Frequently Asked Questions
The Angeleo kennel of leonberger dog is registered with the CKC since January 2006. The breeder, Isabelle Renaud, has experience with leonberger dogs since 2001 when she got Zigo from Louise Juneau, owner of the Fleurdelysée Kennel. Then Isabelle worked with Pauline Labrecque, owner of the Vonlinderhof Kennel, from whom she obtained Chan.
From Chan's first litter, Isabelle kept Sami and Manu. Sami is available for breeding now.
Chan and Sami are part of the Angéléo Kennel now, and the first representative of this kennel is Santo, born in 2006.
Chan's third and last litter is done since april 2007.
Loona , daughter of Chan, is the next that will continue to breed. Watch her growing on the Blog.
Photo: Our beautiful leonberger dog: Zigo (hidden), Sami and Manu
Edith's website in Germany. Edith is the mom of late Attila Von Rotten Schopf, this wonderful male, international champion. Teddy came to Canada with Edith to start our lines: first the Vonlinderhof and now the Angeleo. Edith knows more on the leonbergers and their lines than any database you can find.
www.leonidasleos.org Edith's Kennel
Teddy (jr) website, Chan's brother. It's always a great pleasure to spend time with Teddy and his mom and dad. Not to forget the Jack Russell's.
Heronview. Website of Lori Dzingala from Whitby near Toronto and her beautiful Leos. Lori own Kahulalion Braveheart "Bogie" the sire of Sami and Manu. Don't miss her Alpacas website... a real dream to me.. one day I'll get some of those.
Québéléo. Nathalie Dame also have dogs from the Vonlinderhof line (Chan's breeder)
Élevage Shandro: Kate VanRijn and her superbe Bubba, Chequemageon's Alberta Clipper, daddy of Chan's B litteré
Lewenhart: Naomi Kane's website. Leonberger and Italian Greyhound breeder. Naomi encourage good breeding practices and she's also writes in de Dogs In Canada Magazine.
Leo Rescue Ontario : Help save a leo, visit their website.
Leonberger Database:The first leonberger's database
International Leonberger Database: Another one more up to date with leo lines
Worldwine Independent Leonberger Database: Yet another one
Fédération cynologique Internationale. Tous les standards, lois et réglements, statistiques, championnats internationaux concernant toutes les races de chiens.
The LEO-ROUTE Discover Léos from the world on this website
Books about the Leonberger
Leonberger - by Madeline Lusby, Michael Trafford
Leonberger - by Angela White
Leonberger - by Madeline Lusby
How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With - by Clarice Rutherford et Davis H. Neil
This is, in my opinion, the best book about how to raise puppies. I personaly used it with all my litters and follow it's methods and develop my own ways of waking up, socializing and giving confidence to the puppies for the precious 2 months they live with us. This is the best way to prepare the puppies for their new owners. I encourage everyone to read that book and apply it's techiques with your puppies
The Other End of the Leash - by Patricia Phd Mcconnell.
This book teaches you how to communicate with your dog. How each of your movements are analysed and interpreted by your dog. People don't always realize they send mixed messages that confuse their dog and provoke bad behaviors. A Must.
The Culture Clash - by Jean Donaldson.
I have not read it yet but apperently it's a jewel.
Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training - by Karen Pryor
Karen Pryor invented the clicker method. This is the most gentle way to dress a dog but it's alo slower. The funny thig is she will teach you how to use those methods with your family to stimulation a positive reinforcement.
Clicker Training for Obedience: Shaping Top Performance--Positively - by Karen Pryor
Another book oriented to conformation and obedience training.
Click for Joy: Questions and Answers from Clicker Trainers and Their Dogs - by Robert Bailey and Melissa C. Alexander.
This book propose solutions to various problems you can encounter with your dog. Excellent bo
LÉGENDE HD (Hip dysplasia)
Voici les cotes utilisées pour évaluer la dysplasie de la hanches dans les divers pays. D'une façon générale seuls les chiens ayant A ou B (Excellent ou Good) sont utilisés pour la reproduction. Les cotes C et D sont acceptables pour des chiens de compagnie. La cotes E est celle qui, de façon générale, qualifie un chien pour la garantie de 2 ans qui est accordée par tout éleveur respectable.
INTERNATIONAL HD CONVERSION TABLE
|FCI Classification||Great Britain
hips are scored seperately
hips are scored seperately
Starting 01-05-2002 the Netherlands use the A1-E2 classification
Starting 01-01-2001 Sweden uses the A1-E2 classification
|Normal, no sign of hip dysplasia||A||Score 0||A1 score 0||A
(Free excellent & Free)
|Negative excellent (1)||Free||Excellent|
|Score 1-3||A2 score 1-2||Negative (2)||UA||Good|
|Transition form, nearly normal||B||Score 4-6||B1 score 3-4||B (Transistion form)||Transition form (tr)||Fair|
|Score 7-8||B2 score 5-6||I||Transistion form|
|Light Hip dysplasia||C||Score 9-12||C1 score 7-9||C (I)||Light Positive (3)||Light Hip Dysplasia|
|Score 13-18||C2 score 10-12|
|Moderate Hip dysplasia||D||Score > 18||D1 score 13-15||D (II)||Positive (4)||II||Moderate Hip Dysplasia|
|D2 score 16-18|
|Severe Hip dysplasia||E||E1 score 19-21||E (III)||Highly Positive (5)||III||Severe Hip Dysplasia|
|E2 score 22-24|
In this section I will share information found on the web and will answer the frequently Askued Questiosn coming from our puppy owners.
If you find articles or want to share information with us, don't hesitate to send us an email.
You can share:
- Your receipie
- Interesting articles
- Pictures in relation to one of our subject
- Interesting links
- Book suggestions
- or anything else related to dogs and leonbergers
FCI-Standard N°145 / 20. 09. 2002 / GB
TRANSLATION: Mrs. C. Seidler, revised by Mrs E.Peper
ORIGIN : Germany.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 04.01.1996.
UTILIZATION : Watch, Companion and Family Dog.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossoid breeds, Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs and other breeds.
Molossoid breeds, Mountain type.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : At the end of the thirties, beginning of the forties of the 19th century, Heinrich Essig, town Councillor in Leonberg near Stuttgart, crossed a black and white Newfoundland bitch with a so-called “Barry” male from the monastery hospice Grand St.Bernhard. Later a Pyrenean Mountain Dog was added. This resulted in very large dogs with predominantly long, white coats. Essig’s aim was for a lion-like dog. The lion is the heraldic animal of the city of Leonberg.
The first dogs really called “Leonbergers” were born in 1846. They combined the excellent qualities of the breeds from which they stemmed.
Only a short time later, many of these dogs were sold as status symbols from Leonberg all over the world. At the end of the 19th century, the Leonberger was kept in Baden-Württemberg as the preferred farm dog. His watch and draft abilities were much praised.
In both World Wars and the needy post war times, the numbers of breeding stock reduced dramatically. Today the Leonberger is an excellent family dog which fulfills all the demands of modern life.
GENERAL APPEARANCE : According to his original purpose, the Leonberger is a large, strong, muscular yet elegant dog. He is distinguished by his balanced build and confident calmness, yet with quite lively temperament. Males, in particular, are powerful and strong.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : Height at the withers to length of body : 9 to 10. The depth of chest is nearly 50% of the height at withers.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : As a family dog, the Leonberger is an agreeable partner for present day dwelling and living conditions, who can be taken anywhere without difficulty and is distinguished by his marked friendliness towards children. He is neither shy nor aggressive. As a companion, he is agreeable, obedient and fearless in all situations of life.
The following are particular requirements of steady temperament :
- Self assurance and superior composure.
- Medium temperament (including playfulness).
- Willing to be submissive.
- Good capacity for learning and remembering.
- Insensitive to noise.
HEAD : On the whole deeper than broad and elongated rather than stocky. Proportion of length of muzzle to length of skull: about 1 to 1. Skin close fitting all over, no wrinkles.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : In profile and seen from the front, slightly arched. In balance with body and limbs, it is strong but not heavy. The skull at its back part is not substantially broader than near the eyes.
Stop : Clearly recognisable but moderately defined.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Black.
Muzzle : Rather long, never running to a point; nasal bridge of even breadth, never dipped, rather slightly arched (roman nose).
Lips : Close fitting, black, corners of lips closed.
Jaws/Teeth : Strong jaws with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth without any gap, and teeth set square to the jaw with 42 sound teeth according to the dentition formula (missing M3 tolerated). Pincer bite is accepted; no constriction at the canines in the lower jaw.
Cheeks : Only slightly developed.
Eyes : Light brown to as dark brown as possible, medium size, oval, neither deep set, nor protruding, neither too close together nor too wide apart. Eyelids close fitting, not showing any conjunctiva. The white of the eye (the visible part of the sclera) not reddened.
Ears : Set on high and not far back, pendant, of medium size, hanging close to the head, fleshy.
NECK : Running in a slight curve without break to the withers. Somewhat long rather than stocky, without throatiness or dewlap.
Withers : Pronounced, specially in males.
Back : Firm, straight, broad.
Loins : Broad, strong, well muscled.
Croup : Broad, relatively long, gently rounded, flowing to merge with tail set on; never overbuilt.
Chest : Broad, deep, reaching at least to the level of the elbows. Not too barrel shaped, more oval.
Underline and belly : Only slightly tucked up.
TAIL : Very well furnished; while standing, it hangs down straight; also in movement it is only slightly curved and if at all possible should not be carried above the prolongation of the topline.
LIMBS : Very strong, specially in males.
FOREQUARTERS : Forelegs straight, parallel and not too close.
Shoulders / Upper arm : Long, sloping, forming a not too blunt angle, well muscled.
Elbows : Close to the body.
Pastern : Strong, firm; seen from the front, straight; almost vertical, seen from the side.
Forefeet : Straight (turning neither in nor out), rounded, tight, toes well arched; black pads.
HINDQUARTERS : Seen from the rear, position of the hind legs not too close, parallel. Hocks and feet : turned neither in nor out.
Pelvis : Slanting.
Upper thigh : Rather long, slanting, strongly muscled. Upper and lower thigh form a distinct angle.
Hocks : Strong, distinct angle between lower thigh and rear pastern.
Hind feet : Standing straight, only slightly longish. Toes arched, pads black.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Ground covering even movement in all gaits. Extending well in front with good drive from the hindquarters. Seen from front and behind the limbs move in a straight line when walking or trotting.
HAIR : Medium soft to coarse, profusely long, close fitting, never parted, with the shape of the whole body be visible despite the thick undercoat. Straight, slight wave still permitted; forming a mane on neck and chest, specially in males; distinct feathering on front legs and ample breeches on hind legs.
COLOUR : Lion yellow, red, reddish brown, also sandy (pale yellow, cream coloured) and all combinations in between, always with a black mask. Black hair tips are permitted; however, black must not determine the dog’s basic colour.
Lightening up of the basic colour on the underside of the tail, the mane, the feathering on the front legs and the breeches on the hind legs must not be so pronounced as to interfere with the harmony of the main colour. A small white patch or stripe on the chest and white hairs on the toes are tolerated.
Height at the withers :
72 to 80 cm (recommended average 76 cm).
65 to 75 cm (recommended average 70 cm).
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
DISQUALIFYING FAULTS :
- Shy or aggressive dogs.
- Severe anatomical faults (i.e. pronounced cow hocks, pronounced roach back, bad swayback; front feet turning out extremely. Totally insufficient angulation of shoulder, elbow, stifle or hock joints.
- Brown nose leather.
- Very strong lack of pigment in lips.
- Absence of teeth (with the exception of M3). Over- or undershot or other faults in mouth.
- Eyes without any brown.
- Entropion, ectropion.
- Distinct ring tail or too highly curled up tail.
- Brown pads.
- Cords or strong curls.
- Faulty colours (brown with brown nose and brown pads; black and tan; black; silver; wild-coat colour).
- Complete lack of mask.
- Too much white (reaching from toes onto pasterns), white on chest larger than palm of hand, white in other places).
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
TUNA BROWNIES - A GREAT TRAINING TREAT!
Tuna brownies are easy to handle training treats. No crumbs,
no slimy stick together stuff! They must be refrigerated at
a minimum. They freeze well. Toss the frozen brownies into a
baggie in your pocket and they will be just right for use in
training throughout either a short or long training session.
2 cans tuna in water, NOT OIL, drain most of the water off
healthy teaspoon of garlic powder
1 1/2 cups of flour
Mix together until you have a thick horrible mass. Add flour
if needed until it's like a ball of dough. Flatten out to
about 1/4" thick on a cookie sheet. Bake at 250 F for 30
minutes. Cut into 1/4" cubes.
Peanut Butter Biscuits
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbs peanut butter
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg white
1 Tbs chicken broth
Mix flour and milk until lumpy. Add peanut butter and broth. Mix parmesan cheese with first 4 ingredients. Add egg white. Mix well or until it has the consistency of pancake batter. Add baking powder. Pour onto greased cookie sheet, making 2" drops. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool.
Neutering - Spraying
Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete
One Veterinarian’s Opinion
© 2005 Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP
Those of us with responsibility for the health of canine athletes need to continually read and evaluate new
scientific studies to ensure that we are taking the most appropriate care of our performance dogs. This article
provides evidence through a number of recent studies to suggest that veterinarians and owners working with
canine athletes should revisit the standard protocol in which all dogs that are not intended for breeding are
spayed and neutered at or before 6 months of age.
A study by Salmeri et al in 1991 found that bitches spayed at 7 weeks grew significantly taller than those spayed
at 7 months, who were taller than those not spayed (or presumably spayed after the growth plates had closed).(1)
A study of 1444 Golden Retrievers performed in 1998 and 1999 also found bitches and dogs spayed and
neutered at less than a year of age were significantly taller than those spayed or neutered at more than a year of
age.(2) The sex hormones, by communicating with a number of other growth-related hormones, promote the
closure of the growth plates at pubjerty (3), so the bones of dogs or bitches neutered or spayed before puberty
continue to grow. Dogs that have been spayed or neutered well before puberty can frequently be identified by
their longer limbs, lighter bone structure, narrow chests and narrow skulls. This abnormal growth frequently
results in significant alterations in body proportions and particularly the lengths (and therefore weights) of certain
bones relative to others. For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8
months when a dog gets spayed or neutered, but the tibia, which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of
age continues to grow, then an abnormal angle may develop at the stifle. In addition, with the extra growth, the
lower leg below the stifle likely becomes heavier (because it is longer), and may cause increased stresses on the
cranial cruciate ligament. In addition, sex hormones are critical for achieving peak bone density.(4) These
structural and physiological alterations may be the reason why at least one recent study showed that spayed and
neutered dogs had a higher incidence of CCL rupture.(5) Another recent study showed that dogs spayed or
neutered before 5 1/2 months had a significantly higher incidence of hip dysplasia than those spayed or neutered
after 5 1/2 months of age, although it should be noted that in this study there were no standard criteria for the
diagnosis of hip dysplasia.(6) Nonetheless, breeders of purebred dogs should be cognizant of these studies and
should consider whether or not pups they bred were spayed or neutered when considering breeding decisions.
A retrospective study of cardiac tumors in dogs showed that there was a 5 times greater risk of
hemangiosarcoma, one of the three most common cancers in dogs, in spayed bitches than intact bitches and a
2.4 times greater risk of hemangiosarcoma in neutered dogs as compared to intact males.(7) A study of 3218
dogs demonstrated that dogs that were neutered before a year of age had a significantly increased chance of
developing bone cancer.(8) A separate study showed that neutered dogs had a two-fold higher risk of developing
bone cancer.(9) Despite the common belief that neutering dogs helps prevent prostate cancer, at least one study
suggests that neutering provides no benefit.(10) There certainly is evidence of a slightly increased risk of
mammary cancer in female dogs after one heat cycle, and for increased risk with each subsequent heat. While
about 30 % of mammary cancers are malignant, as in humans, when caught and surgically removed early the
prognosis is very good.(12) Luckily, canine athletes are handled frequently and generally receive prompt
The study that identified a higher incidence of cranial cruciate ligament rupture in spayed or neutered dogs also
identified an increased incidence of sexual behaviors in males and females that were neutered early.(5) Further,
the study that identified a higher incidence of hip dysplasia in dogs neutered or spayed before 5 1/2 months also
showed that early age gonadectomy was associated with an increased incidence of noise phobias and
undesirable sexual behaviors.(6) A recent report of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation reported
significantly more behavioral problems in spayed and neutered bitches and dogs. The most commonly observed
behavioral problem in spayed females was fearful behavior and the most common problem in males was
Other Health Considerations
A number of studies have shown that there is an increase in the incidence of female urinary incontinence in dogs
spayed early (13), although this finding has not been universal. Certainly there is evidence that ovarian hormones
are critical for maintenance of genital tissue structure and contractility.(14, 15) Neutering also has been
associated with an increased likelihood of urethral sphincter incontinence in males.(16) This problem is an
inconvenience, and not usually life-threatening, but nonetheless one that requires the dog to be medicated for life.
A health survey of several thousand Golden Retrievers showed that spayed or neutered dogs were more likely to
develop hypothyroidism.(2) This study is consistent with the results of another study in which neutering and
spaying was determined to be the most significant gender-associated risk factor for development of
hypothyroidism.(17) Infectious diseases were more common in dogs that were spayed or neutered at 24 weeks or
less as opposed to those undergoing gonadectomy at more than 24 weeks.(18) Finally, the AKC-CHF report
demonstrated a higher incidence of adverse reactions to vaccines in neutered dogs as compared to intact.(12)
I have gathered these studies to show that our practice of routinely spaying or neutering every dog at or before
the age of 6 months is not a black-and-white issue. Clearly more studies need to be done to evaluate the effects
of prepubertal spaying and neutering, particularly in canine athletes.
Currently, I have significant concerns with spaying or neutering canine athletes before puberty. But of course,
there is the pet overpopulation problem. How can we prevent the production of unwanted dogs while still leaving
the gonads to produce the hormones that are so important to canine growth and development? One answer
would be to perform vasectomies in males and tubal ligation in females, to be followed after maturity by
ovariohysterectomy in females to prevent mammary cancer and pyometra. One possible disadvantage is that
vasectomy does not prevent some unwanted behaviors associated with males such as marking and humping. On
the other hand, females and neutered males frequently participate in these behaviors too. Really, training is the
best solution for these issues. Another possible disadvantage is finding a veterinarian who is experienced in
performing these procedures. Nonetheless, some do, and if the procedures were in greater demand, more
veterinarians would learn them.
I believe it is important that we assess each situation individually. For canine athletes, I currently recommend that
dogs and bitches be spayed or neutered after 14 months of age.
1. Salmeri KR, Bloomberg MS, Scruggs SL, Shille V.. Gonadectomy in immature dogs: effects on skeletal,
physical, and behavioral development. JAVMA 1991;198:1193-1203
3. Grumbach MM. Estrogen, bone, growth and sex: a sea change in conventional wisdom. J Pediatr Endocrinol
Metab. 2000;13 Suppl 6:1439-55.
4. Gilsanz V, Roe TF, Gibbens DT, Schulz EE, Carlson ME, Gonzalez O, Boechat MI. Effect of sex steroids on
peak bone density of growing rabbits. Am J Physiol. 1988 Oct;255(4 Pt 1):E416-21.
5. Slauterbeck JR, Pankratz K, Xu KT, Bozeman SC, Hardy DM. Canine ovariohysterectomy and orchiectomy
increases the prevalence of ACL injury. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Dec;(429):301-5.
6. Spain CV, Scarlett JM, Houpt KA. Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in dogs. JAVMA
7. Ware WA, Hopper DL. Cardiac tumors in dogs: 1982-1995. J Vet Intern Med 1999 Mar-Apr;13(2):95-103
8. Cooley DM, Beranek BC, Schlittler DL, Glickman NW, Glickman LT, Waters D, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers
Prev. 2002 Nov;11(11):1434-40
9. Ru G, Terracini B, Glickman LT. Host related risk factors for canine osteosarcoma. Vet J. 1998 Jul;156(1):31-
10. Obradovich J, Walshaw R, Goullaud E. The influence of castration on the development of prostatic carcinoma
in the dog. 43 cases (1978-1985). J Vet Intern Med 1987 Oct-Dec;1(4):183-7
12. Meuten DJ. Tumors in Domestic Animals. 4th Edn. Iowa State Press, Blackwell Publishing Company, Ames,
Iowa, p. 575
13. Stocklin-Gautschi NM, Hassig M, Reichler IM, Hubler M, Arnold S. The relationship of urinary incontinence to
early spaying in bitches. J. Reprod. Fertil. Suppl. 57:233-6, 2001
14. Pessina MA, Hoyt RF Jr, Goldstein I, Traish AM. Differential effects of estradiol, progesterone, and
testosterone on vaginal structural integrity. Endocrinology. 2006 Jan;147(1):61-9.
15. Kim NN, Min K, Pessina MA, Munarriz R, Goldstein I, Traish AM. Effects of ovariectomy and steroid
hormones on vaginal smooth muscle contractility. Int J Impot Res. 2004 Feb;16(1):43-50.
16. Aaron A, Eggleton K, Power C, Holt PE. Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence in male dogs: a
retrospective analysis of 54 cases. Vet Rec. 139:542-6, 1996
17. Panciera DL. Hypothyroidism in dogs: 66 cases (1987-1992). J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 204:761-7 1994
18. Howe LM, Slater MR, Boothe HW, Hobson HP, Holcom JL, Spann AC. Long-term outcome of gonadectomy
performed at an early age or traditional age in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Jan 15;218(2):217-21.
Article about polyneuropathy ( before the genetic test were available- We got our results in summer 2010)
Genetic Testing for Inherited Polyneuropathy in Leonbergers Now Available
We are proud to tell that ALL our Leonbergs ( Angeleo kennel, Von Linderhof Kennel, Leonida Leos Kennel), as well as Amanda Jaffa Leonida Leos (Leeloo),Ekinox Du Manoir de Vaduz (father of our C litter), Utha Fleurdelysée (mother of Chan), Quintilius Varus Lowe v. Osning (father Chan ), Zorba Zacisze nad Olza (mother of Leeloo) , ALL are "Clear" of the 2 polyneuropathy genes: non affected nor carrier.
WE, and all these kennels have participated to the research for polyneuropathy, by sending blood of their dogs to the Universities of Minesota and Bern. Test results about polyneuropathy can be seen there
All serious breeder must now have their studs and Dams tested for polyneuropathy desease.
Web site where this article was published:
Bottom Line Blurs Veterinary Practices
(NaturalNews) Imagine if every time you went to the doctor you were given vaccinations that you don’t need; vaccinations that offer no benefit but all of the risks of harmful side effects. Or you were given medications with no explanation or information provided. Or tests were being done for no reason. Now imagine that you can’t speak and you have no way to tell those who care for you that those vaccinations make you feel sick; you don’t want those tests; and the medicine is causing more harm than good.
That’s exactly what many of our cat and dog friends experience. We bring our best friend to the veterinarian with unquestioned trust and faith that our vet has our animal’s best interest at heart but according to Veterinarian Dr. James Busby, author of “How To Afford Veterinary Care Without Mortgaging the Kids”, his profession is suffering from a serious lapse in judgment and ethics that is rooted in making money.
Dr. Busby, who has been a practicing vet since 1966, loves his work and comes from a family of Veterinarians; but admits if he had to practice the way vets practice today he would not enter the profession. Dr. Busby feels “the profession has slowly turned from what was once an honest, caring one to a situation where many clinics and doctors are interested more in the bottom line, than what is necessary and best for your pet.”
If you thought the veterinary world had escaped the ‘bottom line’ mentality of the Medical Community you are wrong. The world of veterinary medicine has become equally entangled with Drug and Insurance Companies. The result is not only rising costs for the animal guardian but also unnecessary treatments, over-the-top testing, and over vaccination for the animals.
Dr. Busby says, “Veterinarians today seem to assume they have the OK to run every test and perform any and every procedure on your animal they can, unless you tell them differently. Then they usually get irate and try to shame you for being a non-loving pet owner.”
Veterinarians are great at using guilt and pressure to strip animal guardians of their power. They can be brusque, condescending and intimidating and in the end, the animal guardian, wanting to do whatever they can to support their animal friend, goes along with whatever the vet says. The only way to change this is for animal guardians to become as well informed about their animal’s care, as they are about their own. Until recently, Vets have held an unquestionable ‘high moral’ mark where guardians assumed that whatever a vet wants to do must be in the best interest of the animal, but that unquestionable morality is gone now.
Let’s start with vaccinations. The standard operating procedure is for animals to receive a multitude of vaccinations on a regular schedule. Most animal guardians don’t question the vaccination schedule. If the vet says it’s needed, then it must be. For those who do question it, they are met with hostility or condescension or frightened with the horrors of what will happen if an animal isn’t vaccinated regularly. And in several cases, have been asked to find another vet altogether.
But here’s the truth about all animal vaccines: The drug manufactures label determines the frequency of revaccination. There is nothing scientific about the current animal vaccination schedule. Neither the FDA nor the USDA requires drug companies to prove the maximum immunity conferred; they only require that immunity be conferred for the duration of their testing. Which means if the drug company tests for one year, the label states vaccinate yearly.
This manufacturers' recommendation ultimately influenced rabies laws in each and every state across the country. Those laws are not based in scientific study, but rather on the research done by drug companies necessary to get approval for their drugs.
It has been proven as well that vaccine boosters do not increase immunity. Once the body has immunity, that same immunity will knock out the virus in the vaccine, leaving your animal to experience none of the benefits from the vaccine but all of the risks from the adjuvants; and, leaving the guardian to pay for something that does nothing.
Kris Christine, Founder of The Rabies Challenge Fund Trust and vaccine reform activist, stated during a recent interview on Conscious Animal Radio that this practice fit the definition of fraud. Christine joined this fight when her own dog Meadow developed an injection site sarcoma with the needle mark visible in the center of the tumor. After her vet informed her that Meadow most likely had immunity to rabies for life, and carelessly let it slip that it was the distemper shot Christine should really watch out for as that one had many side effects and was ultimately unnecessary for older dogs, Christine jumped into action.
Since, she has had the rabies vaccination requirement revised in her home state of Maine extending it to every three years; challenged the state to introduce a veterinary disclosure law, which was defeated and has started the Rabies Challenge Fund Trust along with Dr. W. Jean Dodds, a highly noted Veterinarian for her work and opinion on vaccine reform. The Rabies Challenge Fund seeks to prove through a challenge study that the rabies vaccine confers immunity for seven years.
Dr. Ronald Schultz, who is also involved in the Rabies Challenge Fund, has already demonstrated through serology (blood testing) that the Rabies vaccine lasts at least 7 years. He’s also demonstrated that the distemper vaccine lasts at least 15 years; parvovirus at least 7 years and the adenovirus at least 9 years.
By now you are beginning to see that there are two roots to this issue: The drug manufacturers who are not required to test for maximum immunity conferred and the veterinarians that go along with the recommendation of the drug companies without question.
Another advocate for the animals is Dr. Bob Rogers. He has been challenging his profession for more than 15 years about the vaccination schedule and has numerous complaints raised against him by fellow veterinarians who claim his information is impacting their practice. Dr. Roger's website (http://critteradvocacy.org) offers insight, support and guidance for animal guardians trying to figure out what is in the best interest of their animals.
Vaccinations are not the only area where Veterinary care has become more about the bottom line than about the health and wellness of the animal. Flea and tick prevention as well as heartworm prevention have added another layer of continual revenue stream for vets and the drug companies.
Just recently, a direct mail company was promoting their services by citing the example of a veterinarian they had conducted a mail campaign for flea and tick preventative medication. The campaign occurred in December and the veterinarian was ecstatic that he had brought in $300,000 dollars in flea and tick medication sales in one month during the middle of winter.
Topical flea and tick medications are neurotoxins designed to sever the nervous system of the fleas and ticks, hence killing them. If you read the package instructions you’ll find information to this effect: wash hands immediately should you come in contact with this product. How does that make sense? We put this product on our animal’s skin, but we are warned to wash immediately? The skin absorbs anything that is put on it. That toxin is drawn right into the bloodstream.
In 2000, the FDA approved Pfizer’s NADA (new animal drug application) 141-152 for the drug Revolution™ (selamectin) which address fleas, ticks, heartworm, hookworms and ear mites all in one. This drug was tested for a duration of anywhere from 3 days to 10 months before receiving approval. Drug companies test to determine the effectiveness of Revolution™, not to identify any long-term side effects of continuous use year after year. If side effects occur during testing, they are only a concern if the effect is wide spread; otherwise the drug is approved. In the case of the testing of Revolution™, a number of animals in the clinical and field studies experienced vomiting, injection site hair matting and in a few cases developed anorexia.
In 2002, the FDA approved Bayer Corporation's Advantage Duo® (imidacloprid/ivermectin) for the use on dogs in the prevention of fleas and heartworm(see NADA 141-208). This drug was tested, at most, for 5 months and most tests consisted of once monthly application. Again the concern was demonstrating that the drug works, not identifying any possible long-term side effects from repetitive use over the many years of a dog’s life.
According to Dr. Busby, year round treatment for heartworms is unnecessary in areas where the temperature does not remain consistently above 70 degrees. Heartworm requires mosquitoes; without them, your animal is at no risk of contracting heartworm. And more importantly, a little known fact is this: “ Heartgard™, or its active ingredient ivermectin, if given once a month to a known infected dog for 18 months will cure an animal of the infection.”
Even more important to using pharmaceuticals to cure heartworm is using natural remedies to prevent fleas, ticks and other parasites from hosting on our animals. A healthy animal is less likely to be the host for parasites. A healthy animal requires a nutrient rich diet (no processed kibble) and natural support such as apple cider vinegar. Diane Stein, author of The Natural Remedy Book for Cats and Dogs, states that by simply adding apple cider vinegar to your animals diet daily, you will greatly boost the immune system and your animal will be less likely to have fleas or intestinal worms.
One other area of concern is that of testing. It seems whenever we bring our animals to the vet, some sort of test needs to be done. According to Dr. Busby, many of these tests are unnecessary and not only cause your animal stress and anxiety but also cost you money you don’t need to be spending.
In the case of testing for heartworm before administering heartworm medication, Dr. Busby says, “ Veterinarians imply that it’s dangerous to give the preventative to an infected dog. I am not aware of a product currently being used as a monthly preventive that can’t be given to a dog infected with heartworm.” He feels vets want to make a big deal out of discovering ‘heartworm’ so they can ‘cure’ it and charge you more.
Dr. Busby also feels Pre-surgical screening prior to elective surgery is unwarranted. This screen entails a complete blood count and organ evaluation test prior to surgery. It could also involve x-rays and heart evaluation. His theory is that Veterinary medicine is indeed moving in the same direction of Human medicine with vets feeling the need to ‘cover’ themselves should anything go wrong.
In short, Dr. Busby asserts that the majority of problems in surgery come from improperly administering anesthesia. If the vet is competent, the chances of complications are nominal and don’t warrant such over the top testing.
Dr. Busby’s advice: ”find an older vet with a lot of experience and forego the testing on routine surgeries…That way you will not be paying extra to prevent a problem that would much more likely be a result of doctor’s ineptitude rather than due to a weakness with the animal’s system.”
He goes on to warn “that office staffs are often coached to approach you in relays trying to talk you into the pre-surgical screening. It’s a moneymaker and they will try to imply you are risking your pet’s life if it isn’t done.”
Although veterinarians have enjoyed a long ‘honeymoon’ period, the honeymoon is officially over. Veterinarians have demonstrated over and over that they no longer deserve our trust and faith. For those vets that do have the best interest of your animals at heart, their response to your questioning and to your decisions for what is best for your animal should be one of understanding and support. For those that do not have the best interest of your animals at heart, a hostile response can be expected but should not be tolerated.
As guardians to the animals in our lives, it is becoming more and more essential that we educate ourselves about the healing power of animals and that we understand that conventional western medicine strips our animals of their natural healing power. Seek natural solutions, feed a healthy diet and remember that all beings need a way to transition from their physical form. When our animal friend gets sick our initial reaction, which most veterinarians fuel, is to do whatever is possible to make our animals better. The greatest gift we can give our animal friends is respect of their process, which more often than not means letting them transition how they choose.
When your animal came into your life, you made an agreement with them, whether you were conscious of it or not. That agreement: to be their voice and their advocate. You can no longer simply accept the word of your vet. You must do your research and educate yourself on what your animal truly needs to live a healthy, happy life.
Dr. James Busby, (www.Oldcountryvet.com)
Dr. Bob Rogers, (http://critteradvocacy.org)
Kris Christine, (http://Rabieschallengefund.org)
FDA Center For Veterinary Management, (http://fda.gov/cvm)
About the author
Christine Agro is a Clairvoyant Natural Healer with a unique approach to animal health, wellness and Spiritual understanding. Trained to work with people at the School of Natural Medicine in Boulder Co, Christine's clients began bringing her their animals when conventional methods were not helping. Christine soon realized that conventional veterinary medicine dis-empowers animals and disconnects their natural healing ability. After working with thousands of animals Christine has become an advocate for the healing rights of animals; supporting their natural healing abilities, speaking on their behalf, conveying their needs, wishes and desires.
Christine has written for Animal Wellness Magazine, Nature's Corner Magazine, has been seen on Animal Planet and is the host of Conscious Animal Radio (www.consciousanimalradio.com), a live internet call-in show. She is also the founder of Healingdog.com. Christine lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, son and their senior adopted cat Christopher.
Listen to Conscious Animal Radio live every Monday at 12 Noon EST. Access the "listen live" link at http://www.consciousanimalradio.com Shows are archived and available as a podcast.
Listen to the November 26, 2007 Conscious Animal Radio show interview with Dr. James Busby, DVM and author of "How To Afford Veterinary Care Without Mortgaging The Kids."
Listen to the September 17th Conscious Animal Radio interview with Kris Christine from the Rabies Challenge Fund Trust - http://cdagro.audioacrobat.com/download/consciousanimalradio_Kris_Christine.mp3
|Dr. Jean Dodds' Recommended Vaccination Schedule|
|Vaccine||Initial||1st Annual Booster||Re-Administration Interval||Comments|
(e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
16 - 20 weeks
|At 1 year MLV
Distemper/ Parvovirus only
Duration of immunity 7.5 / 15 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending.
|Can have numerous side effects if given too young (< 8 weeks).|
(e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy)
16 - 20 weeks
|At 1 year MLV Distemper/ Parvovirus only||None needed.
Duration of immunity 7.5 years by studies. Probably lifetime. Longer studies pending.
|At 6 weeks of age, only 30% of puppies are protected but 100% are exposed to the virus at the vet clinic.|
|24 weeks or older||At 1 year (give 3-4 weeks apart from Dist/Parvo booster) Killed 3 year rabies vaccine||3 yr. vaccine given as required by law in California (follow your state/provincial requirements)||rabid animals may infect dogs.|
|Vaccines Not Recommended For Dogs|
|Distemper & Parvo @ 6 weeks or younger||Not
At this age, maternal antibodies form the mothers milk (colostrum) will neutralize the vaccine and only 30% for puppies will be protected. 100% will be exposed to the virus at the vet clinic.
1.) Disease only affects dogs <6 weeks of age.
2.) Rare disease: TAMU has seen only one case in seven years.
3.) Mild self-limiting disease.
4.) Efficacy of the vaccine is questionable.
1) There are an average of 12 cases reported annually in California.
2) Side effects common.
3) Most commonly used vaccine contains the wrong serovars. (There is no cross-protection of serovars) There is a new vaccine with 2 new serovars. Two vaccinations twice per year would be required for protection.).
4) Risk outweighs benefits.
1) Low risk in California.
2) 85% of cases are in 9 New England states and Wisconsin.
3) Possible side effect of polyarthritis from whole cell bacterin.
3 days prior to boarding when required.
Protects against 2 of the possible 8 causes of kennel cough.
Duration of immunity 6 months.
Efficacy of vaccine unsubstantiated by independent studies