is so actively involved that she gets everything for free, always.
  • Conversely, those who have passively been consuming our uniquely insightful Periodicals for years must not be surprised when they don't get them anymore. Thus, if you wonder why you didn't get Periodical notification emails recently, this is why.

Once again: My New Puppy Diary looks like the perfect preparation before getting a German Shepherd puppy, and to go along with the diary week after week when you have a puppy already.

If you have an adult GSD, My New Puppy Diary is only interesting if you are generally interested in German Shepherd Dogs, particularly care and health and puppy development.

ENJOY your dog! Dog life is short and precious.

Tim

Mar 222015
 

Puppy Love BundleThere is only one Puppy Love Bundle in the world, and this is edition 10. According to readers: the most comprehensive puppy information pack on the market and the best you can do for your dog!

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Read this. Apply it. Enjoy it. And share your puppy love bundle love with others. It's free for everyone. Make friends!

Note that a Kindle device is not needed, FREE Kindle Reading Apps - even for Apple iPad etc - are available on the book page here.

ENJOY Your Dog!

Mar 222015
 

Dog Problems Q&A Vol 1Been struggling with some dog problems recently? Want to know what advice other dog owners got that helped them?

FREE 6 - 7 Apr 2015 on Amazon globally f f f f f f f f

The real-life daily questions and concerns of dog owners. Problems and Solutions. Vol 1. This is it.

Note that a Kindle device is not needed, FREE Kindle Reading Apps - even for Apple iPad etc - are available on the book page here.

You are welcome to tell your relatives, friends, colleagues, and fellow dog lovers to download the book for FREE too - this will bring and keep you in their good books! :-)

ENJOY Your Dog!

Mar 222015
 

Dog Problems Q&A Vol 2Been struggling with some dog problems recently? Want to know what advice other dog owners got that helped them?

FREE 4 - 5 Apr 2015 on Amazon globally f f f f f f f f

The real-life daily questions and concerns of dog owners. Problems and Solutions. Vol 2. This is it.

Note that a Kindle device is not needed, FREE Kindle Reading Apps - even for Apple iPad etc - are available on the book page here.

You are welcome to tell your relatives, friends, colleagues, and fellow dog lovers to download the book for FREE too - this will bring and keep you in their good books! :-)

ENJOY Your Dog!

Mar 222015
 

Dog Problems Q&A Vol 3Been struggling with some dog problems recently? Want to know what advice other dog owners got that helped them?

FREE 2 - 3 Apr 2015 on Amazon globally f f f f f f f f

The real-life daily questions and concerns of dog owners. Problems and Solutions. Vol 3. This is it.

Note that a Kindle device is not needed, FREE Kindle Reading Apps - even for Apple iPad etc - are available on the book page here.

You are welcome to tell your relatives, friends, colleagues, and fellow dog lovers to download the book for FREE too - this will bring and keep you in their good books! :-)

ENJOY Your Dog!

Mar 222015
 

Adult Dog Training IN A NUTSHELLThis is Edition 6 of the most concise ADULT DOG Training book you will ever find - because you cannot fit more content per page than with bullet points! ;-)

FREE 31 Mar - 1 Apr 2015 on Amazon globally f f f f f f f f

Needless to say, if you have an older edition, delete it, and get this newest edition for FREE now.

12 short chapters in bullet-points, yes! A keyword-style adult dog training book. Short and to the point. If you don't like to read long paragraphs in even longer books, then this is what you are asking for. This is it.

As a dog lover you will rejoice! And if you aren't, why are you here? ;-)

Note that a Kindle device is not needed, FREE Kindle Reading Apps - even for Apple iPad etc - are available on the book page here.

You are welcome to tell your relatives, friends, colleagues, and fellow dog lovers to download the book for FREE too - this will bring and keep you in their good books! :-)

ENJOY Your Dog!

Mar 222015
 

Puppy Training IN A NUTSHELLThis is Edition 5 of the most concise Puppy Training book you will ever find - because you cannot fit more content per page than with bullet points!

FREE 29 - 30 Mar 2015
on Amazon globally f f f f f f f f

Needless to say, if you have an older edition, delete it, and get this newest edition for FREE now.

12 short chapters in bullet-points, yes! A keyword-style puppy training book. Short and to the point. If you don't like to read long paragraphs in even longer books, this is what you are asking for. This is it.

As a dog lover you will rejoice! And if you aren't, why are you here? ;-)

Note that a Kindle device is not needed, FREE Kindle Reading Apps - even for Apple iPad etc - are available on the book page here.

You are welcome to tell your relatives, friends, colleagues, and fellow dog lovers to download the book for FREE too - this will bring and keep you in their good books! :-)

ENJOY Your Dog!

Mar 222015
 

young GSD puppyIn Dec 2014, I started to keep a multimedia diary of raising a very young German Shepherd puppy - for anyone interested before embarking on a similar adventure.

I noticed from too many GSD owners that they don't know what they are up to when they want to get a German Shepherd puppy. For you, use this diary as preparation. And if you already have a puppy, you can go along with this diary week after week. It shows everything, nothing is left out. Not even an ebook can offer you this:

  1. Full multimedia: videos, audios, photos, everything directly integrated!
  2. Be in touch with the author: comment section below every diary page!
  3. All relevant Periodicals linked: the largest GSD competence on the web!
  4. Be amongst your peers: Only logged-in site members, 100% spam-free!

young GSD puppy bathFrom the start, My New Puppy Diary has been accessable to site members only. If you haven't seen it yet, simply log in, obviously after becoming a site member. More membership options are planned, but right now there's no time to implement that - and frankly, if you are a dog lover, you do not want to miss our unique Interviews with REVIEWS anyway!

Note that My New Puppy Diary has nothing to do with your free subscription to our Periodicals.

However: My New Puppy Diary links to ALL Periodicals that relate to whatever I am portraying in My New Puppy Diary at the time. Thus if you are one of the many who sought direct and unlimited access to our Periodicals, this is it. My New Puppy Diary has them fully integrated as and when they are relevant when raising a German Shepherd Dog.

Preparing to raise your own puppy cannot get any easier than this!

ENJOY your dog!

Feb 072015
 

So how much does a German Shepherd Dog (GSD, Alsatian) cost every month, on average?

Let's start with food cost today, because my time is limited.

You can find many dog cost tables online, and just by looking at them I realized how wrong the figures are. Seemingly most of them are copies of one and the same outdated or estimated data source?

I wanted to know how much it really costs to own and care for a German Shepherd Dog - and such information would also help our interest group here: GSD owners, and those who consider getting a GSD. Thus I embarked on the "adventure" to calculate the costs myself, so that people can find correct figures for once.

Dog food cost - allegedly

Let's take as a good representative example of wrong figures the ASPCA pet care cost table. There the ASPCA write that the annual cost of dog food for a large dog that gets "premium brand dry kibble" is: $235.

You read that right, they say that if you feed your GSD "Premium brand dry kibble" for an entire year, you'll spend only $235. That's a mere 64 cent/day! Wow, I thought, where did they get their figures from?

They don't say, but I do:

  • I went to amazon.com, where dog food is cheapest because competition is fiercest, and I typed in that very term that the ASPCA based their data on: "premium brand dry kibble"
  • Then I calculated the average dog food cost of all the products on the first search result page on amazon.com
  • Note that at the time you might look at those search results, the products and thus the average dog food cost will obviously be a bit different
  • When I looked, 12 dog food products came up, weighing a total 136.3 pounds, and costing a total $549.25

Result: "premium brand dry kibble" dog food, at presumably the overall cheapest source, costs an average $4.03 per pound in Feb 2015. That's $8.88 per kilo. And, for our interested international audience: at the 7 Feb 2015 exchange rate of 0.88379, that's equivalent to €7.85 per kilo of "premium brand dry kibble".

Not exactly a steal, compared to what human food costs, hm? No, in fact I go food shopping twice a week, and thus I know in detail that almost all human food I buy costs far less than $8.88 per kilo or €7.85 per kilo! But let's leave that aside for the moment. The next step is:

How much dry kibble should a GSD eat?

Well, I am not a dry kibble expert but I have a single bag of Ziwi Peak Lamb at home, so I looked on the back of the bag (not the bag of the back) for their suggestion, and I found it under "Feeding instructions":

  • slim puppyZiwi Peak write there: "88lb dog: 316 g / 11.1 oz" daily of their food
  • Coincidentally, the upper end of the male GSD breed standard weight is 88.2 lb, so that brilliantly matches the dog weight figure on the bag's label
  • Though, note that even this upper end of 88.2 lb is a modest weight when we look at the North American GSDs in our subscriber database: Almost one in every two GSDs is heavier
  • Now, although Ziwi Peak apparently is very rich in nutrients, keeping a reasonably active 88 pound German Shepherd on only 316 g / 11.1 oz of that kibble per day would make the dog very slim in my opinion
  • In fact, according to Ziwi Peak's own "Feeding instructions" on the bag, this is the same amount of food that they recommend for a 35 lb puppy ("puppies feed approx. double the amount indicated")
  • My new puppy currently weighs only 26 lb and he already gets two to three times that amount of food!
  • He would eat even more: during his rapid-growth phase obviously he's hungry all the time - and yet you can't say he is fat in any way, rather slim (see photo)
  • But never mind, we'll go with Ziwi Peak's suggestion here, just to keep the price of feeding as low as possible

Result: food required per year = 115.34 kg / 254.28 lb (316 g * 365 days)

Actual dog food cost

The result of all the above is: "premium brand dry kibble" dog food price per year = $1024.22 ($8.88/kg * 115.34 kg). Or $85.35 a month, $2.85 a day.* Water is free, let's say.

* Note that if you actually chose to feed only that Ziwi Peak Lamb, you'd spend $3,394.16 for 116 bags of 2.2 lb (and you could only save 10% if you choose the largest bag). That's $282.85 a month, $9.30 a day! This is more than three times as much as "premium brand dry kibble" costs because Ziwi Peak apparently is of premium-premium quality. :cool:

Anyway, my live data analysis shows that the ASPCA - and all the sites that copied them or where the ASPCA copied from - are way off: Feeding a large dog (88 lb) "premium brand dry kibble" throughout the year costs $1024.22, not $235. :shock:

That's over four times as much as what the figures on the ASPCA and many other sites are saying.

High price of dog food

You saw above that "premium brand dry kibble" costs an average $4.03 per pound / $8.88 per kilo / €7.85 per kilo in Feb 2015. And commercial dog food of a higher quality (eg Ziwi Peak Lamb) costs $13.30 per pound / $29.32 per kilo / €25.91 per kilo!

It is now that you should really be wondering: Why is commercial dog food so darn expensive??

Why does even dog food of only medium quality ("premium brand dry kibble") at the cheapest source cost way more than almost all human food, namely more than meat, more than veg, and more than fruit?!

Gosh, when I realized this through the above analysis I was gobsmacked (shocked, yes). With common sense, it is inconceivable why dog food has to cost so much more than human quality food! It clearly shouldn't, because our modern domesticated dogs developed as scavengers of human food leftovers. Thus if anything, dog food should cost no more than human food.

The cost of commercial dog food is ridiculous. It can only be explained with the silent, slow, steady price increases that the dog food industry have realized over the past decades. Year after year after year. While their eye-pleasing advertizing lulled pampered pet owners.

The fact that it is indeed cheaper to feed our dogs natural homemade foods (pretty much what we eat ourselves - as it has been for thousands of years for domesticated dogs!) is reason number two why I would strongly recommend that you stop that foolishness of buying commercial dog food. Reason number one has always been dog health, see next.

Actual dog feeding cost

However, even all the above is not the whole story: There is a BIG difference between dog food cost and dog feeding cost.

What?

Yes. Put simply: If you feed "premium brand dry kibble", and only that, you will almost certainly have to spend at least the same amount again on extra vet visits, medicaments, and dog health treatments.

Our massive subscriber database and the free GSD online health assessment speak volumes. Though we don't poll "yearly health care costs" (simply because our "post office" Mailchimp don't allow more than 30 data fields, which we've all used up), you can combine two simple facts:

  • Currently, 81% of our subscribers feed commercial dog food (mostly that means kibble, we do have it more detailed though)
  • And countless subscribers ask questions how to help their sick dog

In almost every case I would love to simply say to them: "Stop feeding kibble, start feeding fresh homemade, and within a couple of months your dog's health will crow!" - Because it would. :idea:

This is what a top dog expert had to say:
Find out who? Get them all here!

Oh, and he also said this:

This is what a top dog expert had to say:
Find out who? Get them all here!

The above perfectly leads over to the next cost type:

Recurring medical cost

The ASPCA pet care cost table lists as basic recurring medical cost for a large dog: $260. Basic, because this excludes any medicament and treatment cost in case your dog is sick. But this is when dog owners have to bear most medical cost! :shock:

We'll continue with actual recurring medical cost when I have more time for this.

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