Crate training uses a dog's natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog's den is his home, a place to sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family. The crate becomes your dog's den, an ideal spot to snooze or take refuge during a thunderstorm or to get away from company. The primary use for a crate is house training. Dogs don't like to soil their dens. However, they must be provided potty breaks often. The crate can limit access to the rest of the house while he learns other rules, like not to chew on furniture or your favorite Gucci handbag. Crates are a safe way to transport your dog in the car.
A crate is a great learning tool but isn't a magical solution. It does take time and human consistency and patience. If not used properly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated and be generally unhappy. Never use the crate as a punishment. Your dog will come to fear it and refuse to enter it and feel they are in trouble when in fact he's not. Don't leave your dog in the crate too long. A dog that’s crated day and night doesn't get enough exercise or human interaction and can become depressed or anxious. Also being crated to long, it can change your dogs conformation, cause open wounds and sores and loss of muscle tone. You may have to change your schedule, hire a pet sitter, or ask a family member or friend to help out to reduce the amount of time he must spend in his crate every day. Puppies under six months of age shouldn't stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can't control their bladders and bowels for that long. The same goes for adult dogs that are being house trained. Physically, they can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to. Crate your dog only until you can trust him not to destroy the house. After that, it should be a place he goes voluntarily.
What is the difference in an American Dane and a European Dane?
The most noticeable difference is size. The European Danes, generally speaking, have a larger head, more solid thick frame, heavier bone structure, more lip. Some European Danes are more exaggerated then others whereas the American Danes seem to be the opposite. It all boils down to personal preference and what you may or may not like.
Can my puppy still end up with issues that you tested the parents for?
Yes, absolutely. Health testing only means that my dogs, the parents of your puppy, had no testable issues at the time of breeding. Health testing does not ensure anything with the puppy. Health testing is important and needed to ensure excellent health of the breeding adults, but it is not guarantee on the puppy. Great Danes are a giant breed and are PREDISPOSED to many different issues simply because of the breed and size. Genetics play a small role in many issues whereas, feeding, exercise, and other environmental factors play the majority role. Breeders can only do so much to ensure proper health in the puppies they produce. It is up to you, the owner, to take responsibility and don't do things that can cause harm to the puppy just by loving them to much.
Many large and giant breeds are identified with specific limb and joint conditions. Great Danes are susceptible to some of these conditions. Bone disease is often the result of factors other than genetic in these large and giant breed dogs.
Great Danes are sometimes subject to lameness during their heavy growth period from between four to eighteen months of age.
Assuming the reader has done his or her homework and gotten his or her dog from an ethical breeder who has taken advantage of testing and genetic registries (OFA, PenHip, CERF-for example)-I will go on to other reasons for orthopedic problems.
High intake of calcium is associated with various bone diseases in Great Danes. Some dogs are at risk for osteochodrosis (OCD). Diets high in protein also increase the growth lameness tendencies for large dogs. Most breeders also recommend that no vitamin or mineral supplement (other than Vitamin C) be given Great Danes.
OCD (Osteochondrosis Dissecans)
This disease often causes temporary or permanent lameness in dogs. This happens when the normal process of bone growth results in cartilage that is replaced by bone, and growth regions are overgrown. This can effect; shoulder, elbow, hock and even the stifle. Protein intake should be less than 25% to help prevent this condition-slower growth may help prevent OCD. Give NO calcium supplementation, feed NO puppy foods, as they usually have higher calcium/mineral content. Low calcium and phosphorus will help reduce OCD from forming. OCD can also be caused from trauma during the growth periods of rapid growth.
"Pano" or "Longbone" (Panosteitis)
If you have to have a bone disease, this is the one you want. It will go away. It is a self-limiting disease that could be called "doggy growing pains". It should not, however, be ignored. This condition effects the long bones of fast growing young dogs. Lameness is acute and painful, but is not related in injury. Lameness goes from one leg to another, and may go away without treatment. Limit activity, treat pain (usually with analgesics), lower protein to less than 20% for a few months to slow down growth. Talk to your vet about MSM as a means to aid rehabilitation. Stronger pain medication is available, but should be used with caution and only under veterinary supervision. A good glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM combo will help.
HOD (Hypertrophied Osteodsytrophy)
This disease may be caused by excessive caloric intake in relation to energy expended. More in, than out! This usually affects Great Danes between the ages of 12 weeks and 7 months of age. First signs are a swelling in the front wrist area—this area is usually hot and tender to the touch. (Progresses to faulty rear movement—because of pain in the lower back legs). Then, there is a dropping of the front wrist (pastern), splayed feet (toes are spread out or flat), the topline (the top of the back) gets curvy (like a Greyhound), and the back legs are tucked under the body (like a Deerhound) making the dog appear deformed. Sometimes the rear legs look "cow hocked" (feet face outward and hocks face towards each other) and the front legs may toe inward. In some cases the dog will toe out; when viewing the puppy from straight above the shoulders down to the front feet the legs will have a knock-kneed appearance. In extreme cases there are very high fevers, refusal to eat, and constantly aching joints. This is caused by high protein foods consumed in larger amounts than is actually needed by puppies. Puppies do better on a high quality, lower protein food ranging around 20% to 25% with low calcium and phosphorus levels.
What The Owner Can Do To Help Assure Proper Growth
Adding "people food" can raise the protein levels or imbalance the calcium/phosphorus ratio.
Keep your puppy well-fleshed, but not fat is better. Remember, slow steady growth will do more for your puppy than rapid growth that can happen with puppy foods. The puppy will eventually reach its genetic potential, but without the additional risk to bones and joints that comes from high calcium and phosphorus.
It is obvious that nutrition is a big part in bone disease in Great Danes...it is really over-nutrition that is the BIG PROBLEM; too much protein, too much calcium/minerals, too much food. Don’t be so nice to your dog you cripple it or kill it.
•Do not feed puppy foods; even those developed for giant breeds.
•Use a quality brand of dry food. Compare labels and get an adult food with lower calcium and phosphorus content.
•Don’t add milk or dairy products to moisten the puppy’s food. Use warm water instead.
•Don’t give vitamins or minerals; especially calcium. The only vitamin supplementation considered acceptable is Vitamin C.
•Don’t let your Dane puppy get rolly polly fat. You should be able to see the silhouette of the last rib.
•Never make diet changes suddenly. Any change should be made gradually over the course of a week.
•Allow your Dane puppy as much free exercise as he wants. However, never "road work" a young or adolescent Dane until their growth plates have closed.
Do the Dew(claws)?
Credit: M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, DACVSMR
I am a vet that works exclusively with performance dogs, developing rehabilitation programs for injured dogs or dogs that have had surgery as a result of performance-related
injuries. I have seen many dogs now, especially field trial/hunt test and agility dogs, that have had chronic carpal arthritis, frequently so severe that they have to be retired or at least carefully managed for the rest of their careers. Of the over 30 dogs I have seen with carpal arthritis, only one has had dewclaws. The others have all had them removed.
If you look at an anatomy book (Miller’s Guide to the Anatomy of Dogs is an excellent one – see figure below) you will see that there are 5 tendons attached to the dewclaw. Of course, at the other end of a tendon is a muscle, and that means that if you cut off the dew claws, there are 5 muscle bundles that will become atrophied from disuse.
Those muscles indicate that the dewclaws have a function. That function is to prevent torque on the leg. Each time the foot lands on the ground, particularly when the dog is cantering or galloping, the dewclaw is in touch with the ground. If the dog then needs to turn, the dewclaw digs into the ground to support the lower leg and prevent torque. If the dog doesn’t have a dewclaw, the leg twists. A lifetime of that and the result can be carpal arthritis. Remember: the dog is doing the activity regardless, and the pressures on the leg have to go somewhere.
They can be absorbed by the dewclaw, or they will move up and down the leg to the toes, carpus, elbow, and shoulders.
Perhaps you are thinking, “I never have had one of my dogs have carpal pain or arthritis.” Well, we need to remember that dogs, by their very nature, do not tell us about mild to moderate pain. If a dog was to be asked by an emergency room nurse to give the level of his pain on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst, their scale would be 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Most of our dogs, especially if they deal with pain that is of gradual onset, just deal with it and don’t complain unless it is excruciating. But when I palpate the carpal joints of older dogs without dewclaws, I almost always elicit pain with relatively minimal manipulation.
As to the possibility of injuries to dew claws. Most veterinarians will say that such injuries actually are not very common at all. And if they do occur, then they are dealt with like any other injury. In my opinion, it is far better to deal with an injury than to cut the dew claws off of all dogs “just in case.”
I want to take a few momements to address a subject I am very, very passionate about. Many of you know me. I am a lifelong Great Dane guardian 🐾💜 and an emergency veterinarian 👩🏼⚕️. In the past, I have addressed controversial health issues such as grain free diets and DCM 💔. Today, I’ve noticed there are many posts with questions around the gastropexy procedure and a lot of false information out there. This is why I do emergency medicine. This is what I am most passionate about, so I wanted to share my knowledge with the group. First, I ask that you be respectful. I understand that there is always a difference of opinion. A lot of what I am presenting is fact and not opinion. I encourage you to read it with an analytical mind and ask questions if you have them. However, please do not present opionoins without factual evidence. I am writing this for those in the group that are new to the breed and just want to do what is best for their loved ones and those that are interested in learning. I am not writing it to offend anyone or argue. I do ask that if you do have questions (regarding anything medical), that you seek the advice of a veterinary professional. We have gone through a TON of training to advice you on just these issues.
Let me begin with my credentials. I have owned Great Danes my entire life. My parents had two when I was born and they taught me how to walk. They were my protectors as a kid and a large reason why I do what I do. I currently have 3 Danes, a rottie, a golden, and 2 wonderful mutts. The third Great Dane that we ever had was a rescue. He was a beautiful blue male. He suffered what we generally term, “bloat” (we’ll come back to that word) and unfortunately did not survive. I have an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and my doctorate of veterinary medicine from Colorado State University. After graduating, I did some additional training in emergency medicine in a busy hospital in New York. I have been a practicing emergency room veterinarian for the last 5 years. Acute abdomens (surgical emergencies) are my biggest passions (probably because of the loss I suffered as a kid). I see at least 2-3 acute abdomen cases a week and I have done hundreds of these surgeries. I am often the one that gets called in when a colleague needs help with these cases.
Ok, so let’s begin. The first thing we need to do is define some terms so that we can all speak the same language:
1. Bloat - I personally, hate this term because it means different things to different people. For purposes of this conversation, we are going to take it at face value. “Bloat” literally just means a distended abdomen and is not a technical term. There are many, many reasons that an abdomen can appear distended. Keep in mind that there are many organs inside the abdomen - liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder, and GI tract (including stomach, small intestine, and large intestine). So, enlargement of any of these organs can cause an animal to appear bloated. Bloat can happen simply from over eating (food bloat) or it can happen if there is a build up of fluid within the abdomen (again, various causes). This is the last time I am going to use the term bloat on its own in this post. Today, we are focusing on what a lot of people use synonymously with bloat - GDV
2. GDV (gastric dilation volvulus) - this is the topic of our discussion today. This is the twisting of the stomach on its axis essentially obstructing outflow from the stomach in either direction so that gas, fluid, and food are entrapped in the stomach and cause it to “bloat”.
3. Torsion/volvulus - this is simply twisting of an organ which will essentially cut off its blood supply. Mesenteric torsion - twist in the mesentery (mesentery is the connective tissue of the GI tract and holds the vessels that supply the intestines). Mesenteric torsion compromises the blood supply to the intestines. Liver lobe torsion - twist in one of the liver lobes. Colonic torsion - twist in the colon. Lung lobe torsion - twist in one of the lung lobes. I think you get it at this point. The key is to remember that a torsion or volvulus means that the blood supply to the affected organ has been compromised and is a surgical emergency.
4. Acute abdomen - this is the medical term for any and all abdominal diseases that are causing severe, acute shock. These include GDV, mesenteric torsion, colonic torsion, septic abdomens (rupture in the GI tract) and even sometimes a severe pancreatitis. The majority of these are surgical emergencies. And most will appear “bloated”. The difference between these and other causes for boat (food bloat) is the stability of the patient. Generally, these patients will appear much sicker - elevated heart rate, low BP, severe abdominal pain...
Now let’s come back to the GDV. As I said, this is the focus of our discussion today. Great Danes are the dogs that happen to be most at risk for developing GDVs. It is a fact that 1 in 4 Danes will suffer a GDV. Again, a GDV happens when the stomach turns on its axis. This will compromise blood supply to the stomach as well as often to the spleen as the two are very closely attached. Because the blood supply is compromised, the tissue becomes hypoxic and will quickly (within hours) become necrotic. This is why it is a surgical emergency. When these patients present in the ER, they are extremely painful and nauseous. They’re also generally in shock. Treatment starts with immediate stabilization - 2 IVs are placed so that we can get as much fluid as possible in as quickly as possible and pain medication is given. Full blood work is done as these patients are at risk of multi-organ failure and DIC. You, as owners, typically have less than 30min to decide if you want to proceed with surgery. This carries a guarded prognosis and surgery is expensive 🤑. You do not have the luxury of waiting for your vet to open as your dog will likely be dead by then 💀. Surgical treatment involves repositioning the stomach. Once the stomach is repositioned an oral gastric tube is passed and the stomach is manually emptied and flushed out. The entire abdomen is explored. As mentioned earlier, tissue will progressively become necrotic. The spleen is frequently removed as it’s blood supply is closely attached to the stomach. The stomach wall itself can become necrotic and require resecting. As you can imagine, there is a limit to how much of the stomach can be resected. If too much tissue is dead, then sadly, there is nothing else we can do. Finally, the stomach wall is pexied to prevent another GDV. 99% of GDVs will recur within 1yr if the pexy is not performed. For this reason, I will not even offer to treat a GDV unless an owner is willing to pexy. After surgery, these patients are usually in the hospital for at least 48hrs. Common complication include arrhythmias and aspiration pneumonia. In fact, 1/3rd of patients aspirate prior to arriving at the hospital. More serious complications include DIC (clotting abnormalities) and multiorgan failure.
Now, let talk some statistics and facts. Again 1 IN 4 DANES DEVELOP GDV!!!!!! 😯 I know many of you have had some phenomenal luck 🍀 and not had to experience this particular heart break 💔. And, there are some recommended management techniques including feeding multiple small meals rather than 1 large one, encourage slow feeding, never exercise after eating, do not feed elevated... I do tend to agree with these recommendations. However, they are not as effective as having your Dane preventatively pexied. This surgery, if done correctly, will prevent a GDV. It is very, very rare that it fails. The one time I have seen a pexied patient with a partial gastric volvulus, it was a patient with GI lymphoma and needed to be tacked at multiple sites. This was simply because the GI tract was unhealthy. Most GDVs occur at night, a couple hours after eating dinner, and most occur in older patients. This means that if you think because your Dane is older, you are out of the woods, that’s unfortunately false. Also, if you are concerned about the added expense for prevention, you are really going to hate the cost to treat. As they happen when regular vets are closed, they are seen in the ER which is always more expensive. This is no different than having a $20 parvo vaccine done to prevent paying $2-3K to treat parvo when it happens. Finally, the argument I have seen against the pexy is that it is too invasive. I strongly recommend having it done laparoscopically with a surgeon. If that is not an option, then it is no more invasive than a spay. It is A LOT less invasive than treating a GDV with splenectomy and gastric resection (food for thought).
As mentioned, there are other causes for bloat. So, if your Dane is pexied and seems bloated or has the symptoms we discussed earlier, he/she still needs to be seen ASAP. There are other organs that can twist. This is much less common, but just as big of an emergency. Unfortunately, we do not have preventative surgeries for these. If your Dane suffers a GDV as he/she has not been pexied, I always recommend trying surgery if you can. This is something that will have no lasting effects (usually) and can be completely curative (as long as there are no other factors at play). Danes and German Shepherds are the most commonly affected breeds. However, any breed can suffer this disease. It is also seen in cats, although, much less common.
Good luck to all you Dane owners! They are truly magnificent dogs and deserve the best!!
Many of the questions around this post have to do with the recommendations that are given to mange if a pet is not yet pexied. While this kind of misses the point of the post, I did want to address it for those of you that have pets that are young and just have not been pexied yet.
According to all the literature (at least six good studies over the last couple of decades) dogs most at risk include those who...
#1 hail from large or giant breeds (though any dog of any breed can bloat)
#2 are middle-aged or older (though any dog of any age can bloat)
#3 have first-degree relatives who have bloated (littermates or parents)
#4 are speed-demon eaters
#5 dine from raised food bowls
Though it’s a highly treatable disease, bloat is a killer. I figure that’s why people worry so much over the risk factors––especially the ones they CAN control. Maybe that explains the popularity of the bloat post. But that doesn’t explain why I caught so much flak over the issue of feeding from raised food bowls. Below, please find an excerpt from the largest study of its kind (1,634 dogs), one you can read and dispute at your leisure:
Cumulative incidence of GDV during the study was 6% for large breed and giant breed dogs. Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were increasing age, having a first-degree relative with a history of GDV, having a faster speed of eating, and having a raised feeding bowl. Approximately 20 and 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl.” (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1492–1499)
Despite the impressive nature of these stats, it’s true that this is but one study, the only one that ever attempted to discern whether raising a bowl made any difference whatsoever. We have no conflicting research. Not yet.
Raising the food bowel has been found to help with other diseases processes. One of my own Danes has wobblers. I do feed her elevated as she has been pexied. So, if you are feeding elevated for other reasons and your Dane has been pexied, I see no problem. If your Dane has not been pexied, then feed elevated at your own risk. Erin Smith
HOW MUCH IS A PUPPY
HOW MUCH FOR A PUPPY?
me say a few words to you, yes you, the person who writes an email to simply
ask the price. The person who calls and after hearing a price surprisedly
states: “I can buy a cheaper dog elsewhere”. I also address you; the person who
doesn’t care about papers because I want “just a pet”.
No dog is “just a pet”.
Behind every pure bred dog is a BREEDER. I’m using capital letters to differentiate a breeder from a pet factory or mill. A reputable breeder does not breed dogs without papers, that does not protect the integrity of the breed. Registration (papers) are the only records of lineage that document bloodline and allow one to research any possible health issues present in the lineage. When you tell a Breeder you don’t care about papers what you’re really telling them is you couldn’t care less about the health of the dog you just want the cheapest thing you can find! When you select to buy a dog from a reputable and quality breeder, this breeder is responsible for the health of every dog; both dogs owned and every dog they’ve sold for its lifetime. This breeder will skip holidays, miss sleeping, and most of their personal house space has been turned into space for their dogs. The truly passionate breeder who loves what they breed, puts their whole heart and soul into it. Not only in puppies that are sold, but also in each client who owns a piece of their heart and now is a member of their extended family. This does not take into account any pup/dog who might get sick or need extra help to thrive. Breeders worry about their babies after they leave and will take one back without question.
A breeder will get their hands dirty, often covered in everything accompanied with birthing. Because that’s what life is about...In the middle of birth and death is life. The wheel that keeps turning. A breeder will do progesterone tests, echos, xrays, analysis, emergency c sections, vaccinations, register dogs and litters, research pedigrees, deworm, as well as microchip their puppies and get them evaluated by specialists.
Last but by no means least, a breeder CHOOSES the family lucky enough to have one of their puppies. Yes, you read that right. A true breeder chooses who they sell to because they are not making money off the sale. There is no compensation that can offset the investment a Breeder has made so they need to be confident its the right fit. Many times saying more no’s then yes...A good Breeder will have different criteria for those wanting to carry on their bloodline, why? Because breeding is not a responsibility to ever be taken lightly, it’s a lifestyle choice set aside for ONLY the few devoted people willing to sacrifice.
Because a dog is never “just a pet” it’s the Breeder’s legacy, a little boy’s best friend, a little girls protector, an elderly persons therapy, a member of the family, someone’s whole world!!!
Written in part by: Sr. Eduardo Loredo Muller
Translated into English by: Angel Sophia Nogga
- OCD/OSTEOCHONDRITIS DISSECANS https://wagwalking.com/condition/osteochondritis-dissecans
- COMMON HEALTH ISSUES https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/breeds/10-most-common-health-issues-giants
- OVER VACCINATION https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2017/06/25/pets-over-vaccination.aspx
- DAWN DISH SOAP https://holisticpetcare.com/holistic-pet-blog/dawn-dish-soap-for-fleas/
- PANOSTEITIS https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/12/26/panosteitis.aspx
- BONE BROTH https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/12/02/pet-bone-broth.asp
- KNUCLING https://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/puppy_feed_program_for_knuckling_over.htm
- PUPPIES, GROWTH PLATES AND EXERCISE https://eur04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailydogdiscoveries.com%2Fpuppy-growth-plates%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C20d76384ff7e4128d03108d83ba27344%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637324916182549991&sdata=LTr60fB6ybhvahAmQsbWKsHU8POvsptmG7b1JczuGFI%3D&reserved=0
- MANAGING DOG/DOG GREETINGS https://barksfromtheguild.com/2018/11/13/managing-dog-dog-greetings/
- HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND DOG AGGRESSION https://www.thedodo.com/study-says-human-behavior-not--452962424.html
- FDA WARNING FOR DCM https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/outbreaks-and-advisories/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy?fbclid=IwAR2iCKH20VhFwrw7ni-pJZlZdBO4r4QRla6_aYKEO1pzeJxMrNr_S-fh9yQ
- FLEA AND TICK MEDS SIDE EFFECTS https://pix11.com/2019/07/22/side-effects-risk-of-some-flea-and-tick-medications/