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Hello there!! I have recently had a few burning questions about my dog and wanted to make sure that I asked the right group!

I have a beautiful 5 year old black and rust female who is absolutely the light of my life. I always get remarks from people we encounter, so surprised at how obedient and mild-mannered she is (I always get the "Does she bite?" question when we're out and about... :rolleyesww: Yeah, obviously, I would definitely take an aggressive dog out and tell people it's okay to pet her... sillies). She turned 5 in November, and now I'm starting to realize that she's hit middle age... with which comes health concerns.

My first dobie was a rescue from a con artist and a thief. She was eight years old and just skin and bones, which I thought was because he didn't feed her very well, but when I took her to the vet, they told me she had lymphoma. She was too far along to begin any real treatment, but we started her on pain meds. She had about six months of a very comfortable life with my family and I, and when I saw that her quality of life was diminishing, we did the hardest thing I could've done and put her to sleep. Having her gone was too much for me to deal with-- once you've had a dobie, you can't NOT have one, it seems! So, I set out looking for another dobie that would fit my situation.

In came my sweetheart, Kita. She was two years old, and owned by a family about an hour from where I lived. They'd bred her irresponsibly (once in her first heat and again in her second-- they let their little girl "play" with the puppies and kill three of them) and just let her run around the back yard all the time. I bought her for a couple hundred dollars, just glad to get her out of there, and she's rewarded me a million fold. She's a fantastic dog, and has even become my medical alert dog (I have seizures, she tells me before they happen so I can take my meds). I feel that after she's done so much for me, I want to make sure I can provide for her-- health-wise especially.

So here's my question-- Her mother was from Kimbertal (questionable at best, I know...) and her father was from the Altobello kennels... Does anyone else have a dog from these lines? Have you had any genetic problems with yours that I should be prepared for? I know she'll probably have arthritic hips (thanks, crappy backyard-breeder first owners), but I did get her fixed as soon as I got her in hopes that it will help her health wise. What can I do to make sure she stays as healthy as possible for as long as possible? Thanks for your help and your tips! :)
 

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Keep doing what your doing :) take her to the vets yearly, maybe have a blood panel done to check her blood, organs, and endocrine system. Know your dog inside and out, so you can spot tiny differences that can save her life.

She sounds like she is in heaven with you :)
 

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I don't think she is at a greater risk of any specific illness due to her "lines" than most other lines. All Dobermans are at risk for several diseases and you would be proactive to do what health testing you can.

I would personally do a full blood panel AND a full thyroid panel. I would also look into doing at least a cardiac ultrasound with a short EKG strip. Some clubs have clinics with a reduced price of around $200 (give or take a bit) for the ultrasounds.

These are all tests that should be repeated on a regular basis as they are only a snapshot in time and not a guarantee that your dog won't get one of the many diseases that these tests can find well before your dog would show any physical signs of having them.

JMHO
 

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I agree with everything stated above. With Porsche being 9 any new lump that appears were off to the Vet for a blood test and cell test of the lump.

Like stated above, if you notice anything new take her into the vet.

She still has a long life ahead of her :D
 

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I would make sure she gets plenty of exercise and challenge her mind with games and obedience work. Teach her to crawl, roll over, down, shake, watch, back, release, wait, heel, touch, etc. Play ball or frisbee with her. I have a ball lunger that my dogs LOVE. They go bonkers when they see it. Even in cold weather sans snow we play. (I lost the ball in the snow once so we wait that one out.) Take her on walks. Take her with you to Lowes, Home Depot, other hardware stores, etc. Walk her down the sidewalk of a strip mall. Just take her with you.

And cuddle with her and love her to pieces. She'll return it two fold.

AND, post pictures!
 

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Were she my dog, I would have a yearly well-dog check including heart and senior blood panel. I would NOT vaccinate her, except to keep legal with regard to rabies. I would NOT use flea/tick meds without necessity, and I would be conscious of exposure to other chemicals, as well (lawn chemicals, particularly, and household pesticides, cleaning products, etc.). I would feed her well (I, personally, would feed her raw... but, maybe that's just me LOL!), and I would keep her lean. I would keep her exercised. I would PAY ATTENTION to any changes which could have significance. I might start her on a good joint support product, on the theory that it may be possible to delay degenerative joint conditions (although I don't think your dog is at higher risk, necessarily).
 

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Thank you so much for all the tips, you guys! We are taking her in next week to get a blood panel done and a thyroid panel-- I hadn't thought to do those yet! She's currently eating very high-quality food (no soy, no corn, no chemicals I can't pronounce) and has tons of water available to her all the time. We've never had her overweight before-- she's active enough (because she's become my service dog, she goes with me everywhere, including work) that it's hard keeping weight on her at times, so I don't think obesity will ever be her problem, lucky her haha :) She is a very smart girl, and I'm always amazed at how much she's able to learn-- she turns the lights on and off for me on command, high-fives, "dances"... she's smart enough that it's become a challenge to me to keep figuring out new things for her to learn!!

mmctaq-- it's funny you should mention the chemical exposure. About six months ago, a neighbor (we moved after this incident) tried to poison her with fertilizer-tainted meatballs while she was pottying out back (the only time she is ever out there without me). She ate enough to make her very, very sick and I thought she was going to die. We brought her back and she's made a full recovery, but do you think that experience will have any permanent effect on her body? I'm paranoid about what she's exposed to now because of that experience, but if there is anything extra I should be doing to keep her kidneys and liver healthy, supplements or anything, I'd love to get some input.

Also-- what do you guys use as supplements? I've looked into them for Kita, but I've heard a lot of conflicting information about their relevance to health and whether or not they really make a difference. What's your opinion?

I attached a couple pictures of my babe-- she's the best, IMHO. :)
 

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My vitamins I give my female who is 6 years old
joint vitamin I can't remember the name
B Complex 1 daily
Fish oil 1 daily
Wheat grass 2 daily
cornsilk for her bladder 1 daily

Everything said above was great also that's why I love this place:)
 

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As far as supplements go, my three year old only gets fish oil and vitamin D. She eats a good kibble, and she usually gets something "extra" with it every day. Usually cottage cheese or sardines or tripe. My feeling is that if you are feeding a high quality food you really don't need a lot of extra supplements.

Simon, my nine year old, is on Dasuquin with MSM in addition to the same stuff Shanoa gets. Seems to make a big difference with his stiff hips.

She sounds like a great girl who's landed in a wonderful home.
 

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Also-- what do you guys use as supplements? I've looked into them for Kita, but I've heard a lot of conflicting information about their relevance to health and whether or not they really make a difference. What's your opinion?
Since you're worried about her joints and she's 5 years old, I'll tell you what supplements I use for my boy (who has REALLY bad hips)....Dasuquin (Glucosimine, Condroiton and MSM), Vit E (a great antioxident that keeps the joint fluid from getting stiff), and Fish Oil. After the xrays the Vet said they were pretty darn bad, but we're still going strong after 3 1/2 years (knocking on wood :)).

p
 

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We are taking her in next week to get a blood panel done and a thyroid panel-- I hadn't thought to do those yet!

mmctaq-- it's funny you should mention the chemical exposure. About six months ago, a neighbor (we moved after this incident) tried to poison her with fertilizer-tainted meatballs while she was pottying out back (the only time she is ever out there without me). She ate enough to make her very, very sick and I thought she was going to die. We brought her back and she's made a full recovery, but do you think that experience will have any permanent effect on her body? I'm paranoid about what she's exposed to now because of that experience, but if there is anything extra I should be doing to keep her kidneys and liver healthy, supplements or anything, I'd love to get some input.

Also-- what do you guys use as supplements? I've looked into them for Kita, but I've heard a lot of conflicting information about their relevance to health and whether or not they really make a difference. What's your opinion?
Jeeze! Crazy/evil people scare the crap out of me! Without knowing precisely what was in the fertilizer, it is difficult to guess about long-term effects. My first guess (and, it is ONLY a guess!) is that if her bloodwork comes back fine, there is no damage. If you have concerns in this regard, I would really suggest you bring them up with your vet.

I give a joint supplement, B Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, fish oil, cranberry (mine is prone to vaginitis) and a bit of kelp (I feed raw, which may be iodine-deficient). The use of the joint supplement, cranberry and kelp has observable benefit for my dog... the other stuff is 'cause I think I should... worst case scenario, it is a waste of money, but it will not cause harm.
 

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I am guessing that this is either a typo or a brain fart, and that you meant Vitamin E... yes?
Ha! Yes, vitamin E.
 
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I do fish oil, vitamin C, vitamin E, and solid gold seameal. I also do glucosamine for older dogs. I only give vitamin E every other day.
 
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