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Leerburg Dog Training Q&A Archive Health of Your Dog Q&A

Health of Your Dog Q&A

Health of Your Dog Q&A

Visiting the Vet
It is not my intent to answer technical questions that should be directed to a vet. This section will only address things I believe a pet owner should be able to deal with at home.

I try and answer every question I receive on dog training. I may often come across a little on the blunt side, (some may call it brash). That is because I consider myself an advocate for dogs and not dog handlers. I am an advocate for common sense dog training and not the latest fad that appears on the horizon. Good dog training is not rocket science. It's common sense.

Have a question you can't find the answer to?
Check out our Leerburg Questions and Answers
with nearly 3000 previously answered questions.

  1. What do you do if your dog is spayed and she is licking her stitches?

  2. Do you know how to clean your dog’s ears?

  3. My dog is limping badly in the front leg and a vet said it’s growing pains. Have you heard of this and can you tell me what to do?

  4. Can you tell me more about how to deal with “Pano.”

  5. After taking my dog to the groomer she seems to always be shaking her head like she has water in her ears. What should I do?

  6. My last dog died of bloat, is there anything I can do to eliminate this from happening to my next dog?

  7. My dog has bad skin problems on his feet and legs. Do you have
    any idea what to do?

  8. What age should I have my GSD neutered?

  9. My 7 month old GSD doesn’t like to eat. What should I do?

  10. I think I have allergies to dogs. What should I do?

  11. Can dogs get depressed over the loss of another dog?

  12. I have to put my 6-month old dog asleep today because of bad hips. How can I avoid this again?

  13. We found a puppy in the middle of the road a few weeks ago and he is blind and deaf. We are having problems housebreaking him. What should we do?

  14. My police service dog has prostrate problems. My vet recommended neutering. What is your opinion and will this effect his working ability?

  15. My dogs stay in outside runs with doghouses. When is it unsafe to leave them in the cold?

  16. I have a 9 month old Bull mastiff that is afraid to get into my utility vehicle. What should I do?

  17. My dog is eating a natural raw diet, she does not have fleas, and she scratches her ears and has itchy patches. Sometimes even scratching her muzzle. What can I do?

  18. My dog has chronic ear infections. We clean with Otoclear and Otomax, the dog still has problems. Can you recommend anything?

  19. My dog has worn the hair off the tip of his tail. The skin is bleeding because tail has been caught in the two way doors of my kennel. I cannot get it to heal. Can you help?

  20. My 3 year old dog has developed allergy type problems with his ears and skin. My vet recommended a fish and potato diet. This is not working. What else can I do?

  21. I have always heard that feeding your dog chicken bones is not safe. Now everyone is talking about the natural diet and feeding chicken necks and back. Is it safe?

  22. We have a six month old dog. When we are feeding her normal portion of dog food, she starts to cry with her head down, and running around in distress. What do you think of this?

  23. My 4 month old GSD has dry flaky skin. My vet recommended a special shampoo. What do you think?

  24. Our 1-year-old dog has food related allergies. Our vet recommended a new Science Diet food-z allergy formula. What do you think?

  25. What is your feeling of Rimadyl?

  26. Where can I find other resources for information on all-natural diets?

  27. My 5 month old GSD is constantly itching. What can I do?

  28. My dog was shaved in May and the hair has not grown back. Can you help me?

  29. I have been offered a dog with MEGAESOPHAGUS. I am not familiar with this problem. Should I take the dog. It is an 11 week old GSD.

  30. Can you tell me a little about Adequan? I heard it is an injectable polygycosaminoglycans that can help dogs with joint pain.

  31. I jog with my 6 month old puppy every day. When I try taking my 2 1/2 month old pup jogging she acts afraid. What can I do?

  32. Why do dogs slide their butts across the floor?

  33. We were told to have our dogs stomach stapled to stop a potential torsion from strenuous training. What do you think?

  34. I think I got screwed by a breeder. She told me the parents of my dog had good hips and I now I have a pup with a bad hip. Should I expect my money back?

  35. My pup drinks way, way too much water. She will empty her water bowl and lick it dry 3 times a day. What can I do?

  36. Our 3 year old GSD's ear are not standing. Is there something we can do to fix this?

  37. Comment about Lyme Vaccine

  38. My wife feels that feeding tuna fish or canned salmon is bad for my dog. Is she right?

  39. I have an eight month old GSD that has already begun to experience hip problems. What would be the best course of action to do what is right for the dog?

  40. My dog suffers from Demodectic Mange. Is there a homeopathic remedy I can use?

  41. I have 2 white Shepherds With Perianal fistulas. Do you think that changing to the all natural diet will help my dogs?

  42. I found a tick that had fallen off my dog right after he showed some lameness. I was wondering if it could be Lymes? What do you think?

  43. My 5 year old GSD just had surgery for gastric torsion. Have you experienced this? How do I keep this from happening again?

  44. My son has a mini Schnauzer that spins almost obsessively. Could this be a food problem?

  45. I have a 3 year old GSD with skin allergies and colitis. Would a diet change help?

  46. What information do you typically give a new puppy owner with regard to feeding and shots?

  47. My 14 month old GSD favors a back leg after playing. The vet put her on Rimadyl. Is there another supplement that I can put her on that will help?

  48. What do you use for tick repellant at your kennel?

  49. What is an appropriate age to spay a female?

  50. I lost my 10 year old dog to Lymphoma. Do you have any advice for minimizing the risk of this disease with my new puppy?

  51. My 2 year old GSD has shifting lameness. Do you have any experience with this or any suggestions for me?

  52. My 15 month GSD is small and my vet says he has a growth hormone problem. He also has a severe flea allergy. What can I do to help him?

  53. I have never had my 5 year old GSD's hips X rayed because I have been told there are risks to anesthesia. Should I bite the bullet and get it done anyway?

  54. Why don't you x-ray females that are in season?

  55. I am wondering if you could point me in a direction for finding a vet that doesn't make you give shots? Also, would Heartworm be considered one of those types of medications that dogs don't really need?

  56. My dog has Pano and I'm wondering if you can give any advice or insight to the situation before I bring him to the vet.

  57. One of my pups owners called a second time within 2 weeks saying that the pup has a urinary track infection, other then her having a tilted vagina and I did not see either, any ideas in your experience of what the problem might be?

  58. My dog loves doing agility work, but suddenly he just doesn't want to do it. I noticed that he has been drooling a lot too. Any suggestions on what could be wrong?

  59. How do you get around rabies vaccinations at the vet when you live in a state that requires them? And are over the counter things at places like Pet Smart okay for parasites and worms?

  60. Our dog is constantly licking/kissing everything, is there something wrong with him?

  61. Why do you do hip x-rays when you do them?

  62. I put a deposit down for a puppy, when born there were only three pups, one which was a still born. Is this a cause for concern? Also, they recently found out the mother has an eye condition called, Pannus. Should I be worried about that?

  63. Our dog was recently diagnosed with pancreatic enzyme deficiency. I am wondering if you have any suggestions to keep her healthy?

  64. My dog has Babesia and I want to switch him over to a raw diet, but I wasn't happy with what my veteranarian had to say about it. What are your suggestions?

  65. I just wasted a lot of money on bad xrays. I wish I would have seen your eBook sooner.

  66. My pup has pano and I am wondering if there is anything that I can feed or give him that would help this go away?

  67. What products do you recommend for heart worm prevention, flea and tick protection?

  68. I just in two 6 week old GSD pups who are very small and weak. I KNOW puppies can fade FAST, so just wanted to see if there is anything else I could be doing to try and get these puppies through this?

  69. This April, at the age of 2 1/2, our dog was diagnosed with auto immune encephalitis of the vestibular region of her brain. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions on how to help her regain her confidence.

  70. I have a malinois that has had an allergic reaction twice in the past year. The vet bill ends up being expensive and I am wondering if you know of anything over the counter that could help.

  71. Our dog is allergic to many different foods and we want to give the best and healthiest raw diet, what are your suggestions?

  72. I would like information on sites or from your resources re: Heart worm and flee & tick prevention.

  73. We have a 3 week old puppy we got her some drops from the vet for fleas, but her gums are kind of white. Anything at home you can give her for anemia?

  74. I feed raw and our puppy is very underweight. Everytime I increase her amount of food she gets sick, any thoughts or suggestions on what it could be?

  75. Our pup has been great until recently when he was neutered. Now he urinates in his crate everynight. What could be wrong?

  76. Which combinantion of the supplements in your site is best for an older dog to improve his overall moving capability and at the same time to improve his hips and joints?

  77. My pup started going to the bathroom every hour. Usually he goes every 5-6 hours and he can't make it out side. What's wrong? Should I take him to the vet?

  78. I want the puppy to develop masculine characteristics, what do you suggest I do?

  79. Our GSD has always had periodic bouts of diarrhea. When this happens, we give her boiled chicken with some rice a couple of times and she's alright again. Would you recommend that we take a stool sample to the vet to be tested?

  80. A few years ago our dog started having seizures, recently he has woken up a few times and attacked our other dog. Do you have any suggestions about what we can do? We were thinking about using a muzzle.

  81. Occasionally when my Chihuahua uses her pee pads her bottom becomes saturated with pee and it drips off of her making everything smell. Have you every heard of this problem before?

  82. I recently took my dog to the vet and he is sliding his butt across the floor. What do you think could be the reason for this?

  83. My female, spayed GSD rescue has come down with high folates.  This appears to be a symptom of EPI. Are you familiar with it?  Is there a recommended safe treatment that you know of?

  84. My dog sheds so much every day we pretty much have to vacuum out the kennel daily. Is this normal?

  85. For some reason my dog loves my truck. Could there be something wrong and this is why she goes in it so often?

  86. Once a week or so I have to raise his tail and relieve his anal glands. The fluid comes out with quite a bit of force. Should I be worried? Is there anything else I can do?

  87. My dog is having seizures and my vet isn't helping very much. What do you recommend I do?

  88. Our dog, Libby is hyperactive at times. When she gets excited she starts to huff or hyperventilate along with ramming into things in a drunken state. The vet say she is fainting & going into seizure episodes. Is there anything we can do?

  89. My 7 1/2 month old Dutch Shepherd only has one testicle that dropped. I have been told to neuter him now because of health complications. At this point I'm unsure of what to do. Any suggestions?

  90. My GSD has knee problems and I have been told by a vet that he needs surgery on both knees. I also have a friend who is a holistiv vet and he feels that he could possibly rid the need for surgery. What are your thoughts on this?

  91. I recently took my 4 year old Australian Shepherd female in to get her hips x-rayed. There was a little arthritis and she was spastic. I’m planning on following your advice and routine and I will take her back in 6-8 months to see if anything is better. How much Glucosamine should she get a day and how much swimming. Is there anything else you can offer?

  92. One of my dogs somehow got mange and now think that my other 3 dogs may have it as well. Is this possible?

  93. What do you recommend for flea and tick control?

  94. How much walking is safe for my pup now that she is 4 months and when she's an adult?

  95. In your learned opinion, will neutering have any impact at 3½ yrs old ?

  96. I have two questions, one regarding taping ears and the other about a limp my pup has.

  97. Our pup is so sick, we've been to the vet 3 times in the past 2 days. Do you have any ideas of what could be wrong?

  98. My dog recently had bladder stones and surgery for it. She seemed to be doing fine, but now she is having problems again. What do you suggest?

  99. What do you suggest to strengthen a dog's mind to overcome his fear of thunder?

  100. Which brand of natural kibbles from your site's list would you suggest for a dog with allergies?

  101. Have you ever heard of reversing the damage from HD?OR have you ever had a dog of this age fail and then retest later to pass?

  102. My dog has arthritis, is there anything I can give her to make her feel better?

  103. My GSD pup had intussusception and had about 12” of intestine removed. Since that procedure, her stomach/digestive tract gets out of whack often. She seems to handle small amounts of protein fine, but relapses when I try to increase the protein amount. Is this a result of the operation or does it take a long time for a pup to recover from this type of operation?

  104. My dog eats feces, we try hard to always clean it up, but some times he beats us to it. What do you suggest?

  105. Why does a dogs urine make yellow spots on the lawn? Is there vitamin or supplement that we can give the to help stop or minimize this?

  106. My dog is experiencing what seems to be allergies with eye discharge and hair loss. What do you suggest I do with his diet with the Honest Kitchen food?

  107. I am very interested to know if any of the GSDs at the Leerburg Kennels have been diagnosed with Perianal Fistulae (a non-healing abscess adjacent to the anus). And if so where any changes to the normal diet made because of this condition?

  108. My dog has septicemia, and he has stopped eating completely. I am wondering if you had any other suggestions as to what I can add to the food I am currently processing for him to get him as much nutrition as possible.

  109. I was referred to your site by a friend who thinks my 11 month old Mastiff's diet might be contributory to a 6 week limp on his front right paw. I've gotten a few opinions. Do you think the advice is sound for the problem?

  110. If you have had any TPLO experience, I would be very grateful for any advice you may have to offer re Nutrition/Supplementation, the best kind of in-house confinement device (kennel?), post-surgery exercises, or anything else that's relevant to this issue.

  111. My dog recently broke her leg and has to be crated a little more than normal. She seems to be getting bored. How can I help her?

  112. Last night my pup was relaxing/sleeping in his crate and all of a sudden he started to wine a little and then it turned in to some screaming. His front left leg was bothering him. Is this normal puppy growing pains?

  113. We've been feeding our dogs chicken backs since the switch. What should the bone to meat ratio be? I want to make sure I'm giving enough bone, but not over do it. Am I anywhere close to getting this right? Is there anything I can give for pain?

  114. We have an 18 week female GSD.  I am concerned about her hips as she appears to be a bit weak in the hind quarters.sav  I am wondering if, since she is still a puppy, it is too soon to worry about her hips and at what age you would recommend x-rays.

  115. My dog has seasonal allergies. He has a dry spot and keeps licking it. Is there an ointment to use? I noticed you have a book on allergies. Is that a real helpful book?

  116. After exercising or just playing my dog shows up lame. This afternoon after a game of chase a few minutes later he begins to limp on one of his back legs. This has been going on for 3-4 weeks. This is not like him. Any suggestions?

  117. I currently own a doberman/lab mix. Recently he has been experiencing hair loss along his body. I have used ivermectin and topical washes but after a couple weeks there has been little improvement. Is there any solutuion that you have found to be effective?

  118. Vets concluded that my dog has IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) and/ or Leaky Gut Syndrone. Have you folks had any experience with this condidtion??

  119. My 8 month old Blud Brindle Pitt is in her 1st heat, is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable? She is very nervous and spooked. How long do the heats last?

  120. I have a question about dosage for the Probiotics Supplements.  I'm not sure how much to measure for my 95 lb 15 month old black labrador retriever.  The powder instructions give dosage for dogs but the granule instructions only give measurements for livestock.

  121. Is it true that spaying before the first heat can adversely affect growth and bone development?

  122. What can I do to stop flies from biting my dogs?

  123. I have a 2-yr-old GSD who loves to play with her Frisbee, several times a day, for 10-15 minutes each time. Would this kind of repetitive motion cause damage to her hips or back? Should we stop playing Frisbee?

  124. In the last year or so, our dog has begun to limp around after working particularly hard. Last month, we had her x-rayed by our vet, who said that she has mild dysplasia in her right hip & is developing arthritis in her spine. What should we do?

  125. I've started my dogs on a raw diet & I'm using the same ingredients that you're using. Are you giving anything for their joints? If so, what are you giving or what do you recommend?

  126. I have a 6 mo. old GSD. For training treats, I use beef liver. Although I am sure the liver is good for him, I also realize that too much of a good thing can become a bad thing at times. How much of this I can use on a weekly basis?

  127. I have two Australian Cattle dogs and would like some suggestions on dog toys that are sturdy. At what age do you suggest that a female be spayed (if at all) when she is going to be used as a personal protection dog?

  128. Our dog rubs his butt on the rug what is going on here?

  129. My vet was very adamant that I get the Leptospirosis vaccine.  My dog is also underweight so they think it may be E.P.I but want me to up her food intake first to see if that helps her gain weight.  What are your thoughts?

  130. 3 of my 6 dogs chew on their feet.  I did blood testing for food and environmental on one of them. What is your belief on the blood tests for allergies, or have you heard of a common denominator for why a dog would chew their feet?

  131. My dogs eat poop, it is so disgusting. What can we do to get them to stop?

  132. We have a 2.5 year malinois who does agility. We stupidly let him have tennis balls, which he chomped on and carried around night and day and by age 2 we realized he had obvious wear to his teeth.  Can you possibly reassure me the Wubba is safe/ throw it out now? Any other advice on preventing tooth wear would be appreciated.

  133. I have wondered for some time if a joint supplement could be added to my 8 month old gsd's (f) food, to maybe help with hip and joint development while she is young, so as to maybe repair any stress if incurred, or to insure proper development for adulthood before, or to help prevent, a problem that may develop?

  134. I was speaking to some people and they told me they clean their dogs anal glands and told me how they do it as a necessary maintaince on there dog. Is this something that should be done?What's your take on this? Is this something you guys do?

  135. I recently read information on the risk of bone cancer, thyroid issues and other issues that could be related to neutering your puppy too young. How do I know if I have an aggressive dog? I would love to wait for a couple of months yet I do want a nice calm boy... would it make a difference if I fixed him now at 10 months... however I am not sure what defines an aggressive personality?

  136. With yogurt, my dog went from 5 random bowel movements a day to 2 scheduled ones.

  137. Will hosing off a GSD make them sick?  Will allowing mud to dry and later brushing it out make them ill? Could an owner bring a GSD into the shower with them and wash dirt off without hurting the dog's health? 

  138. My dog eats EVERYTHING. Is he going to outgrow this tendency and is there some explanation why he does this?

  139. The other morning we noticed our dog limping.  He also seemed lethargic, wouldn’t eat much, and was taken to the vet. The vet can't seem to find anything wrong. What do you think?

  140. I have a female GSD who has developed a limp in her left rear leg. I am not a big believer in vets, so I have been reluctant to go that route. If you any recommendations I would be greatly appreciative.

  141. I have three pugs, one of which is having some problems right now. He is knuckling over, probably caused by too much protein.  I'm VERY frustrated because now he is eating poop again!  Which Honest Kitchen food would you recommend?

  142. I seem to have something in the back of my mind, not to x ray nor put a bitch near her season under anesthetic but cannot totally remember the reasons why, some-one called and asked for advice. What are the risks to have them x rayed with a sedative for the hips?

  143. My 8 month old GSD pup was diagnosed with giardia. Will most dogs eventually respond to the meds or build an immunity to the giardia?

  144. Out of our litter of 10, I noticed one female with what I believe to be an inguinal hernia. Do you agree on waiting to have her examed? Is it ok to wait until she is spayed to fix it? Do you believe this is a hereditary birth defect? Is there anything I can do to help now?

  145. I have some questions on the Alfalfa supplement you sell.

  146. Is there any reason to wait another month to neuter? Will I be limiting any development of the dog by having the procedure done at 5 months?

  147. I took my dog Nika to vet for skin problems. She said she has subcutaneous cyst. Is there anything different for shampooing or combing that can be done to prevent it? What do you wash your dogs with?

  148. Our female GSD was diagnosed with pannus about 7 months ago. We are worried about the steroids the vet recommends. What do you think? Do you have experience with this?

  149. I have a 4 year old beagle and she sometimes gets a little over excited and anxious when I bring her out to places. I was wondering if maybe one of the calming or anxiety pills or supplements that you have may help out a bit. Which one is best?

  150. My wife and I have a 10 month GSD.  Should we wait to have him neutered? I  want him to grow to his full maturity and potential and not loose any of his fight or aggression.

  151. Is it too early, at almost six years old, to start giving my dog Glucosamine and if so, do you have any recommendations as what to start him on as a preventative? Also is it necessary?

  152. Both of my GSDs are excellent dogs, well trained, well mannered, but I have noticed that whenever my wife and I get out of the bed, or we get ready to leave the house with them, they both shake their backs this due to excitement? Or are they telling me something?

  153. I will be getting an eight week old GSD in a couple weeks and was hoping to get your opinion on when to spay. There is no doubt that I will spay I just seem to keep getting conflicting answers on WHEN to spay.

  154. We brought our 8 month old male GSD to get neutered & got a call from the vet stating they could not complete the surgery as he went into premature ventricular contractions. Is it possible that this was due to the anesthesia and the acepromazine?

  155. My puppy has a chewing/eating problem. He chews on everything and anything, to the point that he has landed in the emrgency room twice. What should I do?

  156. Is there anything we can give to my dog to decrease the acidity in his urine?

  157. My ten-month old Westie eats rocks. Would using the "lap dogs" remote collar work to make her hate rocks be a good idea? Does the DVD give all the details about its proper use? Would she have to wear it inside the house? Would she end up hating the collar?

  158. I have a dog almost a year old now and have not given her any vaccinations other than what the breeder gave her. My vet says I should still give the dog heartworm meds by mouth and use the flea control oil. Is this harmful and should I be doing this?

  159. Our state mandates a rabies vaccine. I don't want to break any laws, so what happens if I don't decide to get this? What are the chances of the dog actually getting rabies if I don't vaccinate?

  160. I took my pup to the vet yesterday and I'm not sure the vet told me the right amount of medication to give, what are your thoughts?

  161. I Have been having some really bad weight issues regarding my GS. Any advice?

  162. I have decided to spay my dog. Should I leave the ovaries in or remove them? I realize she will still go into heat, but I am afraid of the effects of the loss of estrogen. What do you think?

  163. My parents are strict vegetarian so Molly is a vegetarian too. I have been told milk isn't good for her, is that right? Someone suggested a teaspoon of cod liver oil and vegetable oil (uncooked) with her last meal for the day, shall we start that?

  164. Would syn-flex or grand flex be best for my dogs progressed hip dysplasia?

  165. I have now had to treat two dogs that I have rescued who were diagnosed with EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or some know it as Pancreatitis). I have found an excellent web site.

  166. I’ve heard unfounded rumors that grapes and avocados are toxic for dogs. What do you think?

  167. My dog died unexpectedly, what in your opinion might have caused this? Are chow chow mix dogs prone to dying young or this type of an episode?

  168. My dog died from bloat.

  169. Comment on how to treat dogs that are overheating.

  170. My dog survived mesenteric torsion, I thought I would share my story in the hopes it could help others recognize the symptoms.

  171. My dog recently had bladder stones, what I can feed her?

  172. My dog is scratching like crazy since I switched his diet, could it be the beef I’m feeding him?

  173. My friend’s dog will eat all types of rubbish when he’s not supervised but he tried to eat my dog’s feces as she was relieving herself.  Have you ever heard of this?

  174. From what sources do you list vets on your website?

  175. I’ve been trying to clear up my rescue dog’s allergies. I feed a raw diet and give a couple of well known supplements but she’s still got issues, am I missing something?

  176. My dog eats anything he can get a hold of, no matter what it is. He is in the hospital right now having  bowel obstruction surgery; I think he ate a t-shirt. Would a muzzle help?

  177. I have a 7 month old long haired GSD that has bad hips, I’d really like to pursue search & rescue with him but the vet thinks it may be too much for him physically. I’m considering a hip replacement for him when he’s full grown.  What do you think?

  178. We have a 3 year old GSD with an extremely sensitive stomach. Are there any supplements that you can recommend which can help rebuild and maintain his system? There's so many... What's your best recommendation?

  179. I took my healthy 4-year-old female German Shepherd to our vet last night for her annual Therapy Dogs International physical. He told me that every hundred or so heartbeats, her heart skips a beat.  He said that it was nothing to worry about until she is much older, and that I shouldn't change anything. Do you have any idea what might have caused this?  Do you think I should take any precautions?

  180. We just found out what it is my dog is allergic to. What am I not doing that I need to be doing?

  181. My 3 year old Lab has green urine, what should I do?

  182. I have 3 year old German shepherd that is always scratching his lower back. I tried Vita E and pure code liver oil. Nothing helps. Please advise what should I do.

  183. My puppy has hair loss that started after her vaccines. I think her immune system must have been compromised.  What can I give her to build up her immune system?

  184. I purchased a Boston Terrier from a reputable breeder that has all the required testing for the breed. Our plan was to show our puppy in conformation and then move to rally/obedience and breed him once he obtained his CH. We took him for a check up which the vet discovered a luxating patella (grade 2+). Do you think the trauma from a fall caused this or is this most always hereditary? Do you recommend surgery? Supplements?

  185. I have a wonderful GSD from German lines and he is very healthy, EXCEPT for his feet. His feet constantly get worn. We have tried a number of ointments, salves, boots, etc. With your experience with the breed, have you heard of something called GSD soft-pad syndrome?

  186. I will be getting a 12 week old german shepherd puppy next month. I was wondering if I need to use probiotic supplement that you sell, and if you guys use that on your puppies and how much of it? Should I purchase D'toxifier and put him on that permanently. Do you guys use that on your puppies/dogs as a normal dosage once a week for maintenance?

  187. My one year old GSD has scratched all the hair off of his nose, ears, both his sides,bites an his rear ends both sides, bites and licks at his feet. PLEASE HELP IF POSSIBLE!!!

  188. How much alfalfa should I give my 90 pound dog? He's got allergy issues and I'm hoping this will help him.

  189. One of my new pups arrived and has some fleas. We are concerned about the commercial flea products as these pups are only 9 1/2 weeks old. Do you have any recommendations of what products are safe for young puppies?

  190. Our GSD has been diagnosed with a disease called Onychodystrophy which is a form of Lupus in dogs. Do you have any information for us about this?

  191. I'm getting a GSD puppy in about a month and was wondering what to feed it. My big problem that I keep running into is what to feed a puppy so they gets all the vitamins and nutrient so they'll grow into a healthy dog. Help!

  192. Can I give my German Shepherds Ivomec once a month by injection to protect against heartworms instead of the heartgard if given the right amount/dosage by weight?

  193. I just noticed my young dog’s teeth are all chipped and have brown spots. What should I do?

  194. I just lost my 3 year old dog to bloat, what can I do to prevent going through this with my next dog?

  195. I switched my dog to a raw diet and she's doing great, but she is sooo itchy all the time. Do you have any suggestions?

  196. What would you recommend for comfortable bedding/ flooring to avoid bone and joint issues in an outdoor run?

  197. Our 4 1/2 year old has exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. It has always been a struggle to keep him at a decent weigfht, even with the enzymes. Do you have any advice?

  198. My stud dog was diagnosed with anaplasmosis and while his semen count is high, the motility is very low.  Do you have any experience with this?

  199. I've sent in 2 sets of xrays to OFA on my 3 year old GSD and gotten back 2 different results. Do you have any advice?

  200. My dog sometimes limps, we had him xrayed and the vet said everyting looked okay, just some slight atrophy. What would you suggest?

  201. What supplements should I use for a dog with hip dysplasia?

  202. I recently purchased a 5 and half week old GS pup. The pup has had loose stool [pudding like] since we brought him home. Can you please help me.

  203. Recently one of my dogs has started licking excessively after she eats. It looks like she is licking the end of her nose or the roof of her mouth. Sometimes she licks so much her belly swells. I don't know why she is doing this or what to do about it. Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated.



Cali was spayed yesterday and we picked her up today. She is already licking her stitches and the vet said she will need to wear a cone collar for 14 days. He said the bitter apple stuff doesn't usually stop dogs from licking itchy wounds. Should we go along with the collar or try something else?


You can use the cone collar, or get an inexpensive muzzle for the dog.

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Hello, I have a question about my german shepherd. He is limping and can't put much weight on his left front foot. This happened before about 2 months ago and we took him to the vet. The vet said he had growing pains which caused his joints to hurt. He gave me some antibiotics just in case, so it won’t get infected, and some pain reliever. A week later it was gone. Now he his limping again, there doesn't seem anything to be physically wrong with his leg that I can see. I squeezed his paws and leg and it doesn't phase him, but he still limps. Have you heard of this growing pain, have you had any similar experience or heard of any with other german shepherds? What do you think and recommend?

Thanks for all your help


The dog has what s called "PANO." There is a long medical name for it but I have enough problems spelling normal words without complicated medical terms.

Pano will often come for a few weeks and go away. Then comes back in a different leg some time later. It’s very hard on the dog because it is so painful. This can happen with some dogs until they reach maturity at about 18 to 24 months of age.

There is not a lot to be done for them. You can crate the dog and give him an aspirin in the morning and evening. Some Vets recommend RIMADYL - I am very much against this drug - it is a bad drug. It can It can kill dogs. DO NOT GIVE YOUR DOG RIMADYL. You can also take him off of puppy food and put him on a all-natural diet. Commercial dog foods (especially puppy foods) cause dogs to grow to fast - this causes Pano.

Some say Pano is not inherited, I guess the book is still out. Larger-boned dogs get it more than fine-boned dogs. I don't recommend training the dog during this period.

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After taking my dog to the groomer she seems to always be shaking her head like she has water in her ears. What should I do?


Some dogs can develop chronic ear problems. I feel that some cases are predisposed to them from a genetic standpoint. I have seen this with certain bloodlines of German Shepherd Dogs (GSD).

The place to start is with your vet. Make sure the dog does not have ear mites. Then get a good ear flush from your vet. Dogs that seem to always have ear problems need to have their ears flushed and cleaned once or twice a week. Have your vet show you how to work the fluid down into the ear and then really clean it all out with cotton balls. Be careful of sticking Q-tips into dogs ears. That can be dangerous.

When I have a chronic ear problem I will follow a flushing with 4 or 5 drops of PANALOG (get it from your vet). Another product that works very well is ODIMAX (again it comes from your vet). A regular treatment of ear flush and one of these 2 products will often times eliminate this problem.

I have friends that run a kennel that recommend flushing chronic dogs weekly with Medicated Massing ail Duesh, (I may have spelled this wrong - as I don't often have a need for it myself). I was also told that this product works well to get the smell of a skunk spray off the coat of the dog. So give them a bath and wash them again with this douche.

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A couple of days ago my German shepherd of 7 1/2 years died of bloat. Needless to say my other dog who was purchased from you is devastated. My question is how can I prevent this from happening again?


This is such a tragic situation. I truly feel sorry for people who lose dogs to bloat. One minute they have a normal dog and the next minute it’s gone.

I am not sure that there is a way to totally eliminate bloat. I have been lucky - in all the years in dogs it has never happened to me. I am not sure there is a way to stop it for sure. Here is what I have heard - and I am not sure it’s not just an old wives tail:

-Feed the dogs 2 times a day

-Feed the food wet - but let it soak for awhile.

-Don't do a lot of hard exercise right after feeding

I don't know who this is? You never signed the e-mail and I don't recognize the e-mail address. What dog do you have from me (parents?) and how is the temperament and working drives?

PS: If anyone has other suggestions, send them to me and I will add them to this section.

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I have a question and yours is the only site I found that has similar dogs to mine.

He is a four year old male and has some kind of a skin problem the local vet can't seem to cure. It's similar to mange, but not near as drastic. He isn't losing large amounts of hair, but there is hair loss mostly on his legs and feet. He does scratch a lot, but doesn't seem to be in a lot of pain. We do not bathe him regularly as we were told not to. We feed him 40% dry and 60% table scraps. Also, he is an outside dog. Any help is appreciated.



More than likely these problems are a result of vaccinations - in my opinion most allergy problems are related to over vaccinating our dogs.

So start by NEVER VACCINATING YOUR DOG AGAIN. Then change the dog to an all-natural diet. You can read about this on my web site on in the archives of my web board.

Bottom line is get your dog off of commercial dog food.

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We have a male GSD from German working lines (not Leerburg, unfortunately). He is almost 6 months old, already quite large, about 70 lbs, but thin! I don't plan to breed him, as his hips are "iffy." At what age should we consider having him neutered? We were considering working on protection training with him, but I'm not sure if this will be feasible. Will neutering him before age 1 year have a detrimental effect? Any advice you have would be appreciated greatly.

Also, do you have any advice about keeping his hips as strong as possible? We've been feeding him Iams large breed puppy food and keeping his rations down (he has a pronounced waist), keeping his activities somewhat limited, and supplementing his food with a glucosamine supplement.



If you want the dog for any form of personal protection, do not neuter the dog before 2 years. Do not listen to a vet on this because 99% of the vets in this country do not have a clue on personal protection training. This is not a slam on vets, but simply a fact. A lot of vets have egos that do not allow them to consider the fact that they do not know very much about dog training (also a fact).

The dogs need the hormones to go through puberty. After 20 months there is not problem.

I would also be giving the dog a good quality vitamin and make sure to keep him wormed. This will also insure his health. After that you are doing everything you can. The only thing left is to see where his genes take him.

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I seem to be having a couple problems with my 7 month old GSD, (full German). First, eating. He doesn't like doing it. I've tried 3 different brands since I got him and he just doesn't like to eat. Our vet has given him a clean bill of health. It's at the point I have to stand over him and continually point at his food bowl and tell him "eat." I loop the leash under the table leg and his bowl is in the corner (if I don't leash him, he won't stay and eat). You can't see ribs on him. However he is "lean" looking. Should I just try free-feeding and let him eat when he wants to? I don't like using canned food as it causes diarrhea.

Second, he has a problem with "playful" biting. He doesn't "hurt" when he does this. I sternly tell him "NO bite" or "BAD bite" yet he continues this. I read awhile back in beginning protection training in puppies that you allow yours to bite this way. Should I allow him to "play bite?" He will eventually be trained in personal protection work and is currently in obedience. I also use a prong collar.



It sounds like you worry too much.

I have never seen a healthy dog starve to death in his own home. Leave the dog alone. If he is hungry he will eat. A 7 month old dog is suppose to be thin. It's healthier for the dog. If you can not see ribs there is NO PROBLEM.

Your comment on canned food is also wrong. While I do not agree with feeding a dog only canned food, there is nothing wrong with supplementing some canned food with the normal feeding.

Read my Q&A sections on my web site concerning the biting. It's also normal. You need to redirect it into something else. By that I mean you need to teach the dog that there are other things besides your arms that are more fun to play with.

This dog is old enough to begin basic obedience. If you intend to protection train him you need to start now with the bite development. This work is covered in The First Steps of Bite Training. That work will help teach him to bite other things besides your arms.

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I think I have allergies to dogs. What can I do?


There are several things that can be done to help people with allergies. I will say that a number of people feel they are allergic to dogs who in fact are not allergic to dogs, but to dust mites or other elements. So before going to a great deal of work it is worth your time to be tested.

For those that are truly allergic to dogs there are a number of things that can be done. You can begin by making sure that you keep the places the dogs sleeps and spends time clean. It's important to keep the hair and dander vacuumed. If possible it's better to keep dogs on hard wood floors or ceramic tile floors and not on rugs.

It's also important to try and control shedding in the dogs. Get one of the German rakes that we sell and brush the dog every day. These rakes go right to the dogs skin and will stimulate oil production and healthy fur in the dog.

You can even go so far as to vacuum your dog every day. Many dogs have a problem with sound of the vacuums. These dogs can be desensitized by running the vacuum a lot. You can even record the sound of the vacuum on a tape recorder and play it when the dog eats his daily meal. Initially the sound can be quiet and gradually increased.

You should also make sure that your furnace filter is changed regularly and even go to Wal Mart or K-Mart and buy one of the portable air cleaners. Make sure to keep the filters on these units kept clean.

You can also improve the dogs coat by feeding a top quality dog food and making sure the dog gets vitamin and mineral supplements, (see your vet for counseling in this area).

There are also products that can be wiped on the dogs coat to control dander. You can go to one of the larger pet food stores and talk with their groomers to determine what product to use.

Do not give your dog a bath too often. Once every 3 months is enough for most dogs. Bathing too often will only dry out the dogs skin and cause more dander in the home.

In the worst case scenario you may have to change breeds of dogs. Poodles and a few other breeds do not shed. They have hair and not fur.

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I visit your web site frequently. It has great info, I can often find answers to my questions just by reading your articles or answers that you have given others. Now, however, I have a question that I've never seen addressed anywhere. This may sound a little strange, but here goes... Can dogs get depressed? We have a 19 month old German Shepherd Dog, called Tango, who comes from German and Czech lines. He's a great dog, obedient and a pleasure to work with. Lately though he seems sad. We had to have my 5 year old cocker spaniel put down about a month ago due to health and genetic problems. She had been his "friend" and playmate since we brought him home at 7 weeks. In the evenings he seems especially sad. This was the time of day when both dogs would "hang out" with my husband and I. Tango will come up and lay his head in one of our laps and softly whine or moan. It's not the kind of whine that says he wants something. He just seems sad. He will also lie on the floor with his head on his paws and just look at us and sigh and sometimes softly moan or whine. Again he doesn't seem to want anything. He started this behavior a few days after her passing. If he were a person I would certainly think he's sad and/or depressed. Have you ever heard of anything like this? Do you think he could be missing Jessie (my cocker) and sad (like me) because she's no longer here? If so, is there anything you know of that we can do to help him?

Thanks for your time.


I do believe that dogs can get depressed. I don't think there is any question about it.

You should spend more time playing with and training this dog. Take him through a lot of motivational training exercises in your yard or while on walks. Give him something else to think about. Get him some new toys (giant raw hides etc, etc) You should also spend more time grooming the dog - even if he does not need it. This provides personal contact. If the dog is a house dog, leave a TV on during the day when you are gone. Depending on your personal situation, you may want to add another dog (a female not a male) to your home.

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Tonight I will drive to the vet to put my 6 month old Akita pup to sleep. She started to limp, and this past weekend she was in so much pain she would not get up. The veterinarian said that in both legs Summer has severe hip dysplasia and as a result, the knees are now severely damaged. We have contacted the breeder, who stated that all of their dogs have been x-rayed except Summer's mother. All their dogs came from a champion breeder down in Tennessee. They feel awful, but are willing to give us another puppy (from one of their other dogs), or refund our money. Problem is that their dogs have such GREAT temperament.

I'm not sure I would trust going to another breeder, because of the temperament issue. I have 2 kids at home (2 & 5) and have had a Doberman we owned attack my 2 year old. Summer, even in all of her pain, never snapped at my children. What should we do? How can we avoid this type of tragedy again?



The only way to avoid this again is to buy an adult dog that has already been x-rayed. You have a good breeder - stick with them I assume that your vet made these calls after looking at a hip x-ray. No one (not me or any vet) can make a call like this without an x-ray. This is also the age a dog will get Pano - (read the article on my web site).

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My husband found a small puppy sitting in the middle of the road a few weeks back. The puppy seems to be a pit bull, I don't think he's more than 12 weeks old. This puppy is both blind and deaf. We kept him because I felt if we took him to the shelter no one would want him. We are having a hard time house breaking him and I'm trying to see if there is some way I can do this. We keep him outside during the day, and bring him in at night due to the cold. Do you have any suggestions? He's a normal puppy in every other way, he just can't see or hear you! (We are his seeing eye people!)

If you could give me some suggestions I'd sure appreciate it!!


You are faced with a very difficult task. If I were you I would keep this dog tethered on a leash, It would never be off leash and the leash would never be out of my hand accept when the dog was in a crate, I would not leave the dog loose in the yard. It needs to learn that you are always there to protect him.

I would also never allow another dog near this dog. Read my article on dog parks.

You should follow the absolutely protocol I describe in my ebook titled COMMON SENSE SULUTIONS TO HOUSE TRAINING PROBLEMS. This explains how to establish a permanent schedule. Dogs like this need to learn to live there lives in a firm schedule

I also just finished a podcast on using food treats in dog training, combine that with your obedience training. You will need to earn to give commands through the leash.

You are faced with a difficult task, to live with this dog is going to require that you think outside the box.


I had to take my Service dog to the vet the other day and was told that he has an enlarged prostate. I know this not unusual for a GSD his age, however it is to the point where it causes some problem with him when he moves his bowels. One of the first and common treatments my vet recommends is neutering the dog. I was just curious what your experience has been to how this effects their working drive. He is a very high drive dog and my concern is simply I would like to know what kind of effect this surgery has on a working PSD.

Our vet feels that he is almost 6 years old and he is what he is, however I was hoping you may have some insight into this. I should mention breeding is not an option because we don't have any papers on him anyways and frankly none of us have any business doing that anyway due to lack of experience.

Thanks for your time.


Your vet is 110% on the mark. The dog must be neutered. It will have no effect on the dogs working ability and it will add years of life to the dog. With a little luck you will see positive results as soon as the dog recovers from surgery.

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I keep some of my dogs in an outdoor run. It has a roof and each dog has his own run with his own doghouse. I have three sides of the kennel area protected from the wind. At what point is it unsafe to leave them out in the cold & does this differ from a 4 month old pup to an adult?

Thank you,


The dogs need a good doghouse that has at least 12 inches of straw in them. I also put 1 inch of Styrofoam under the straw and I put rubber flaps on the front of the doghouses. I have an article on my web site that shows the dog houses. Look in the list of training articles for an article about "The Good and Bad Points of my Kennel Facility."

These houses are good down to 30 below zero. But if the I had a small pup I would bring them in if it got below 10 below. They don't have any body fat.

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I am now beginning to watch The First Steps of Bite Training. As I am going through the video I am still wondering whether my dog is capable. I have a Bull mastiff male who is not afraid of too many things. The one thing that I am having a problem in is getting him into the car. I take him to work with me everyday, and he is in some way afraid of getting in the car. I have a sports utility vehicle and it is quite high up. At this point he is 9 months old and weighs 105 lb. I still have to put him in the car; he doesn't put forth any effort. He is getting heavy. Is it possible that the car is just still to high for him and I might need a ramp? Do you have any suggestions? I also wonder if this fear is an indication that he will not be capable of handling protection work. Thank you for any information you can give me.


Take the dog and have his hips preliminary x-rayed. He may not be jumping because he has pain in the hips. This has nothing to do with protection work - nothing at all.

Toss a hot dog into the truck every time you want him to get in. That will increase his desire to jump in their (assuming his hips are good).

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My dog is eating a natural raw diet, she does not have fleas, and she scratches her ears and has itchy patches. Sometimes even scratching her muzzle. What can I do?


Many times dogs with these symptoms have a problem for yeast. You should put the dog on a number of natural products:

-Powdered kelp
-Powdered Alfalfa Leaf
-Vitamine E - about 400
-Yucca Intensive
-Yeast & Fungal Detox
-Vitamine C (to bowl tolerance)
-Fish Oil - (cod liver, samon)

I would recommend that you buy the book that we sell titled Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats The Ultimate Diet. The proportions to mix these supplements is covered in the book.

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I have a 2 yr old black lab who has chronic yeast ear infections. We have tried Otoclear washings, and Otomax following the washings. In the past month we have been trying vinegar washes, then using Otomax. While the vinegar washes are helping, I still can't seem to get rid of the yeast infection. Do you have any suggestions?



You are doing everything that you should be doing. Some dogs with chronic ear problems need their ears cleaned almost every day for their entire life. You can try a product called YEAST AND FUNGAL DETOX from a company called If you call there they will tell you what to try and they will not charge you for the information. I have friends who have had success with this.

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Hi Ed,

Since you have had many dogs, I am in a way hoping you have seen this before. My GSD started to lose some of his fur around the edges of the ears, following with the skin thickening and cracking and becoming quite painful. I took him to the vets and he had his ears flushed, had a skin scrape done all coming back negative for bacteria, yeast or mange. She suggested he might have a food allergy so we started the elimination diet and he is on fish and potatoes. He's been on this for 2 months now, and although he is not worse, it has not healed either. Well the weird thing is, now my cocker has the same thing and she was switched at the same time. Vet still thinks its food related and suggested a zinc deficiency. Have you ever seen this in any of your dogs? The have absolutely no hot spots anywhere. He is 3 and my cocker is 4 1/2. I am in Fairbanks, AK and unfortunately we do not have a skin specialist up here.

I also wanted to ask .....I am considering switching my dogs to a raw diet. Do you have a standard recipe you feed your dogs?

Thanks for your help.


I believe your vet is correct on one thing and that is if this problem is going to be fixed it will be by putting the dogs on an all-natural diet tailored to the dogs needs.

On the issue of what caused the problem, the first thing I would wonder is how many times have these dogs been vaccinated. If they have had the normal vet recommendation for vaccinations I would bet a lot of money that the dogs are suffering from vaccinosis (this is an allergy type problem - very similar to what you describe - that occurred because the dogs have a reaction to vaccinations.) The problems are not really caused by the actual antigens, but more a problem with the carriers that the antigens are delivered in.

So stop vaccinating your dogs. If I were you I would only vaccinate for rabies and if your state allows a 3 year vaccine for that, then this is all they get. Nothing else. If you work towards developing a healthy dog through diet, it will be able to fight off normal disease with its own antibodies.

My advice would be to get these dogs on an all-natural diet. Specifically the one that is explained in the little $9.00 book that we sell called Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats (you can find it in our list of books). This is how I feed my own dogs. I would also supplement their diet with YUCCA Intensive and the YEAST & FUNGAL DETOX (we also sell these products) I have had dogs with very similar conditions respond to this regime - it may take a couple of months but also think that it may work.

I am not a fan of the fish and potato diet that a lot of vets recommend. If you get the little book I spoke of above you can read why white potatoes are not good for dogs. Sweet potatoes and Yams are fine - but white potatoes are not good for them. I think that Iams or Eukanuba (I am not sure which) talked vets into using this diet. One of them even offer a commercial fish and potato diet. DUMB!!!!!!

The bottom line is I cannot stress enough how important the all-natural (no kibble) diet is for every dog. The sooner people get their dogs off these commercial dog foods then healthier their dogs will be. "YES" it is a little more expensive and "YES" it does take a little longer to prepare the food - but the benefits far outweigh the extra time and expense.

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Hi Ed,

I have a question on feeding chicken & turkey necks, wings etc. I have always been told you never give your dog chicken bones or pork bones because they will splinter, get caught in the throat, or puncture the stomach! Now I hear people feeding raw meat to dogs, chicken necks, turkey necks wings etc. How good is this for your pet and is this a safe idea?

Thank you!!!


It is very safe – these bone are fine if fed raw – they get brittle if they are cooked. When have you heard of a wolf or fox that dies from eating a chicken? I feed my dogs raw chicken bones several times a week. Plus I have never heard of one documented case of a dog dying of Torsion that is on a raw food diet.

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Mr. frawley,

First let me thank you for all the wonderful articles on your web site. We had a German German with a skin disorder and a fear biting problem. There were ghosts in her head. We had her put down after biting a friend of mine that walked into our home. Convinced that the skin disorder and fear biting problem we contacted the breeder and they made good with a replacement dog. This dog has a wonderful disposition with pure German lines. The problem is that we just had her to the vet and the vet thinks there is a serious problem. The dog is six months old and only weight 38 pounds. Only a ten pound gain in the last four months. When feeding her normal portions and she starts crying pointing her nose down. Running around in distress. It is obvious she is in great pain. She will then vomit and all is well. The vet told us that she did not think is was bloat or torsion because we would feel organs protrude out of her side.

We have been feeding her smaller portions more frequent. Maybe not enough.. I hope it is not too late. The vet claims that from being not fed enough or for whatever reason the dog will not develop to its normal size being that you can see the dogs ribs and she is rather tiny for six months and her bones will not grow anymore after six months. I thought is was good to not feed a dog too much as they may develop other problems. She is rather skinny though. We are going to try to feed her these smaller portions maybe even seven times per day - a mixture of wet and dry food as we have. Is this a common problem? Will this dog ever reach normal size? Any advice, comments or suggestions would be appreciated.



You need a new vet.

I will bet the ranch that this dog has a herniated esophagus (mega-esophagus) - go find a good vet to confirm this.

This problem is almost always genetic problem.

If you want to keep the dog - put the dog on a raw natural food diet. Make sure the food is more like stew than hard food. When you feed the dog - put the dog food bowl on an upside down 5 gallon bucket. Get the bowl up off the ground - it makes it easier for the food to go down the throat.

I would never take another dog from this breeder and I would inform them of this. I would also call the first vet and recommend a refresher course or two.

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Mr. Frawley,

I have a question that I've been confused about. I have a 3 month old GSD, I took him to the Vet, and while we were there I asked her about these white flakes on his coat. She said it was dry skin and gave me a prescription shampoo for him. Should I use it? All I've heard from most people is NOT to bathe GSD and I want to believe them because they are people who have had GSD. Who is right?



Well it is dry skin, but my guess it is that is caused by diet. I only feed my dogs an all-natural diet. You can read about this on my web site. This should fix the problem. The shampoo only fixes the symptoms. I have that labeled as bad medicine from the vet (feel free to tell your vet I published this question on my web site).

If you want to learn how to feed a dog, get the little $9.00 book that we sell titled Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats.

I also strongly recommend not vaccinating your dog on a yearly basis the way that local vets recommend. Pups need an initial vaccination and then a rabies vaccination but no more after that. I have a book titled Shock to the System. It is a must read for anyone who loves there pets. The vet industry is playing a hoax on pet owners in this country with these yearly vaccinations.

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I have an English Mastiff that is 1 yr. old. Ever since he was 7 months old we have been in & out the vet's office. He has been on medicine this whole time & he chews on his feet. The vet now thinks Hank has a food allergy. She wants me to put him a new Science Diet food--Z allergy formula. Hank eats about a 20lb. bag a week. This food costs $40.00 a bag. Please help!!



Typical vet recommendation. Also bull #%# answer if you ask me.

Take your dog off of all commercial food and do not vaccinate him any more(except a 3 year rabies). Tell your vet I said this. These allergies are probably caused from vaccinations - the odds are anyway.

Put your dog on an All-Natural diet - I would recommend that you read the little $9.00 book we sell titled Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats. This is how I feed all of the dogs in my kennel. My dogs only eat a meat, vegetable and vitamin supplement diet.

We sell a couple of products that you should also consider for allergies:

-Yucca Intensive
Yeast and Fungal D' Tox
-Aller "G" Free

It takes a couple of months but if anything is going to help this dog it will be these changes and NOT what this vet says. There is nothing in Science Diet that is going to help a dog with allergies. Vets would sell you prednisone and antibiotics and crap food before they would recommend a natural diet. It all comes down to money. If you ever find a vet who agrees with me on vaccinations and the natural diet you had better stick with that one for life.

I would also recommend to anyone (with your problem) that you read the book we sell titled Shock to the System by Catherine O'Driscoll.

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What is your feeling of RIMADYL?


I would NEVER put my dog on this medication. It has been linked to liver failure in many dogs. It seems that labs are more susceptible. The warnings are on the bottle. I know that most medication has the potential for side effects, but there are too many dogs that have problems with this.

I feel that putting the dog on Glucosamine (we sell a 99.3% pure powder product - but people can get it in pills locally - I happen to feel powder is better) on a daily basis can accomplish the same results with little to no side effects.

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What do you know about the 6 month injectable heartworm medication (Pro-Heart 6)?


This product has been taken off the market--too many side effects and deaths of dogs that were injected with this drug.

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Where can I find other resources for information on all-natural diets?


Click here for more resources on all-natural diets.

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My wife and I currently own a German Shepherd puppy that is 5 months old. He seems to scratch continuously. As per the vet, we put him on a special food and he still scratched. Is this something that is just normal for these puppies? Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.



Put the dog on an all-natural diet. I have an article on my web site.

I sell a cheap little book titled Natural Nutrition for dogs and Cats. This is how I feed all of the dogs in my kennel and I use it like a bible. Do yourself and your new dogs favor and feed this diet.

Also do not vaccinate this dog again. My guess is that if the dog has allergies it’s a result of a reaction to vaccinations. Dogs DO NOT NEED YEARLY vaccinations – no matter what vets tell you. They are wrong and the only thing they are interested in is your wallet. Do you need a yearly vaccination? I don’t think so – do you think the veterinary vaccinations are so far behind in medical technology that their vaccines need to be given once a year – what bullshit! Then dogs have problems like this and they direct you to other reasons.

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I hope you can answer my question. I have a Golden Retriever that is two years old. Last May (2000) I had her shaved for the summer and her hair was almost completely back by the end of September. This May (2001) I also had her shaved for the summer and it is barely coming back. The only thing that I know that is different is that she has been on Prednisone for Allergies since last December. Do you think that is possible? Or could there be some other reason? Thank you for your help.



The problem is the Prednisone. The reason for the allergies are vaccinations that you have given your dog. Do not EVER vaccinate your dog again. Tell your vet I said these things.

Take the dog off the food it is on and put it on an all-natural diet (read the article I have on my web site about this. If you want to figure out how to feed your dog an All-natural diet get the litter this book we sell titled Natural Nutrition in Dogs and Cats). This is going to take several months to correct but it will work most of the time if you have patience.

Take the dog of this medicine - I would find another vet. Read my web site on allergies and what to do.

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Mr. Frawley

I have a question about a puppy. She is a GSD, purebred, approximatly 11 weeks old. I do not own her yet, but am considering taking her. The health concern I have is this: I have been told that she has MEGAESOPHAGUS. I have never heard of this before. Have you heard of it? I have done some research on it and was just wondering if you yourself have had any experiences with it, and whether she has a chance to live a long somewhat healthy life or will she end up dying from this. I have 3 children to consider in this, I don't want to bring in a puppy that will just end up dying with in the first few months or the first year. Any advise you could give me would be greatly helpful. Whether it be good or bad.



I am very familiar with MEGAESOPHAGUS. I have seen it on several occasions over the past 25 years of breeding. In fact, I had this in several of my litters 10 or 12 years ago (none of my current bloodlines have this problem). This is a genetic issue. Once it has been seen the breeder should never repeat the breeding. If he switches stud dogs and still sees it in his next litter he should neuter the bitch.

When pups are born its not possible to know they have it. While they nurse it never shows. It is first seen when the pups go to solid food. That's when they start to throw up after they eat.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT YOU TAKE THIS DOG! This is a serious health defect. The dog cannot eat normally. If fed normally it will puke its food.

You can feed them watered down food (like soup). The food needs to be elevated, it can be put on a chair for them to eat. This allows it to go down easier. But for many it is a short term fix. While I have heard that some dogs may outgrow this I personally have never seen one do it. Its a long shot. The dogs I had died young from heart failure.

You are setting yourself up for heartaches if you take one of these dog.

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Can you tell me a little about Adequan? I heard it is an injectable polygycosaminoglycans that can help dogs with joint pain.


I am not an expert on this and do not have a lot of experience with it. Here is what a friend told me. She is a vet and owns one of my dogs.

Adequan is a brand name for injectable polygycosaminoglycans (PGAGS). It is
a horse preparation that has been used "off-label" for years by veterinarians to treat degenerative joint disease in dogs. Basically, Adequan prevents the enzymes from being made that degrade naturally occurring Glucosamine. It provides the building blocks for natural Glucosamine and the components of hyalurionic acid (the natural lubricant for all joints). There is now a “canine” Adequan, but it is more expensive than using the horse preparation and there is no difference in the drug - only the picture on the label.

A 90-lb. dog who is not showing clinical signs would require 1.5 ml intramuscularly. The frequency is variable. Initially, in a dog who is painful, I would do a start-up series of twice a week injections for 1 month, then 1 injection every other week or once a month, depending on severity and response. In a sound dog, as a preventative, I would do a loading dose of 1 injection per week for 1 month and then 1 injection in 2 weeks and then 1 per month thereafter. The 1.5 ml in a 90 lb dog is a mid-range dose.

I use a generic form called Condroprotectant that is half the price. My philosophy toward veterinary practice is to provide good medicine with common sense. I still have my own horse practice and understand the economics of "herd health" from dealing with large breeding farms.

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Hi Ed, I've just bought the video Your puppy 8 weeks to 8 months. Let me tell you that I have a 6 year old bitch, I jog with her every morning, last morning I tried to do the same thing with my 2.5 months old puppy, I took both dogs for jogging but the puppy seems to be afraid in the park so he’s screaming all the time, if he hears another dog barking he runs away like looking for his home should I keep on taking my puppy for jogging or should I wait until he is older?????????

Thanks for your help


What you are doing is 100% wrong. You are going to destroy your puppy’s hips. Puppies should NEVER jog - not ever. Their bones are too soft. If you had bought these pups from me and sent me this email I would have cancelled your guarantee on the pups. Pups should not be taken jogging until they are 12 to 13 months old.

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Why do dogs slide their butts across the floor?


I would check your dogs anal glands. This is something a Vet needs to do.

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Hello Mr. Frawley, Do you think that it is wise to have a stomach stapling or stabilization surgery done on Shepherds? We have completed one basic training class and will become another in the Spring. Our GSD (7 Mos) does very well. There seems to be a trend in this area to have this surgery done so that when the dog is worked hard their stomach does not "flip over" We have been told that if this happens it will kill the dog. Our vet thinks the surgery is foolishness, but quite frankly I trust your advice over the vet.

Thank you,
Mary Ann


My opinion is to have this done to a dog who has not had torsion would be criminal. I think a Vet that would do this to a dog who has no clinical signs of a problem should loose his Vet license. You are talking to some really dummies !!! I have owned GSD’s for over 40 years, bred 300 litters and being involved with working dogs since 1974. I have never had one dog with torsion. What does that tell you about these idiots? This question really should go on the dumb and dumber – not because you sent it but because of the advice you are getting from these people.

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Ed, great site. I am writing to ask your opinion on my situation. I have a 10 month old female GSD, great temperament and drive. There is one serious problem.

She has severe dysplasia in her right hip. She is going to Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine on Dec 12 for a total hip replacement. She has had numerous x rays and I agree with the doctors course of treatment. We had wanted to try the TPO procedure. However the hip was too bad to work with so Total Hip replacement is our only option.

Before I got the pup I asked the breeder if the parents hips were checked out (OFA), she said they were, but I did not force her to show me the hip scores. My Fault and I won't make that mistake in the future. After I found out she was dysplastic I called the breeder, she said she was very surprised. I asked her to fax me the hips scores, she said she doesn't keep them at home, that the paper work is in a safety deposit box. I told her to get the paper work and send it to me. Of course i never got anything.

I know she is full of shit. She said she would replace my dog, I don't want to trade my dog in for another one from her, I could end up with another dysplastic dog. I would like to get a refund but I am not sure that can happen. I don't feel small claims court is worth the trouble for the $650.00 I paid for her. In your experience could I pressure her give my money back, is small claims a realistic option. I have a contract that guarantees health, but wont pay for surgery or give me a refund on purchase price only an exchange. I know she lied about the hips being OFA certified. I will not exchange her, she is a member of family, my pet. I don't expect her to pay for treatment, but I feel she should refund the cost of the dog. If she doesn't refund my money then I would like to report her to whomever I can. Get my experiences out there on the web and let people know not to deal with her. She is located outside of Chicago, kennel is Highview Kennels her name is Rose Jeschke. Ever heard of her?

Yours thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks, Dave


Never heard of her.

I doubt you will get money back. I do not refund money either - I give a replacement. If the hip on the pup is terrible I do not want the dog back (I just take the AKC papers and give them another dog.) If the hip is just not passable I take the dog and sell it as a pet without any papers.

The dogs from my kennel have 6 generations of OFA or German A stamped hips and you can still get a bad hip on a dog from my kennel. The parents being OFA certified does not guarantee good hips. In fact the SV in Germany (GSD Club of West Germany) has proven that BAD HIPS ARE ONLY 25 TO 30% GENETIC. The rest is environmental - over exercise at a young age, poor diet or over feeding. The American Vet industry is behind the ball on this issue.

So I cannot tell you what to do. If the dog is in pain then I would do something. What that is would be a personal issue.

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I have taken my puppy to the vet for the first 2 check ups and shots...we have done many numerous, numerous blood, urine, fecal tests because of the amount of water she is drinking and all tests have come back pretty normal. One came back a little high on some kind of liver count. They said it wasn't something that they would say I should worry about yet because it was only border line but they are going to monitor it on all her check ups to make sure it doesn't get worse. They did not think that that was the reason I am having problems with her water though. Her eating is a normal puppy appitite...she eats like a champ! She is a Weimaraner/Dobe mix and 10 weeks old and about 16-17 lbs right now. Very stocky & muscular and has a ton of energy. I normally will fill her water bowl halfway sometimes a little less maybe 2- 2 1/2 cups and she will not leave it until it is empty and it is a fairly large water bowl (it would easily hold 6 cups to the brim). I know that it is normal for puppies to eat and drink a lot but she seems to be over doing it. She licks the bowl dry and stands waiting as if she wants me to fill it again and ...I don't because her stomach already looks like it is going to pop and gets really tight and hard. I will usually wait an hour for her to get the bowl back. The way she is drinking makes it hard for me to keep up with her potty training as well. I take her out about every 15 minutes to a half an hour and she's peeing constantly in and outside the house. I have had to gate off my hallway so that she can't get to the bathroom because she will after finishing the bowl run down to the bathroom and bark at the shower. She found that there was little water left in the bottom sometimes and licks it up if she gets the chance. We started closing the door but she started digging at the carpet to get in. This seems abnormal to me. I don't feel deprive her of water and I'm just wondering how much water should I give her. Everyone I talk to says that I should constantly have water for her out on the ground because their kidneys are developing but I'm not so sure with her that's a healthy idea. She blows up like a little balloon. I feel she gets too much water at one time already but I feel guilty cause she really seems thirsty even after 3 cups. I don't even drink three cups ...maybe in one day but not at one time! Like I said the vet after 2 visits seems to think that she is healthy by all the tests he has run on both visits. What kind of water schedule should I put her on and how much should I give her without feeling guilty of depriving her? I don't feel I am ...I feel 2 cups an hour is more than enough for a puppy, but I've been told I'm wrong and not to take the bowl away. Help!


I would start by looking for a new vet for a second opinion. I would make sure the vet had an ultrasound machine . I would have the dogs kidney’s checked with the Ultra sound.

I would also worm the pup and put it on a all-natural diet. I sell a small book Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats.

Probably the most important thing you can do is NOT VACCINATE THIS DOG ANYMORE!!!!!

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We have a 3 year old male German Shepherd whose ears are down. I feel that our old vet gave us some bad advise. He told us to take out thumb and finger and rub up the ear to make the cartilage go up. This did not work. I think it just relaxed the ear. The vet never mentioned taping or supports. Now he has a red and probably sore spots where the ear folds. Our new vet now, says it's apart of him and we should except it. What, a GSD with floppy ears? We found these expensive self-adhesive ear supports that stay in for only 10 days and did not work. We are on the second treatment now, but not optimistic. I read your page on ear taping and would like to know more about the surgical implants. Do you have any other suggestions?

Thank you for your time



You waited 2 years 6 months too long. If you were going to help the ear it would have to have been done at 4 to 6 months. You have about as much chance of getting the dogs ears to stand as you do to teach pigs to fly.

Your first vet was an idiot. But then you already know that.

Accept our dog for what he is and be happy with his companionship.

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Most dogs, even though they have been exposed to Borrelia burgdorferi, never exhibit any signs of Lyme disease. In certain highly endemic areas of New York and New Jersey dogs exhibit almost a 90% rate of exposure as evidenced by serosurvey. However, only about 4% of the dogs exhibit signs of Lyme disease including lameness, poor appetite and fever. Treatment of these animals with antibiotics typically results in rapid recovery. A few dogs can develop lesions on the kidneys (Lyme nephropathy) and may not respond to antibiotic treatment. Interestingly, dogs susceptible to this condition may not be protected by the Lyme vaccines currently available. In fact, there are concerns that the vaccine may possibly sensitize a genetically predisposed individual to having a more intense immune-mediated reaction to Lyme antigens, or the vaccine may add to antigen-antibody complex deposition in tissues (Meryl P. Littman, VMD, DACVIM, University of Pennsylvania).


Hi Ed,

I have a 8 month old german shepherd, I am currently feeding him dry Canidae dog food. I was mixing it with ground turkey. I started mixing it with can Tuna or can Salmon. My wife thinks that can tuna or salmon has too much sodium in it for the dog. I started draining the water out of the can, is the can tuna or salmon good for the dog? I am feeding my dog twice a day, when do I start feeding him once a day...he loves canned fish better then turkey. I could not go through with the all natural diet.

Thank you...Kevin


You are right and your wife is not.

The most important thing you can do for your dog is to give it a Vitamin E pill every day and Omega 3 every day. The Omega 3 needs to be there to get the full benefit of the Vitamin E.

I feel mackerel to my dogs at least once a week. I think that may be better than tuna and certainly cheaper than salmon – but the salmon oil is great for a dog. It’s the best source of Omega 3 you can find.

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I have an eight month old GSD that has already begun to experience hip problems. In your opinion, what would be the best course of action to do what is right for the dog? Thank you for your time.



Unless you have had the dog x-rayed you cannot assume that this dog has hips problems. It could be pano.

If the dog is x-rayed and diagnosed with bad hips what happens next depends on the severity of the hip or hips. Many dogs can live a normal life with moderately bad hips. They just should not be bred.

If the hips are bad, keep the dog THIN, swim the dog a lot, do not run or jog the dog.

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My dog suffers from Demodectic mange. Is there a homeopathic remedy I can use?


There are some things that you will want to add to her food

Vitamin C powder ---on her food every meal. The dose is “to bowel tolerance” which means you give a little bit and if she doesn’t get the runs the next meal, up the dose a bit. Keep doing that until she starts to get softer poop and then back off to the last dose that she was NORMAL… you may have to give quite a bit to get her to that point and the down side is that you have to watch her poop each day.

Salmon Oil Double what the dose on the bottle is for her size

Vitamin E 1600 IU daily

There are some things you will need from the health food store—you can ask the person that works there for help if you can’t find the stuff.

Lecithin granules ½ - 3 teaspoons on her food, start low and work your way up

(homeopathic remedy) sulphur 6 C twice a day—5 minutes before or after any food, wait at least 10 minutes before giving Echinacea

Echinacea –I use the tincture (in a dropper bottle) Give 3 times a day by mouth, away from food and other meds.. I dose my dogs like a kid

If capsules are easier, then give her 2 capsules three times a day.

Fresh lemon juice on her hairless itchy spots once a day

I know this sounds like a lot but I think it will help and it will boost her system. A regular vet is going to want to pump her full of drugs and put toxic dip on her which usually makes them really sick.

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QUESTION on All Natural Diet:

Hi Cindy,

I have two dogs with Perianal Fistulas. Both are White German Shepherds, Mother and Daughter. I am thinking of switching them over to the all natural diet and buying your DVD to help the transition for us. We have always fed Solid Gold being told it was the best out there for our dogs, but something is wrong, last year we had to put a dog down with SIBO (only 22 months of age.) She basically starved to death from the overgrowth of bacteria in her gut. She had Perianal Fistulas as well, she was a cousin to my other two females. I know that genetics play a role in Perianal Fistulas, but there has got to be an environmental component to this for all three of these dogs to have come down with this. I am just sick about all of it.

I won't keep you, but wonder if you think that changing over to the all natural raw diet will help my dogs? Thank you so much.



It's my understanding that Perianal fistulas are an immune problem. I would NEVER vaccinate these dogs again, no matter what. Order the book called "Shock to the System" to see why.

I would also try to find a way to build up the immune system and switching to a natural diet would be highly recommended. It may take a very gradual switch, because of the pre existing problems your dogs already have. You may need to consult with a holistic vet or a homeopath. Very few allopathic vets know how to get to the bottom of problems like this. They merely give more drugs and meds to cover the symptoms, not solve the real issue at hand.

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Mr Frawley,

It's been a while since I asked you for advice. Your e-mails, web site, and your DVD's helped me immensely in the past. I have a GSD from a working line about 1.5 years old now, doing great on a raw food diet. I live in NJ and hence I live in a lyme disease area. My dog is not vaccinated against lyme -- I use Frontline in the spring. I did not use it in the past few months, thinking season is probably over.

-I noticed he may have a slight limp couple days ago. I had contractors working in the yard building a new wall etc so thought maybe he hit himself on something... It seems to have gone away in about two days. He walks and runs fine now.
-I have been watching his appetite and playfulness since I was worried about lyme disease, and he has been just fine there as well.
-I found a gorged tick on the floor yesterday though. I suppose it fell from the dog...

So maybe he did have a "light" version of lyme disease? What do you think?

Again, he seems completely fine right now. His stool is normal, eats normal, wants to play etc.
I wanted to get your opinion before I go to the vet and have them make me believe I need to give him whole bunch of toxic stuff.

As always, thanks very much for any advice.



It sounds like this was a normal brown tick and not a deer tick. Deer ticks are very very small – the size of the head of a pin. Deer ticks pass Lymes but the normal large ticks do not. In addition a deer tick must be one you for over 24 hours before you can get Lymes and even then it takes time for symptoms.

We would NEVER give the vaccination for Lymes and we live right in the middle of one of the worst areas in the United States for Lymes. This is a terrible vaccination.

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Hello Ed-

I just wanted to run this by you, since you may have seen this condition in the many Shepherds you meet.

My 5 Yr. Old Male German Shepherd, was chewing a rawhide bone Sunday night (April 1st) He barely chewed a small end, and then became suddenly extremely sick. Lethargic, Vomiting, collapsed on the floor, couldn't get up without yelping, etc. I rushed him right in to the Emergency Clinic here, and luckily they caught in time a nasty case of Gastric Dilation-Torsion.

A small piece of the rawhide my dog was chewing, became lodged in his intestines, then causing his stomach to flip. They operated on him, and today (Thursday) is his first day back home.

I have been reading around a lot about this condition, which I see is extremely common in German Shepherds and other deep chest large breeds. I also saw several sources that said their dogs bloated again months after the surgery. My dog's stomach was tacked, so it cannot rotate in the future, but even my vet said there is a small chance a bloat can happen again in the future, which can still be life threatening, the stomach just wont rotate if it happens.

Obviously I came right home and trashed every rawhide I had, and will never give him one again.

I wanted to ask, have you ever had this happen to a dog? If so, did your dog recover okay? Did you see any other bloat incidents at any time after their surgery, whether it be weeks months or years later?

This was a very terrifying experience for both myself and my dog. I came extremely close to losing my best bud.

Do you recommend any good chews for German Shepherds that may offer less of an intestinal blockage risk than a rawhide? Do you know of any diets that may be calmer as well? My vet recommended elevating the food and water dish, feed smaller meals more often during the day rather than one or two big ones. My vet recommended some other things as far as chewing options, but I am really wanting to get as many professional opinions as I can, incase I miss anything, I want to avoid this forever.

I know you are not a Vet but I was just curious if you have experienced this yourself and if so, how did things go for you and how you went about preventing it in the future.

Any help appreciated!



We are fortunate to have never had any of our dogs bloat. I think there is much more to this condition than just breed tendency. I believe diet and over vaccination play a huge role in this, more than most vets will admit or even know.

I would strongly recommend a raw diet for this dog. Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you. We carry a dehydrated quality food, for people who want the convenience of a commercial diet but the benefits of raw.

Please visit our Discussion Forum. There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable. You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process.

I know there have been quite a few people who have posted their experiences with bloat on the forum. You can use the search function to narrow down the topics.

For chewing options, I would recommend a toy that you can fill with yogurt or ground meat or cream cheese, and then freeze them. The dogs work a good long time on them and it’s safe because there are not any pieces that can come off.

Hope this helps.


Hi Cindy,

I have not visited your site in a year (when I used it extensively for information on training for our rescue dog). Today I am intrigued by the dehydrated food info. My son has a mini schnauzer (1 yr old) with a very bad spinning problem...that is jumping up from a relaxed state ...spinning as if chasing her tail or trying to sniff her bottom....then sniffing the floor where she was just sitting. It is very sad to see this little girl obsessively spin sometimes for hours. There are times when nothing we can do will distract her. This behavior began after she was constipated for two days after her spay procedure and the vet shaved her anal area to clear it up. She has always been sensitive (throwing up, diarrhea) to lamb mixes etc. in dry food products, and after trying different ones we fed nutro for sensitive stomachs for a long time. In an effort to see if the problem is intestinal (we believe she may be passing gas when she jumps up and spins) we have been for two weeks now feeding only cooked chicken, rice, carrots and a little egg. We have seen no let up of her chronic behavior. The vets are saying it is a behavioral issue and want to put her on calming meds. We feel that it is a GI problem of some kind.

I have three questions.

1. Have you ever heard of this type of behavior?
2. Do you think it is possible she is intolerant of grains?
3. Do you know anything about supplements for the GI tract?

We may just go ahead and order some of the grain free chicken.

You must get a huge amount of e-mail... if you have any ideas on this issue I would be grateful for a reply to mine.



Did the vet check her anal glands? We have a Corgi that will spin around like a top if her glands are full and bothering her. It’s also possible that when he shaved her rear end he gave her a clipper burn. I was a groomer for over 15 years and was taught to never use clippers around the rectal area. I am sure if that’s the case she is just very uncomfortable.

To address the grain issue, I feel that no dog should eat grains. They serve no purpose other than as a filler and to cause aggravation for many dogs. Getting them out of the diet is a good thing, even if the dog doesn’t appear to have any issues with them.

I would not put her on calming meds, that’s not figuring out the problem, only masking it. Sometimes vets need a smack!

I have heard that slippery elm is a great supplement for GI upsets, you can google it to find out where to purchase. I know I have seen it at my health food store.


Hi, my name is Jennifer. I have a 3 year old German Shep. Her name is Tagg. Over the last 2 years she had developed skin allergies & most recently colitis. Her skin allergies flare up from August to November. She has been on Prednisone, but she is sensitive to it so it make her incontinent to boot. The vets have told me to get her tested. I just don't know if that will give us the real picture. And as I said, Since January she's had colitis. It seems to have gone away since I changed her food. I weened her onto the Eukanuba German Shep specific dry food. I just would like to have some true guidance with this, instead of huge vet bills & her not being relieved or even comfortable. I believe something natural or supplements of some sort could help her. I just don't know where to start.

Thank you in advance for you time & patience.



I believe that your dog would greatly benefit from a fresh, species appropriate diet. Read the article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you. It's located on the navigation bar on the left hand side of the web site.

A book called The Allergy solution for Dogs may also be helpful to you.

I do believe the best thing you could do for your dog is to start with a raw diet.

Please visit our Discussion Forum. There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable. You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process.


I am a small breeder of Miniature Schnauzers. I've been all over your web site and love the info!!! I've been leaning more and more towards holistically taking care of my dogs, as I haven't been too impressed with the vets in my area!! The one vet I was going to is a breeder himself and he wants me to wean my pups at 3 weeks and start the pups on vaccinations at 6 weeks. When one of my pups came down with Parvo, he wanted to see my vaccine schedule.

I am convinced about the raw diet and plan to implement it right away! All my dogs are on vitamins. Still trying to figure out the vaccine thing! Parvo is very bad here! May do the Parvo / Distemper as Jean Dodds says to do. I had gotten info on her protocol from another site that is into holistic also! From this site I learned to use Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) as a wormer ( And since I couldn't find anything on worming on your site I was wondering what your thoughts were on this issue?

I will be using your site as a bible for my dog business! I am going to be purchasing all kinds of info. from you in the near future.

Was wondering what info. you typically give the new puppy owner? Especially in regards to feeding and shots!!!

And can I put a link on my site to yours for people to learn more about Vaccinosis?

Thanks so much for all your information!!!



Our protocol for what we do with litters is here scroll down through the article for the information. We worm only if necessary, and usually with a very mild wormer like Nemex.

We also send our puppy customers these 3 books:

The Vaccine Guide, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food. I rarely get questions about feeding raw anymore.

We also send each customer a copy the dvd titled Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months.


I have a 14 month old GSD that has been favoring one of its back legs after playing ball or running. I took the dog to the vet and they do not believe that is her hip they think it is her knee. Also, the one knees is bigger on the bad leg (it sticks out father then the normal leg) they gave me Rimadyl for 7 days she was fine while she was on it. I have read on your web site where you talk about the problems of Rimadyl and I am taking her to the vet tomorrow and don’t want to give her any more if they suggest it. She has been off it for about 3 days when she started limping again. Also, she is a little stiff when she first gets out of her crate. Do you have any suggestions? Also, what is the this Nu-vet supplement that a lot of breeders are pushing I know they get paid for everyone that they sign up, but is it any good and it seems a little high priced to me. Are there any other supplements that you recommend that are just as good?

Thank you for your time,



Did your vet take X-rays? It doesn’t sound like your vet really knows what is going on, is just guessing and prescribing a very dangerous medication. Did your vet run blood work before giving this medication to you? They should check your dog’s liver function before ever prescribing this stuff. This really bugs me when vets do this!

I would find a vet that is an orthopedic specialist, don’t waste your time with a regular vet on this. Without an accurate diagnosis it’s impossible to give advice on what to do next.

I have never heard of this supplement, so I don’t have an opinion on it. We feel very strongly about feeding a raw fresh diet and the supplementation we recommend is covered on our web site.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Hope this helps.


We have been enjoying your videos and dvd's in training our dog, Lucas. Your toys and balls are the only ones he can't destroy. We discovered a tick on his head and removed it. He became ill and hasn't eaten since last tuesday! We took him to two vets and discovered a high fever for the tick bite we think. Which tick repellant do you use and recommend? All of your advice we have used so far has been right on! Thank you for your help!



We used to use Frontline on our dogs, but several years ago a few of the dogs had local reactions to the medication and ended up with irritations and hot spots on the areas where we applied the Frontline. Those hot spots got very infected and all the hair fell out. We have since cut as many chemicals as possible from our dog rearing practices and check the dogs every day for ticks and pull off any they may have encountered, and spray them with an organic repellant before walks or time spent out in the grassy and brush areas on our property.

When doing it this way, you need to check your dog at least once a day but it’s much safer for them overall. It’s more work for us, but I don’t like the idea of putting poison in my dogs system.


I had my 6 month old german shepherd spayed a month ago and she died on the table, before they made an incision. We believe it was the vets fault (we are having them investigated), but my question is when should a female shepherd be spayed? I got another pup from the same breeders and I am terrified. I have switched vets, but they also recommend spaying at 6 months like the other vet. They say it helps prevent some kind of cancer. I want to do what's safe for the pup. I am not going to train her to guard, but I do want her to guard naturally if a bad situation was to arise. I did read that you said being neutered should wait until after a year, is it the same for a female? Thank you for your opinion.



We don’t recommend spaying or neutering till the dog is physically mature. That is usually 18 to 24 months old.

Vets will always tell you to do it early, but if you are responsible and keep track of your female while she is in season to make sure she doesn’t get accidentally bred, I see no reason to spay at 6 months old.


I just lost my companion of ten years to lymphoma, She was a female shepherd. I have a new registered pup being delivered in May. Do you have any dietary clues which could help minimize this devastating disease, I just purchased your video on puppies , 8 weeks to 8 months. Excellent training video.


I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dog.  We lost a dog to lymphoma several years back, and it’s heartbreaking.

We are firm believers in feeding a raw diet, made only with human grade ingredients.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I also feel that vaccines play a big role in the illnesses modern dogs face. For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books,  Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats

Good luck with your new puppy!


My German shepherd is 2 1/2 year old, and he has shifting lameness.  It starts in his front then shift to the left rear, then goes back to the front. I have never seen nothing like. The Vet has given him doxycycline tables 100 mg, Deramaxx 100 mg for tick born illness. We have him on Clucosamine Chondroitin. Being that you see some many shepherds have you ever seen such? I know that you are not a Vet. Have you ever experience that in any you've dealt with? I won't bother you again with this.


Has your dog had full X-rays of the elbows, hips and spine?

If this was my dog and the vet had ruled out arthritis or joint problems via x-rays, and he is absolutely sure it’s not tick borne illness I would find a GOOD canine chiropractor and get their opinion.   Even if it was arthritis, I would find a chiropractor.  If something is impeding the dog’s nerves then it could cause shifting lameness.

I am not a vet, but this is what I would try.


I have a white male shepherd dog which has not grown very big.He is 15 months old and is much smaller than the average German Shepherd. My vet says that he has a growth hormone problem and there is nothing I can do. My dog also suffers from a flea allergy which causes him to get really sick. He gets a horrible smell,his hair falls out and his skin erupts into sores and goes red. This happens every two to three months and he has to go on cortisone. He is treated for fleas, but nothing seems to keep the fleas at bay. I have also had my yard and house treated for fleas .I bath my dog twice a week with Tree Tea oil shampoo.Is there anything else that I can do.My vet is not happy about giving the dog cortisone but he says it is the only option. He also says that bathing the dog twice a week is also not good. My dog, who is such a loving animal, sleeps inside by my bed.

 Thank You


I am not sure how large your dog is but at 15 months old, he is not done growing yet.  I don’t know what kind of growth hormone problem your vet is referring to, did he give you a name for the disorder?

Healthy dogs do not have problems repelling parasites like fleas.  Allergies are usually caused by several factors, inherited immune problems, poor diet (this includes kibble of any brand) and over vaccination, overuse of antibiotics, drugs and chemicals like flea treatments..

We always tell people that the first thing you should do when your dog is showing you a problem with it’s health is to look at how you are feeding this dog.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books,  Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats

Please visit our Discussion Forum. There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable.  You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process.

This should help you get your dog on the road to better health.


I have a German Shep. that is 5 years in Oct. I have not had his hips x-rayed because all my friends in training class say anesthetics have risk! He runs agility, I keep jumps low most of the time (18 to 20) inches. He has never shown any sign of a problem, all of the dogs in his pedigree for 5 generations, are breed surveyed except 1. I give a very good Glucosamine supplement. The A frame is 5ft. 6 in., and I think pushing 93 lbs. up that is a pretty good test. The vet says if there is a problem it doesn't mean he can't do agility,but we would just have to watch him closely. During one exam,when the vet pulled his hip out he yelped.Do you think I should go on and bite the bullet and have it done?
My dog eats EVO, and loves it,To help him trim down, how can I do it so he is not hungry all the time.


Our vet does not use anesthesia to do hip x-rays. I would look around for a vet EXPERIENCED in x-rays without sedating or anesthetizing his or her patients.

Having a pedigree clear of dysplastic dogs is great but it is no guarantee that your dog will not have hip problems. We x-ray every dog we own when it's between 5 and 8 months old and then again at age 2.

With all that said, fear of anesthesia is not a good reason to put off x-raying your dog's hips if you are working the dog or suspicious of a problem. Anesthesia has risks but so does crossing the street.

We don't feed kibble, so I can't advise you on that. Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


May I ask why you never have females who are in season x-rayed? I have a female pit bull that I just had x-rayed. They have diagnosed her with loose hips at 9 months old. She happens to be in heat. Is this significant. Please advise me as I am greatly concerned. One thing I would like to mention that is a bit funny is they kept referring to her as a he. I kept thinking, being that you are a vet, don't you see the swollen vulva. You can even see it on the x-ray. It was a bit annoying, but I am sure it means little about the vet's credentials.

Cindy's Response:

Just before, during and right after a female is in season her body produces hormones that make the ligaments much looser.  This can alter the results of hip x-rays, so we never do x-rays with in a month of our dogs going into or out of season.  The hips can appear to have a great amount of laxity due to the hormone.  (I believe the hormone is called relaxin, but I am not 100% sure).

I don’t know if vets know this or not...  I would seriously question a vet who continuously refers to your dog as HE when it’s a SHE, especially when it’s quite obvious as you flip the dog over to take the radiographs.  It shows a lack of professionalism and attention to what they are supposed to be doing, in my opinion.



Hello Ed,

I was wondering if you have heard of Hemangiosarcomas in GSD. I have lost our little girl to this. I wondering if you have come across this a lot or is it something that is common but not that common it GSD. I want to get a new pup but I am kind of scared. So just trying to learn all I can about and seeing if you had any experience with this.

Thank you,


Unfortunately Hemangiosarcomas is quite common.  We don’t have personal experience with it, but have corresponded with lots of people with GSDs who have lost their dogs to this horrible disease.

A google search will give you a lot of information. 

Please visit our Discussion Forum.  There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable.  You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process. There are threads on there about Hemangiosarcomas as well.

I think diet and over vaccinating play a role in the continuing decline of our dogs' health.

For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books,  Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats


Hi, I took my 2 year old staff to a vet today as she was very lifeless had a temperature and had a lump on her boob.

He told me it was either mastitis or cat scratch fever as she had an altercation with a cat in the garden the day before.

I was just wondering if you could help me as to why mastitis is caused when she has not had a litter and is producing no milk?

She had her last period about 2 months ago.

Many thanks.


It’s possible for a dog to have mastitis without having a litter.  Many females go through a false pregnancy after a season, and many of them get milk.  

Mastitis is simply an inflammation of the mammary glands, here is an article I found quite easily using Google.


I absolutely love your site, and I've bought several items.  I want to find a vet that won't make my dogs get shots, any recommendations on how to find a vet like that?  Also, is it ok to give "Revolution" for fleas, ticks and heartworms? or do they not need heartworm med's? I wasn't sure if this is also unnecessary or not like vaccine boosters.  I had a schnauzer, died at age 9, had every problem under the sun, and my cat started out with "crystals" progressed to diabetes.  I don't want my animals to die so early, my grandparents never took their dogs to the vet, and they ate leftovers and lived very long lives.  I want to take better care of them than my grandparents did, but I want to do what is right!!!!



Here is a link to vets around the country that are supportive of minimal vaccines and raw feeding.

We don’t use chemicals with our own dogs, but you need to make your own decision about heartworm medications. Some areas have so many mosquitoes that there is no way around giving the medication.

I would also investigate a better diet for your dog, if you currently feed kibble. Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food. 

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


Hi Ed:

I have a 13 month old GSD half German/American blood lines.  His parents are both champion show line dogs.  The other day during out fetch the ball session Zeus began to favor his left leg.  His appetite is unchanged and he does not have a fever however, I have noticed there is now some limping.  I called the breeder and she took a look at him.  She has over 35 years experience raising and breeding champion GSD's.  She explained to me that it appears to be "Pano" and to simply keep an eye on him and limit some of his stressful activities until the symptoms subside.  She also explained that the "growing pains" of Pano may switch from one leg to another at a later date and I may try giving Zeus a buffered aspirin every other day to help alleviate the pain.  My question is do you know more about canine Panosteitis and what else I can do to give my dog relief.  Zeus is a wonderful dog and my heart is breaking just to look at him limping around even to take a few steps to the yard to relieve himself.  I want him well again and any advise I can get would be great.  I have an appointment with the Vet in 2 days.  Hopefully, you can give me some more information before we make his appointment. Thank you kindly.



You can use the search function on our website navigation bar to find a lot of info on pano. 

Here is an article.

If this was my dog, I would probably NOT waste my money on a vet visit.  Most vets will prescribe drugs that in my opinion are dangerous, and this condition is self limiting and will resolve with time.


I have one of my female puppies that is 10 weeks old and the owner has called me now a second time within 2 weeks saying that the pup has a urinary track infection, other then her having a tilted vagina (which the vet has not diagnosed) and I did not see either,  any ideas in your experience of what the problem might be?



Try It’s probably an inverted vulva, it will correct itself with her first heat cycle.


Hi Ed,

My wife and I acquired a black lab / beagle mix (Shadow) from the humane society about six months ago. Shadow will turn two next month.

We thank you for so much info on your site, and we've purchased the puppy DVD, basic dog obedience, and all of us have been learning a lot. It helps that Shadow is the smartest, most engaged dog I've ever had. 

His sit / down / sit&down stay / heel, and come have been great.  We've even been doing some agility training with him with the help of a friend of whose dogs compete in agility.  He just LOVES going thru the exercises.

HOWEVER, last week during one of the training sessions he just "shut down." He refused to heel ... insisting on walking directly behind me -- and preferring not to walk at all.  I brought him alongside with a firm correction, but he didn't seem "right." I ended the session.

Last night it happened again, but I noticed a few signs before it did.

- During a down/stay he 'vomited' a very small amount of water.
- Just before he 'shut down' he started drooling quite heavily.

This afternoon, this normally super-playful dog didn't have the will to jump over even the lowest jump settings.  He normally loves to fetch, but showed absolutely NO interest in it.

And, he's drooling again.
Any thoughts ? ?

- Dan


I would take this dog to the vet for a complete exam.  He may have injured himself or overdone it or have a health problem that is just surfacing. He may be sore or feeling stress from the training.  It’s not uncommon for dogs to start to shut down when they feel overwhelmed with the training even if they appear to enjoy it most of the time.

If you rule out a physical problem I would re-examine the training you are doing. 


Thank you for delivering this valuable information about vaccinations. My question is two part:

1. If you live in a state like we do, N. Carolina, that requires rabies vaccinations, how do you get around that so that you can still take your dog to the vet for other needed services?

2. Do dogs have to be vaccinated to protect from worms and parasites or does that over the counter stuff at Pet Smart work?

Thank you,
Linda and Brad


Our vet doesn’t ask about our dogs vaccines if we take them in for x-rays or other services.  If my vet pushed for vaccines to come in for other services I would discontinue spending my money at their place of business. 

If you are concerned about worms, then you need to occasionally drop a stool sample off at your vet.  We only give wormer as needed, not as a preventative.  I would not use anything I bought at Pet Smart for this.


Good Morning Ed,

We received our dog vest and all looks great ... thank you!

But, I did have a quick question regarding Maltese behavior. I was wondering if you know why, our 8 year old male Maltese who we adopted from a rescue 6 years ago, loves to lick (kiss). It doesn't matter if it's a pillow, blanket, a person's hand or foot, arm etc. he just loves to kiss. Can you attribute this behavior to anything?

Any insight would be appreciated.



Many times this becomes a chronic, neurotic and obsessive behavior. I think there are a few factors, one of which is vaccinosis. Licking objects, carpeting and people all the time is not normal dog behavior and in my opinion is a symptom of vaccine damage. Coming from a rescue I will wager your dog was vaccinated heavily before you adopted him.

Some dogs even lick the air or themselves to the point of mutilation.

The only thing I can suggest is to consult with a homeopath.

For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books, Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats.


I came across your website and was reading your questions and answers about hip xrays, dysplasia, etc.  I noticed you mentioned that you prelim your dogs between 6 and 10 months of age.  Why those ages?

I prelimed a male weimaraner at 15 months.  He came in as mild dysplasia with Subluxation checked off.  I called OFA and spoke to the prelim vet, Dr. Keller.  He stated that there was No arthritis or change in the ball or socket, but because there was more subluxation in my guys hips than other Weims of his age, he marked it mild.  Was 15 months a bad age?  Dr. Keller mentioned he has had dogs growing at that timeframe that he marked off mild, and when they got their regular OFA sent in after the 2yr mark, they came in passing.  He said my guy could be growing and tighten up in time because the subluxation was all that was noticed.  I have put him on Pala-tek just in case this was true.  My vet also agreed, as he wasn’t sure if my boy would pass or borderline due to the xrays being breed specific.  Wasn’t sure how they graded Weims.  Also, he went through major intestinal surgery at 10months of age.  Dropped a ton of weight for about 2-3wks.  Didn’t know if this could have something to do with him growing, or ligiments and muscles forming again, etc. 

When coming out of the anesthesia from the xrays, he wasn’t real normal till the next day.  Still droopy tired in the A.M.  Normal at dinner time.

Also, have you seen this happen?  If so, would you wait a certain time past the 24month mark.  His mother OFA Excellent at 30 months.  His father Excellent at 24.  He has a ton of Excellents and goods, and his brother was prelimed at 11months and came in Good.

Please let me know.  This is a multiple BOB dog and I will do anything to possibly have him pass.


We xray at the age we do because we don’t want to wait until the dog is 15 or 24 months old to know hip status.  If the dog has a problem we want to know earlier, rather than later.

I don’t know what you feed this dog, but I would get him on a raw diet and get him in very good condition before I xrayed him again.  I wouldn’t put an age limit on it, but when he was in tip top shape I would re do the films.  We all like to see OFA excellent dogs in our dog’s pedigree but it is no guarantee that you will not have a dysplastic dog.   Genetics play a role, but so do exercise, diet and environment.

If you search our site on the terms hip dysplasia you will find a lot of information.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutriton for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


Thank you so much for all of the work you have put into your web-site, its content has been invaluable to me...My question is, I put a deposit down on a working-line GSD this past summer, and the pups were just born a few weeks ago.  The litter had only 3 pups, and one of which was still-born. Is this a cause for concern?  Also, the breeder just found out that the bitch has an eye problem called Pannus.  Based on my research, I am getting conflicting information about the likelihood of this getting passed on to the puppies, and whether or not its even a genetic issue in the first place.  Any advice for a concerned soon to be dad?



I wouldn’t be as concerned about the number of pups in the litter, except that pannus is known to be an auto immune mediated disease.  This (for me) would be a red flag that the pup may have some inherited issues like pannus, as well as coming from a dog with a compromised immune system.  Take if from someone who purchased a pup that has inherited auto immune problems.  I unfortunately was not given the information about the pup I bought until weeks after I got her home, and she had all sorts of issues.  It’s taken years, and many alternative therapies and hours to get her healthy.   Pups do inherit the immune system damage from their parents, and not many puppy buyers think about that until they have a pup that shows a lot of health problems.

If you do a google search on pannus you will come up with a lot of info.  I had a friend who treated her dog for pannus for several years only to lose him to cancer.  Upon further research she found out the eye drops the dog needed each day are known to cause cancer with long term use.

Whether a pup from this litter will be affected or not, we can’t know.  You will have to decide if you are willing to go into this knowing there may be a problem months or even years down the road.

If you decide to take a pup from this litter, I would be very educated on vaccinosis and diet.   For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books,  Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutriton for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

The best way to help this puppy will be to boost the natural body defenses through diet and no more assaults to the immune system.  


Dear Ed,

I have a four year old female German Shepherd that has been diagnosed With pancreatic enzyme deficiency.  She is fixed, and we are not breeders. She is from all German lines and we have notified the breeder of the problem. Her TLI results was 1.5 with the range being from 5 to 35. She is very active, Has not had a weight loss problem and her hair coat is immaculate. She weights About 57 lbs. Our vet prescribed Pancre Ved Powder made by VEDCO to add To her food at every meal. She is fed twice per day on a regular routine. Any suggestions would be appreciated.  My dogs travel with me to work and Back each day and are a very integral part of my life.



Many dogs with EPI  live a normal life as long as they get their meds in the food at every meal.

I would make sure you monitor her stools, weight and feed her the best quality food possible.  In our opinion, raw is the best way to go but especially for a dog that needs pancreatic enzymes.  Digesting processed food is harder on the body, raw is the natural diet of carnivores and will tax the organs less.

We have an extensive section on the website on feeding dogs


Dear Mr. Ed Frawley.

I have a German Shepherd of 7 month old (65 pound) that has a Babesia infection, I'm feeding with commercial food (Eukanuba), I want to change to a Natural Diet. I asked my Veterinarian but I'm not glad with his answer. Please, can you give me your opinion.

Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,


I’m sorry to hear about your dog’s illness.  I hope your vet also tested your pup for erlichia as many dogs that have babesia also are infected in erlichia.  Here is a page I found that explains a little bit about this.

Many vets have very little education about dog nutrition, and will always recommend dry dog food.  We absolutely disagree with this!

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I hope this helps.



I was recently sent your eBook by a friend. I have recently started breeding standard poodles. I went to get their hips checked and came away with some bad films. In my ignorance I thought I had to take the films. I thought if I, an amateur, can see that the dog is not straight surely the OFA can as well. I was told by the OFA to go to a different vet and get the x-rays done again. Well, now I am out the $150.00 for the first x rays and the $150.00 for the second x-rays. Not to mention my poor babies have to be put under yet AGAIN!!!

On my website I am trying to put info on what to get your dog tested for. I wish that I had known about your eBook BEFORE I had taken my dogs to get x rayed. I wanted to see if I could get your permission to add a link to your ebook on my web site.  The link I would add is:

My web site is (it is a work in progress)

Thanks for the info on hips and for your time.



We recommend printing the hip article and taking it with you to the vet, if you have any question in your mind about whether the vet understands positioning.

Depending on where you live, there are vets who are not only great at taking hip films, but they do so without anesthesia.  We drive about an hour to Stillwater, MN to get all of our dogs xrayed now.  We get to help get the dog settled on the xray table, and we are in and out in about ½ hour.  I HATE needlessly putting dogs under anesthesia so it’s worth the drive for us.

We don’t allow our articles to be copied on a website, but you may certainly add a link.

Best of luck to you and your dogs.


I just read the article on pano. I have a 6 1/2 month old american bulldog going through this. The vet has him on rimadyl, I was feeding him large puppy food. I read about the raw diet and wonder if you could tell me more about that, what all is in it. Or what should I be feeding him to help him get over this.

Thank you,


We do not agree with giving Rimadyl, unless you have no other options and IF the vet ran liver function tests before starting this medication.

We have found that when removing grains in all forms from a dog’s diet, the Pano symptoms either go away or reduce dramatically.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food. 

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

If you use the search our site function on the left side navigation bar and type in Pano you will find lots of information also.  Best of luck with your puppy!


What products do you recommend for heart worm prevention, flea and tick protection?  I live in upstate NY in an area with heavy mosquito and deer population.  I have an 18 month old Maltese/Shih-tzu pup that has already had surgery to fix a genetic hip and knee problem.  I was lead to your web site when I was looking up info on diet, hip dysplasia, and knee luxation and read your views on immunization, diet, etc.  I started making my own dog food with chicken, rice, vegs and "Balance IT" supplement a couple of months ago and recently ordered "Force" dehydrated raw food to slowly introduce to my dog by mixing it in with her homemade food.  Considering the problems she was born with my main goal is to make sure she isn't exposed to anything that would cause further health issues.  Any information or ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.


We are fortunate to have very few mosquitoes here, but I would use plain Heartgard if I was concerned about heartworms.  I don’t like the products that vets push that work on fleas, ticks, heartworms, etc…

Here are the products we use for flea and tick protection, I don’t use Frontline or any of those spot on products as I don’t feel that my dogs need all that poison in their system.  I check them for ticks every day and pull any off that I find.


Organic Neem Spray


Hi Ed,

I got my rescue 2 german shepherd puppies one male and female today (Saturday Oct 27). They will be 6 weeks old on Wednesday(Oct 31) however they are from a litter of 14 (FOURTEEN) and 4 have already died. The owner would only surrender these 2 pups as they are bad off and are the smallest 2 who the other pups keep pushing them away from the food and bullying them so needless to say they are pretty skinny and weak... So, anyway I have these 2 pups who are probably about the size of a 3 maybe 4 week old normal sized shepherd puppy.They have been eating puppy forumula,drinking water and eating soften puppy food and wet canned food... Is this OK? They are VERY weak however they seem to be eating and pottying fine. Although their stools are very runny and quirt out of them... There is no blood in it. Should I continue to let them try to eat this stuff on there own or try your puppy formula and nothing else? or are they to old for this? If so how long should I do this before giving them something else? I am dumb when it comes to these kind of things so need all the help I can get... The female is doing better then the male she tries to get up and explore where as the male just wants to sleep however when food/water is offered he doesn't hesitate to get up. He even likes to TRY to get up in your lap if you put him near your face he gives kisses. They seem to be trying to hold there own however I KNOW puppies can fade FAST, so just wanted to see if there is anything else I could be doing to try and get these puppies through this?

Please if you have any advice I would appreciate it sooo very much!!



I would be concerned about parasites, a virus and/or a bacterial infection.  Get a stool sample to the vet right away.

I would have them on a bland diet, boiled chicken and rice or boiled hamburger and rice.  I have also been known to feed puppies with diarrhea jars of baby food.  VERY small amounts more often.

I suggest these pups see a vet; the internet is not the place to try to diagnos sick animals.


I have written to you about dog on dog aggression and your advice and video were quite helpful and effective. My dog will now sit quietly, off lead, and allow a dog to pass her by without twitching.

Unfortunately, this April, at the age of 2 1/2, she was diagnosed with auto immune encephalitis of the vestibular region of her brain. Since she was in excellent physical condition, young, and of a breed with immense stamina and ability to try, (American Pit Bull Terrier), we decided to attempt to heal her. 6 months later, we have made progress. She can walk. She can go up and down the stairs. We have re-introduced her to the boat. Unfortunatley, she has recently become very unsure of herself. She is physically not fully recovered. We cannot give her as much exercise as we would like since she rapidly loses equilibrium with exertion. When she does try to push it, she ends up falling, sometimes quite hard.

She bears a number of new scars from falling into or out of things. I think this has started to affect her since she is no longer willing to try to jump. For instance into the car or truck. She has also become fearful when in areas where she has fallen repeatedly before. Finally, we can no longer use the leash since she tenses up so much, (we used it to keep her from falling over completely a time or two), as soon as she gets even a slight tug, she just collapses.

If you have any idea on what I could do to help her regain confidence, while still not pushing her too hard physically, I would appreciate any suggestions. She has just turned three and I fear if we cannot get her mind to progress with her body, we may have to put her down. I just do not know how to tell a dog she is doing it to herself. When she relaxes, none of this is an issue, though she still falls. Physically, we may have up to another 6 months before she is off of the meds.



I wouldn't be asking this dog to do anything she seems uncomfortable with, due to her medical issues. I think in cases where dogs have a serious medical challenge like this, you need to listen to what she is trying to tell you (which is that she is uncomfortable physically in certain situations) To have unrealistic expectations is unfair to her. I would use food and positive motivation to help her regain some confidence.

Read the article I wrote titled Training With Markers. There are three phases of training, the learning phase, the distraction phase and the correction phase. We use markers to introduce our dogs to the LEARNING PHASE of training or to build confidence in a dog who needs it.

I would also see if you can get this dog under the care of a homeopath as in our experience autoimmune disease is usually triggered by vaccines. I would NEVER vaccinate this dog again, for any reason. Here is a list of holistiv vets by state.

For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books, Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats.

One final thought I had is some type of harness, so you could help steady her if she loses her balance. Maybe something like this?
2-Inch Polyweb Tracking Harness


I have a malinois that has had an allergic reaction twice in the past year. His muzzle and eye brows swelled and were extremely itchy. Both times I ended up bringing him to the Emergency vet after it became worse rather quickly. Benadryl did not do anything and the vet ended up giving him steroids. The itching seemed to have started between the toes like he steped on something and then a few hours later I awoke to the noise of him itching in his crate. Within an hour he started to look like a sharpe dog. The vet seems to think has got bit by something. Do you know of anything I can buy OTC and have here or do know of any home remedies. The vet cost is 160 dollars to get the shot and since it has happened twice I'd like to be ready next time.

Thanks for your help,


Without knowing what's triggering this anaphylactic reaction, it's tough to know what to advise.

If Benadryl doesn't do anything for it, then I would see if your vet (or another vet) would be willing to supply you with a supply of the injectable so you can administer this at home if you need to in the future.


We recently had our 2 year old dog Jasper (he is a 90 lb. mixed breed rescue) allergy tested due to his serious paw licking (two rounds of antibotics and steriods later his hind paws are still raw).  The elisa testing found he is allergic to:

Humans - yes, humans
Turkey - ranked highest

We want to begin feeding a raw diet to improve his health.  Are there any substitutions for eggs?  We are currently feeding Eagle Pack Holistic Lamb.  The only ingredient on his "do not feed" list is dried egg product. But, I recently read that bulk quantities of eggs are dehydrated using corn syrup.  So, we are changing his diet immediately to chicken, rice and vegetables.  We are concerned that he will not get all the nutrients he needs for a healthy life.  Do you have any suggestions that will help our cherished dog?

Best Regards,
Christie and Collis


First of all, the allergy testing that is done for food allergies is not worth much.  Vets that do this need to hit the books, because it’s just not an accurate way of determining a dog’s sensitivities.

I will say that feeding cooked or processed (like in kibble) turkey, beef, pork, eggs, etc is not even close to the same thing as feeding those same things raw.  Many dogs who can’t eat kibble can eat the same ingredients raw with absolutely no issue.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Chicken, rice and vegetables is not an appropriate diet for a dog.  I would not feed any grains at all to this dog (NO RICE), and no vegetables until you have this dog switched to a raw diet and he is doing well.  I would also never vaccinate him again, because most likely this has been one of the reasons for the allergies in the first place.  For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books,  Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats

We sell a good book about canine allergies too, if you are interested. 


I would like information on sites or from your resources re: Heart worm and flee & tick prevention.  I'm no longer comfortable simply applying & giving these preventive medications/insecticides. 

Thank you for any assistance re: research or knowledge you can provide. 



We have several natural alternatives to chemicals.


Oraganic Neem Spray

We don’t use the “traditional” stuff from the vet anymore on our own dogs.  Depending on where you live, and the risk of heartworm you will need to weigh the pros and cons of heartworm prevention.


We have a 3 week old puppy we got her some drops from the vet for fleas but her gums are kind of white. Anything at home you can give her for anemia? She is about a pound and a half she is a Pug.


At 3 weeks old you shouldn’t be applying any chemicals to a puppy!  Ask the vet for a supplement for anemia, one that I know of is called Lixotinic.

I hope this puppy is still with it’s mother, if not you should be using our formula.


I want to start by saying that I have been frequenting your site for the past ten years and have found it more than extremely helpful.  Whenever I have needed sound advice, I have told my husband..."I'm going online to see what Ed would do." You've never let me down yet.

I had a GSD imported from the Czech republic that I recently had to put down and have gotten a new puppy. I got the puppy from a very reputable source here in my area, The dam is a dog that belongs to the person in charge of the Fidelco breeding program in CT (guide dogs)  and the Sire is a well known dog of a man by the name of Bob Winski. I feel very confident that there are no known health problems with her lines.

I am not going to pretend that I am some knowledgable Schutzhund veteran. I'm just a lady that loves Shepherds and has had them all my life. I did join a schutzhund club for a brief time with my last shepherd and had the opportunity to meet Bernhardt Flinks... He told me that even though I was a begginner, he loved my dog and that I was doing a good job with her... So, I don't usually consider myself one of those idiots that I enjoy chuckling over  on the dumb and dumber posts. I can admit when I am in over my head and need help.

So, right now I feel pretty dumb and I need help.   I am at a complete loss of what to do. My 6 month old Shepherd has not been gaining weight as she grows. I am a RAW feeder... I feed her as much as I have been directed. When I have tried to increase her portions, she has gotten sick and had diahearrea .  Right now, she is only 34 pounds and her littermates are in the 45 pound range. She is very bony and looks emmaciated even though she is completely content. Her appetite is ravenous!

I have had her tested for everything under the sun. We are waiting for her TLI(?) test to come back... The vets are stumped. She was spayed this week and came home fine the first day. The second day, the loose stool started again. The vet has put her on "Hill's ID"...which I would eventually like to get her off of..and back on a raw diet if she can tolerate it.

Another thought... I read somewhere...maybe on your site...that rawhides can cause loose stool? Is this true, and could this be the issue? My husband gave her a rawhide to keep her quiet and to distract her from her incision. I have since taken them away.

Any ideas would be so greatly appreciated!

Thank you!


I would suspect EPI, based on your description of symptoms.  I think it’s usually found in dogs a bit older, but since your vet already has tested for it and you are just waiting for results I would wait and see what turns up.

I would also have her tested for thyroid function.

Rawhides could cause diarrhea also, but the ravenous appetite and lack of weight gain sounds like a pancreas problem.  Let us know what the test results show.



I spent countless hours on the internet trying to find an answer to a new situation with our 7 month old shi-tzu/cairn terrier mix which we got from a pet store. (I know...we never intended to go this route but it happened for good reason) Upon finding your site, I feel you are the person to talk to, as I agree with your training philosophies.

From day one he had never, ever soiled his crate. (He has however, exhibited submissive urination) Our routine/food...... the same, and for the past three months he has been excellent and highly trainable.

Until Now....

He was neutered and one week later began urintaing in his crate...every single night!!!! He also is whining at times when in the crate during the day which he never did before. All of this new behavior is puzzling to us and we simply can't go on with the baths, scrubbing of crate/floors on a daily basis for much longer. We have had him checked thoroughly by the vet for urinary infections - which wouldn't make sense because he only urinates in the crate at night, but we checked anyway. We can't help but wonder if this is a result of his surgery - or is this crazy? These two new developments only occurred after the surgery.

This dog is very eager to please and has up until recently been a total pleasure. Unfortunately, this is a problem we need to fix soon beacuse it is very difficult to deal with each morning. There is no water after 7:00pm. He gets fed at 5:00pm. He goes out around 9:30pm and is out by 6:30am. He has never had human food and is very good at the basic commands of SIT, STAY and COME, in other words he is smart and we are diligent. He gets plenty of fresh air and exercise. I am home all day, and my children spend time with him as well as my husband.

What has gone wrong??? HELP!!!!!!!!

Ready To Throw in the Soiled Towels.



It sounds to me like this is a stress reaction.  If you think about this from the dog’s point of view, depending on his temperament and self confidence it may just be a temporary set back.

He is a submissive dog, we already know this because he submissively urinates. Submissive and sensitive dogs don’t always deal with changes easily.  I would not make a big deal about the whining or the urinating.  I would ignore the whining and simply put absorbent material in his crate.  If you act upset or try to comfort him, this will only make it more of an issue.  You need to be a calm and reliable pack leader, and continue to give him structure.

His body has been altered by surgery and anesthesia and all animals and humans react differently.   Hopefully he wasn’t vaccinated or anything else at the same time as the surgery? If he was, then I would have a huge problem with the vet!   


Here is Gustavo from Brazil. Could you please help me with advice so I could place my order. Which combinantion of the supplements in your site is best for an older dog to improve his overall moving capability and at the same time to improve his hips and joints.

Thanks a lot,


We recommend Salmon Oil and Vitamin E, and also Syn Flex.   We give these supplements every day to our older dogs here.


Dear Mr. Frawley, 

I have found your website and videos so personable that I feel like I know you.  I don’t want to impose my questions on your personal time but I have an urgent question.  I will be brief.  We have an 8 month old pure-bred German Shepherd, German bloodlines 100%.  His parents are titled and pedigree, etc.  We visited the kennel before we bought him.  It was nice and clean, the owners were nice and responsible, etc.  We got him at 8 weeks.  He has been great, nice temperament, easy to train.  He has had an Honest Kitchen and raw meaty bones diet 100% of the time.  He received a healthy report from his last vet visit.  No shots from the time we got him.  He has been house trained for months and gets lots of regular exercise  (but not too much for a puppy….like you advised when he is tired I bring him inside).  Today THREE TIMES now he starts going in circles and slipping all awkwardly running to the door and he pees in a line all the way there.  Then he runs out and pees for a long time.  Until today he only pees about every 5-6 hours and today he has peed about every hour!   HELP!!  Please can you help me?  Is there something wrong with my puppy???  I will take him right to the vet if you think I should, but I’m afraid she will want to give him shots!  Please help!!!!!!    

Thank you,


Take a paper cup and tape it to a broom handle – try and collect some urine. Then in the morning take him and it in to your vet to see if he has a bladder infection or something else.

You could take his temp tonight – rectal – it should be 101- 102 is normal – if its over 103 he has something going on. If its 105 he is real real sick.

If he has a normal temp and is drinking fluids – try a can of chicken or beef broth – he can wait until morning.

Nothing jumps out at me here.


Hi there!  I know you guys do some natural remedies, so I thought I would share this one with you.  When you said “bladder infection”  I thought that since he had no fever I would try my natural remedies for a day and a half and then take him to the vet if he had no improvement.  Well, it has been a day and a half and I would say that he is 85% better.  The only sign he still has is going pee more frequently than usual….but still fewer times than 2 days ago.  So this is what I did:  raw, organic, apple cider vinegar  1 tbs 3x a day,  ¾ ounce colloidial silver 3x a day, 10 drops grapefruit seed extract 3x a day.  Also ½ cup cranberry juice 2x a day and 1 chewable c and 1 chewable zinc 2x a day. 



You are an expert and I would appreciate your advice. I have an intact female and male and a 9 month old male. I want the puppy to develop masculine characteristics and wonder if:
1. He should be alone with my female [in seperate crates] when she
is in heat, which will be any day.
2. Even though he doesn't interract with my highly alpha male, will being in the same house/kennel decrease development of optimal testerone levels?
3. Do you have any other suggestions?

Thank you. I have not been able to find anything about this on line.



Dogs develop physically according to their genetic potential and as long as you don't neuter him early, he will develop properly.

You can't manipulate the environment to make him become more masculine, it's not the way physical development works.

Proper diet, exercise and genetics determine a dog's physical appearance, not if he is in the company of a female in season or around other males.


Our German Shepherd will be 2 years old this month. She has always had periodic bouts of diarrhea. Our vet tells us that GSDs have sensitive intestinal tracts and this will happen from time to time. For the past 2-3 weeks, she has been perfectly normal (her waste is of good color and consistency) for 2-3 days and then all of a sudden its pudding. We give her boiled chicken with some rice a couple of times and she's alright again.

Would you recommend that we take a stool sample to the vet to be tested?



I would definitely have a stool sample evaluated to rule out parasites. I would also have blood work done, with the vet specifically testing for pancreatic function.

Your vet is wrong about GSDs having sensitive intestinal tracts, I don't know where that myth comes from. Their digestive system is no different than any other dog, if they don't have any underlying problems. GSDs DO sometimes have genetic issues with pancreatic function which will cause digestion problems but that needs to be diagnosed through a blood test. The test your vet needs to run is called a TLI test.

If all that comes back normal, I would re-evaluate what you are feeding your dog.

If you are feeding a commercial diet I would recommend you look at our Feeding dogs references. When an otherwise healthy dog has intermittent diarrhea, changing the diet to a more appropriate food can make a world of difference.


Good morning.

My name is Abby and I am a proud owner of two dogs, black Labrador “Buster” who is six years old and a German Short-Haired Pointer “Bodee” who is five. I need your advice for my dog Buster. I do not mind you being blunt or direct with me, for I am desperate for an outside point of view.

Let me start by saying, I love my dogs and I have no children, so my love is strong for my two boys. I do not believe in “fixing” dogs as long as the owners are responsible and do not allow puppy mills to thrive throughout their neighborhoods. My boys are not fixed, due to my choice, and they have never experienced mating relations for they practice abstinence, to put it politely.

About three years ago, my dog Buster started having Gran mal seizures. With documentation of the multiple Gran mal seizures (approximately six) and verifying no hazardous environmental issues existed, my veterinarian and I decided to put Buster on Phenobarbital. First he received one pill (60mg) in the morning and one more in the evening. I took him to have his six month blood work analyzed last August and was told his Phenobarbital level was low. Our veterinarian asked if I wanted to increase his dosage and I stated no, for why try to fix something that is not broken and he seemed to be doing great. A week later, he quickly awoke from a nap and attacked my other dog which required stitches for his face. My boys are separated throughout the day, for Bodee stays in his crate while we are not home to monitor their interactions.

We increased his medicine to one pill (60mg) in the morning and one and a half pills (90mg) in the evening. The amount of medicine seemed to be working, with the exception of a few bad dreams and moodiness once awoke from the dreams. About two weeks ago in the middle of the night, Buster woke up and again attacked my other dog Bodee, who is the most loving, forgiving dog I have ever had the pleasure to know and love dearly. My husband and I believe Buster may have had a mini seizure and when woke up he immediately attacked because he was disorientated and unclear what was “really” going on in his surroundings. We were able to, literally, tear Buster off Bodee and now Bodee sleeps in our bedroom during night with the door shut.

Last evening, my husband and I were relaxing on the couch watching television and both dogs sleeping at our feet. Buster showed no signs of distress while sleeping; no rapid eye movement, groans, twitching, or anything- just sleeping normally. He suddenly raised his head up, started the growling routine and attacked my other boy within a second. My husband grabbed him off Bodee and forced him to the ground. I removed Bodee from the room where Buster was and examined him thoroughly to locate any puncture wounds or damaged to him. He has some minor scraps on his face and was alright. I went to the other room where Buster was supervised by my husband and Buster had snapped out of his aggressive state. Buster was laying there welcoming me to comfort him. Even though I wanted to spank and scold him, my husband pointed out to me that he is unaware of what just took place and reprimanding him would be useless.

I am not sure why he was doing so good and now has had two issues in the recent days. I have to take him to the veterinarian’s office for his second six month blood level testing in February. I believe the medicine is doing what it is intended to and I know if we increase his Phenobarbital levels that his other vital organs could be damaged. What I would like to do is muzzle Buster during the night and remove the muzzle first thing in the morning and leave it off during the day because both dogs are separated unless we are home. I would like your opinion on this subject and your thoughts if I am overlooking anything that would help me with Buster. I have read several times online that dog owners should not muzzle their dogs for more than a period of 20 minutes. I am not sure if that pertains to outside dogs or what the reason is behind that rule? Both of my dogs are spoiled inside dogs, so there would not be any issues with panting and unable to cool off.

My goal is to continue to provide the unconditional love and great home life for both of my babies. Unfortunately, I know the truth is that Bodee should not have to live every moment as if he will be attacked by Buster. I know Buster does not want to hurt Bodee or us as parents. My heart aches about this and I can not act as God and snuff the life away from my best friend.  Please provide me your expert opinions on this issue, even if you think it may be harsh.

Sincerely grateful,


I would get my dog to another vet, for a second opinion, a specialist if possible.  I would want to uncover the cause of the seizures if you can, because until you do that it’s hard to go forward.  Maybe your dog has a brain tumor? Or damage from vaccines? A head injury?   It could be that the medication is causing the recent growing aggression.  Maybe he needs to have his dosage altered again or needs a different medication.

I would consult with a homeopath and try to find a neurologist.  This is a pretty complicated issue, that needs to be addressed medically before training can be applied.

I am afraid until you find out more about the medical aspect of this, all I could advise it to keep the dogs separated more so the lab doesn’t have to endure being attacked.  You could try the muzzle, but it won’t do anything for the aggression that he is displaying.  I would probably use the crates more if these were my dogs.

Here’s a list of vets


Hi.  I am not sure where to start and I saw your web site so I thought I would give it a shot.

I have a female Chihuahua.  She is a little over two and she is fixed.  For some reason about 5 months ago when she would pee on her pee pads (this is when she is inside the house.  She does also "go" outside) the pee would saturate her bottom and her tail.  Her sleeping area, not to mention other areas around the house would start to smell like her pee because it was dripping from her bottom\tail area and it would get on everything. This went on for a few months  Then it stopped.  However it just started up again.  Do you have any idea what could be causing this?  The vet, who also has Chihuahuas, has never heard of this problem.

Thank you.


I really bad mouth pee pads in the house training ebook for this exact reason.


Hello.  I saw the answer to the question 'why do dogs rub their butts on the floor' on your website.  What if I've just had him groomed, asked that they check his anal glands (I thinking they did) and he's still doing this?  What could be the cause?  Should I call the vet back?  Thanks.


I would call the groomer first and ask if they expressed his anal glands.  If they did, it’s possible if they didn’t completely get the glands emptied there is now an irritation that is causing the dog to scoot.  If clippers were used on the dog, it could be a clipper irritation around the butt too.

If the dog continues to do this, a vet visit is in order.


My female, spayed GSD rescue has come down with high folates.  This appears to be a symptom of EPI.  She has lost weight, lost a lot of hair, has a lot of digestive problems.  I've tried all kinds of things, have been to vets, spent a fortune, but can't seem to get a handle on it very well.  I have heared a lot about this disease, which seems to be becoming more and more common.  Are you familiar with it?  Is there a recommended safe treatment that you know of?  I've heard there is a special pancreatic or digestive enzyme that really helps, but it has to come from an animal source.  Do you know what it is, and where I might be able to get some?

I appreciate any help you can lend with this.



Has your vet run a TLI test?  You really need to test pancreatic function to know whether she has EPI or some other problem.  If she does have EPI you can get the pancreatic enzymes through your vet. 

Some people feed actual pancreas to their dogs with EPI and have good results, many suppliers of raw food for dogs sell them although I believe they are not that easy to get.  You can also try adding a regular digestive enzyme to your dog’s food in the meantime, it certainly won’t hurt anything.

Get your dog tested, and take it from there.


Hi, We have a 10 month old GSD that is in the house. She has her own space in our closet where we have her crate like you did. Every day her crate floor is covered with hair,  is this normal. Or can we do something to reduce the shedding in the house other than brushing.We do live in South Dakota where the temp is zero at times and she does go in and out of the house a lot during the day does the change in temp from inside to outside cause extra shedding to. Do you have to vacuum hair daily out of your dogs crate.



Is she spayed?  Female dogs totally blow their coat before they come into season.  If she isn’t intact, then I would look at diet and add Salmon Oil and Vitamin E to her food.  it can really help with shedding.

Change of temperature doesn’t usually affect the shedding that much, all of our dogs go in and out all day.  

Most dogs blow their entire coat a couple of times a year, if it’s not linked to heat cycles (for example, male dogs) it’s linked to the length of days and amount of daylight.


I can't get my 5 year old German Shepherd out of my Mercedes G500 that I purchased last year. From the moment that I get home, she likes to be in the truck. She sleeps in the truck at night until she wants to come inside the house. She has access to the house from the garage. She usually comes in when she wants to eat or go outside through the doggy door or to socialize with us. She is healthy and very energetic. Nothing is wrong with her. I have had her since she was 7 weeks old. We have a huge house and large backyard and she has total access. Is this a sign of her getting mature and liking her privacy? My wife and I are both physicians and we take great care of her. Can you explain this? Thanks.


I wouldn’t LET your dog get in the truck, you need to control her environment.  Unless this is a hormonal problem, his sounds almost like an obsessive/compulsive disorder and it’s not healthy for the dog emotionally.  She appears to be emotionally disconnected from you and your wife and this will not get any better unless you intervene.  You don’t mention if she is spayed or intact, but sometimes intact females can go through a false pregnancy where they seek out a place to hide, I suppose this could also be the case if she has not been spayed.  I have one female Malinois that will climb under a bush in our front yard and stay there if I let her.  I don’t allow it though, even if it means keeping her on leash.

We don’t like doggy doors, because the dog can come and go as they please and they don’t need to look to us for leadership. 

Please read this article about becoming an effective pack leader. The first sentence in this article says it all: “You can feed water and love your dog and he will like you but he very well may not respect you. “99% of all behavioral problems are a result of dogs not respecting their owners.  This happens as a result of poor handling and/or poor training.

This article was written for people like yourself, people who have great intentions but not enough knowledge of pack structure. There are links within the article that will take you to other articles on my web site.

I would set up rules and boundaries for your dog, as well as a structured exercise program along with some training to get her mind and body engaged with you. 

I hope this helps.



I just placed an order by phone. I asked the lady about my problem with my dog and she said maybe Cindy could help me with my question. My dog is a 20 lb poodle mix his anal glands must NEVER empty on their own. Once a week or so I have to raise his tail and relieve them. The fluid comes out with quite a bit of force. I feed him honest kitchen force. He is 2 & 1/2 years old. Should I be worried? Is there anything else I can do??

Thank YOU,


Is your dog a little bit overweight or is he at a good body weight?  Sometimes dogs that are a bit overweight have anal gland issues.

Do you add anything to his food or does he get straight Honest Kitchen?  More fiber and firmer stools can help naturally express the anal glands, I might add some meat with bone (like chicken necks ) to his meals to make the stools more firm.  Expressing anal glands weekly is certainly not normal, has he been seen by a vet?


Hello my name is Roosevelt, I'm emailing  you because I have no one else to turn to. I have a steady vet but I'm not happy with the results that I'm getting. My problem is that I have 2 German Shepards that are brothers, they are 2yrs. old and they're great dogs, and real smart. The problem is one is having seizures, I thought since you're a breeder you might know what to do. My vet has him on 8 Phenobarbital 1.5g tablets a day and he's just not the same dog. I don't want to put him to sleep but I also don't want him to keep suffering. That is why I'm trying everything that I can. If you can help or know someone who can please let me know. Thank you as I know your time is very important.



In cases like this, it’s best to see a canine neurologist.  There are many reasons a dog has seizures and without testing most vets merely give the dog meds without really figuring out the cause.  

You may have to travel to a university or big city for a specialist, depending on where you live.  Ask your regular vet for a referral.

Good luck to you.



I would like to know if there is anything else we can do for our dog Libby. We took her to our local vet today. The Doctor wants to refer us to see a cardiologist (Dr. Wood) out of Portland. Libby is hyperactive at times. The last couple weeks when she gets excited she starts to huff or hyperventilate along with ramming into things in a drunken state. She snaps out of it but it's happening everyday now. The vet say she is fainting & going into seizure episodes.

The doctor did a chest xray and it showed she has a heart double in size. He mentioned the right side. And the liver looked real small. Her blood work shows everything else as normal. The doctor gives her 6 months to live without treatment.

Is there anything to reverse the size of her heart? She is still a puppy. Do you think she was born with this? Could this have been preventable?

Thank You for your time,


For an accurate assessment, you will need a cardiologist.  I had a Doberman years ago that had cardiomyopathy.  Her heart was very enlarged also and she didn’t live more than a few months.

Please get her to a specialist as soon as you can, so you know what you are dealing with.  


My 7 1/2 month old Dutch Shepherd only has one testicle that dropped. I have been told to neuter him now because of health complications. I do some schutzhund training with him and he is a pet with my wife and daughter. I am also working with a trainer to work on Mold detection with him. Before this was discovered I was going to wait awhile and determine if I would neuter or not. The breeder offered to buy the dog back but I am attached and don't think I can let him go. Do you agree and what can I expect to change if the surgery is done now.

Thanks for your help,


We don’t advise neutering that young in males or females.  We feel that in order to reach optimal growth and health the dog should keep all of it’s original “parts.”  If you are worried about the retained testicle becoming cancerous, I would see if the vet could remove only the retained one and leave the other as is.

Otherwise if you want the full neutering done, I would wait until 18 to 24 months (if it was my dog).


First of all, I rely heavily on your website and am purchasing 2 of your DVD's for training my white GSD and you have been a godsend in good advice!

Now to my problem: I read Q&A number 47 "My 14 month old GSD favors a back leg after playing..."   My 5 year old 110 pound mastiff mix also has knee problems. The orthopedic specialist said she needs an $8000 surgery (for both knees) called TLPO and that she has tears in her cruciate - he said both knees are blown and will never heal on their own - money is not a problem when caring for my dogs, that is not where I am going!

I have a very dear friend who is a highly regarded holistic vet and he believes that this surgery is not necessary at this time and that with diet, rest, and prolotherapy he can get her to go several more years if not for the rest of her life without this surgery.

I want to do what is best for my dog. She runs and plays with my 5mth old GSD, she goes on walks with us, jumps into our bed (when we are not paying attention!) and rarely limps. When she does limp 1 adult aspirin takes the limp away.

I am getting wordy, sorry!  To sum it up - do you think it is safe to try the prolotherapy and hold off on the surgery until she truly seems to be in constant pain?

Thank you so much for your time and all the advice on your site - I love your podcasts!



If this was my dog, I would get one more opinion.  I am not a proponent of surgery, and avoid it at all cost. I guess that if the dog would not be in pain, and I would not cause the eventual surgery to be more extensive by waiting and trying the  alternative therapy I would give it a try.

You can always do the surgery as a last resort.


I recently took my 4 year old Australian Shepherd female in to get her hips x-rayed. The vet wanted to speak to me about the x-rays and said they were not going to pass. There was a little arthritis and she was spastic. A few days before the X ray I ran into your article and her and I talked about good positioning. The first one seemed to be decent but could have been better but it was extremely over exposed so she took a second one and my dog was crooked but you could see the problems in both films.

I’m planning on following your advice and routine and I will take her back in 6-8 months to see if anything is better. How much Glucosamine should she get a day and how much swimming. Is there anything else you can offer?

I do stock dog trials with her and she is a few points away from her WTCH. The breeder I purchased her from has been anxious to breed her because she has turned out to be such a nice dog in so many aspects.

What is your theory about her problems being from injury rather than hereditary. She has a bad habit of jumping up and looking in to our horse stalls. Like a pogo stick, she also jumps in and out of our ¾ ton Pick-up.

I’ve learned a lot these past few weeks things I should have done.

Next dog…
No excessive jumping, I’m getting a ramp for my truck.
Glucosamine at an earlier age.
No excessive jogging before 1 year.
X-ray my dog the first week after she/he turns 2 and possibly a pre-lim x-ray.
Not have the x-rays done in the middle of winter.

I have a swimming pool but it is cold. We live in California in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Temperatures here range in the day from low 50’s to 70’s in the winter. Does it hurt a dog to swim when it is that cold? I know hunters take their dogs hunting and they love to get in the water and it’s not a big deal at all. I guess I just feel guilty because I know she is going to feel like she is being punished. Any help on that issue? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



I would get a second opinion, from an orthopedic specialist.  Most regular vets don’t have much training in how to determine the results of a hip xray.  If the dog was crooked on the films, then I would not accept those anyway.  You need perfect positioning and a vet that is well versed in evaluating orthopedics.  

Our dogs would love to swim if the temperature was above freezing, but it really matters more about your dog’s tolerance and the temperature of the water.  If the water is too cold it can cause muscle cramping which is not what you want for your dog to experience. Walking uphill low grade hills is also good exercise for a dog with joint issues.  


I recently found out that a hound someone abandoned 8 years ago and we took in has contracted mange. The vet gave him a shot of ivermectin. The problem is I have 3 german sheperds that we love. The vet gave us advantage and said this would take care of them. Although they have a beautiful lustrous coat of hair they are scratching their chest area especially in the morning. I don't know what to do but I have little faith at this point in the vet. The vet does not want to give the sheperds a shot because she said they could have a reaction.

Can you advise me.


There are 2 kinds of mange, demodex and sarcoptic.  One is contagious and one isn’t although a dog with a healthy immune system should be able to deal with contact of either kind of mange, in my opinion. I wouldn’t let a vet give my dogs chemicals (which may be poisonous) to my dogs just because.

Your dogs may be scratching because of the advantage too, it may have nothing to do with mange.



Hi, I want to first thank you for your heart to help dogs and their owners to have great lives together. I have a 2 year old Mal she is one of the best dogs I have ever been blessed to own, only through you training videos and articles have I learned to get the best out of her. After being out of dog training for many years I started back at one of the local training classes and found that things had changed a lot. They recommended halities and other strange leads none that I could control my pup with. I was pleased to have found your site. Now we are a search and rescue team and  doing agility for fun. She is one of the best behaved dog at the events, loves people and has no dog aggression at all. Now to my ? What do you recommend for flea and tick control where we live now we have no fleas and little to no ticks. We are going to be moving to a location that has a lot of ticks.  Hope you can help, we own 5 dogs from age 2-14.

Thank you for your time,  
Northern California


We use Diamataceous Earth and Neem Spray on our own dogs, but check them every evening for ticks and remove any that have crawled on.

·  Para Clear

·  Organic Neem Spray

We don’t use toxic chemicals on or around out dogs, so I don’t use any of those products



Dear Mr. Frawley,

I have a question I haven't found answered (so far) on you website (for which I'm very grateful, same goes for your great DVDs). My GSD (pure German working lines) is now nearly 4 months old. How much walking is safe for her now and when she's an adult? I used to own a Gordon Setter who accompanied me either while on horse back or on a bike, she got about 2 hours of walking/day and lived to a ripe old age of 16. While I understand not to exercise a GSD too much before she is 12 months old, I would much appreciate to get a bit of a guide line from you. Right now, my puppy walks (not too fast) about 1 hour in the morning, and 10-15 minutes in the evening with me (mostly flat ground). Thank you so much!!



As long as the pup is allowed to go at her own pace and no forced running (like jogging on leash or running with the horse or bike) what you are doing now sounds fine.

I don’t start any really structured exercise with pups until 12-18 months, depending on the physical maturity of the dog.

Just like with us, the dog needs to ease into increased distances and intensity of exercise.



Good Day,

My performance dog is 3½ yrs old. We are training agility and obedience.

Our agility trainer feels I should give consideration to the benefits of neutering. She feels that he is 'over-sexed'.

Very distractable, social busybody, limited impulse control. She has intact males and has titled intact males.

My dog is not aggressive. No inappropriate (in the house) marking, in spite of living with an incontinent neutered male.

Perhaps a different handler would have been more successful, but I am his handler.

In your learned opinion, will neutering have any impact, at 3½ yrs old?

Obviously it isn't my first choice of it would not be up for discussion; it would have been done or I wouldn't even consider it.



In our experience, unless the dog’s behavior is sex hormone driven neutering doesn’t change the basic personality and temperament.  

Most times the handler just isn’t interesting enough for the dog, and neutering doesn’t change that.  I would explore exercises to improve relationship building before surgery, but that’s just me.



You have an awesome website. Obviously I have a GSD, 5 month old female who still has a few more puppy teeth to lose. She is from the Czech line and long hair. Her right ear likes to stand when running outside or sometimes just playing. But when it's back inside, the ears are just floppy. She's beautiful either way and my 2 GSD males love her too.

What is the latest you could go without trying the taping/skin gluing procedures? We will be going to the breeder in June when she'll have just turned 7months on our way to PCS to WA state, so she said she'd teach us the proper way to tape if they're not up by then. She is also with a left front leg limp that the breeder's vet dx as paneosteitis--it's been ongoing for 4 weeks now and we have her on Metacam 1x/day for a week, then our vet will try sedated films. My concern is the limp is all the time, not intermittent and doesn't fluctuate b/t legs. I am rather naive as to the pano or it possibly being OCD, etc. What is your experience or advice?

I may be crazy, but her little leg has me more concerned than the ears by a long shot. The breeder is wonderful as this is our 2nd GSD from her. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I appreciate any help or advice.



You don’t mention if the ears stood up by themselves before teething began?

Here is an article that covers when to tape ears.

Pano doesn’t always switch legs, so it’s possible that is what is affecting her leg. Really, without xrays it’s hard to say.  Also be aware that the growth plates in the elbows don’t close til about 8 months of age, so getting elbow xrays now may not be conclusive. With all that said, If she were my pup and the limp had been constant for 4 weeks, I would seek the opinion of an orthopedic vet if restricting exercise and meds didn’t change it at all.

If you haven’t been restricting exercise (crate rest and on leash potty breaks only) , I would suggest you do that.  Allowing her normal activity may be interfering with any healing that could be trying to take place.

I hope this helps.


I have a new lab puppy that is sick with diarrhea and vomiting. I've taken her to the vet 3 times in the last 2 days. She has had parvo and parasites tests. All came back negative. The vet gave her a shot for vomiting and two different injections under the skin to rehydrate her. She's 8 weeks old, but I got her at 6 weeks. The breeder told my husband and I that she was 7 weeks old and that she could eat normal puppy food, so we immediately began feeding her Purina Pro Plan puppy food for large breed dogs. Now she won't eat anything, even the vet's special food, rice or other things we've tried. She won't drink water either. Her temperature is normal. She had all of her first shots and deworming by the breeder's vet at 6 weeks, but our vet gave her an additional dewormer anyway, which did not produce anything.

The vet wants us to come back and spend another $200 for x-rays and blood tests. We've already spent $250 for the last 3 vet visits and just can't afford more expense like this. I looked online and saw your email addresses. Please help. We've grown very attached to this puppy and want her to with us for a long time.



We are not vets or health care professionals, so my suggestion would be to find a second opinion with another vet. A puppy with vomiting and diarrhea is a serious issue that should not be dealt with via the internet. (especially if she is dehydrated enough to warrant sub cutaneous fluids.)

I hope she gets better soon!



I have been purchasing your veggie mix – Honest Kitchen and it is wonderful.

However, I have a coonhound female dog who developed bladder stones and had to have emergency surgery to remove them last week.

I think maybe she got them from the lamb and beef lung treats from CO that I was giving her. She devoured them instead of chewing them.

Anyway, I feed her mainly the raw extra lean hamburger beef or turkey or chicken and your preference mix along with my other 3 dogs.

Annie the coonhound had surgery last week and the vet gave her the Hills Prescription Diet U/D and I did not want to give it to her since the ingredients are horrible. Anyway, she will not eat it anyway after the raw food that I give her.

Now I am giving her the lean meat, the preference, the organic cranberry juice, the organic apple cider vinegar, little honey, cottage cheese, B-Complex, probiotic capsule and she seemed to be doing very well.

Well this morning, I noticed that she is walking around trying to urinate and she is not going too well.

I need help and your suggestions. Donna at your office suggested that I email you and that you might be able to help me help her.

Thanks so much.



Hi Sandra,

I am afraid with something medical and potentially life threatening like bladder stones I would not be sure exactly what to tell you. What I would do if this was my dog is consult with a holistic vet or homeopath. I don’t have any personal experience in feeding a dog with urinary issues.

Here is a list of vets we have compiled to date, with the help of our customers. If you do not find a vet close by on our list, I would suggest doing a google search on holistic or homeopathic vets in your area.

I’m sorry I am not more help, but in a case like this the wrong advice could hurt your dog and I think it’s best handled by a health care professional.



Hello Ed:

I hope you don’t mind but I need some advice and always enjoy reading your advice.

I have a 1-3/4 year old male German Import out of "Negus Holtkamper See." I imported him at 7 months and for the first time, he is exhibiting fear of thunder.

I dealt with this for years with a German Short Haired Pointer and it was a living hell.

What do you suggest to strengthen his mind to overcome this fear of thunder? I want to nip this in the butt before it becomes a real issue.



I don’t believe it’s always possible to get dogs over this. I think it’s a natural response for many animals to be worried about thunderstorms. Some dogs with weak nerves show this, but I have seen some really solid dogs exhibit a fear of thunderstorms as they get older.

I have heard that some people have used products like Rescue Remedy (usually available at a health food store) or Melatonin to help dogs learn to relax during things like this.

I think it’s best to have a safe and comfortable place for a dog to go if they appear anxious, I don’t believe correcting a dog for anxiety is going to do anything except make it worse. If you get upset or annoyed at the dog for showing anxiety it will make the dog MORE anxious so try to be neutral if you can.

You could try doing something the dog really loves to do when a storm is approaching and see if you can put a positive association with it, other than that I know this is something that can be a real pain to deal with. One of my old dogs got quite nervous about storms in her later years, and I never could get her completely comfortable once she started exhibiting the worried behavior.



Three months ago we rescued a three-year-old GSD. He was starving to death, because his owner had not been giving him medication for pancreas insufficiency. He had other serious health issues including allergies. He is recovering well, but even on a diet of Hill's Prescription Diet ZD for food allergies, he is still itching. Which brand of natural kibbles from your site's list would you suggest for our Julius von Narnia?

Thanks in advance for your help,


For a dog with allergies one of the main things is to remove things that are known to be hard for all dogs to deal with and the number one offender is grain. I would try a grain free kibble like Innova Evo or Wellness Core. It’s hard for me to recommend kibble to any dog, because I don’t believe it’s suitable food but grain free is better than regular kibble.

I would also not vaccinate this dog or use chemicals on him. Our vet would write an exemption for a dog with pancreatic insufficiency, and we would not be required to give yearly vaccinations. You may want to find a holistic vet who will look at your dogs whole health picture and know that his immune system needs to be supported and not stressed with vaccines.

I would also recommend these 2 books, Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats.

Dogs with pancreatic problems can live great lives with the enzymes and good management.


Hi and I just want to say a really big THANK-YOU for your site and all the info you provide. I have bought several of your videos. I have been breeding/showing and training dogs for about 35 yrs. I currently have Bernese Mountain Dogs and Tibetan Mastiffs. You can never have enough knowledge!

I have a female Tibetan I have a question on. She was OFA prelimed at 14 months. She was rated a GOOD and NORMAL. Well many things happened at her 2 yr birthday and I just did not get her 2 yr x-rays done. At about 18 months she was out in the pasture and killed a deer. It took all my strength to get her back up to the kennel. Two times after that when I took her to the pasture with the group for excersise she would climb the cattle fencing looking for deer. Well until I can get higher fence installed she was confined to the immediate kennel are for excersise.

She has remained in this small area about 100ft x 60 feet until last week when I took her for her OFA x-rays. Her x-rays came back MILD and NORMAL she is now 27 months. I was shocked to see a healthy pair of hips with a GOOD rating go to MILD with DJD in just 13 months PLUS with the limited amount of excersise My question to you is this:

I have her on the following:

Move Free Advanced with MSM
Sea Mussel
Ester C 2000mg
Noni antioxidant

Have you ever heard of reversing the damage from HD?

OR have you ever had a dog of this age fail and then retest later to pass?

I have actually had a Berner fail by 3 orthapedic suregeons opinions and then the OFA passed her! Stanger things have happened!

I would really value your opinion…Lorie


I would swim this dog and do low impact exercise (like hill walking) and have the hips re-evaluated. If you used anesthesia for the first OFAs, I would recommend finding a vet that can do quality films with just physical restraint. I would also make sure she was not within a month of coming into or going out of season. Hormones can loosen the ligaments and alter the OFA results.

If the joint is truly “bad” or damaged then it may be an exercise in futility, but since she had a good prelim I would give it a shot.

Sorry for the delay in answering, we have had a seminar going on here and haven’t had time for emails. Thanks for your patience.



I am desperately seeking information/advice for my 11 yr. old German Shepherd. Our Vet says she has arthritis; could be in the hips or in her back. He started giving her cortisone shots last month. I really don’t see where it’s helping her a whole lot, but I can’t stand to see her in pain. Do you know of anything that can help her? I know it can’t be cured, but I’m not ready to give up on her. She still has spunk and tries to run and play—her hips just won’t cooperate. Any advice you can give will be forever appreciated.

Thank you for your time.



I don’t know what you feed your dog but cutting all grains (this means no grain filled kibble or dog biscuits) from your dog’s diet can greatly improve the inflammation in your dog’s joints. We feed all of our dogs a raw diet, with no grains. Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

We also carry several high quality Glucosamine supplements, we give the SynFlex to our senior dogs every day with good results.



My GSD pup had intussusception (with Giarida as the culprit) and had about 12” of intestine removed. Since that procedure, her stomach/digestive tract gets out of whack often (watery diarrhea). She seems to handle rice and small amounts of protein fine, but relapses when I try to increase the protein amount. Is this a result of the operation or does it take a long time for a pup to recover from this type of operation?

I feed my older dogs Honest Kitchen and they are doing very well on it.
I haven’t put this pup on it – I guess I am worried about potential salmonella in the raw ingredients along with her sensitive stomach.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.



Keep in mind that I am NOT a health care professional, I always recommend consulting with a trained professional when dealing with serious health issues.

If you haven’t already done so, for this dog I would recommend Probiotics with each feeding (either in the form of PLAIN whole milk yogurt, kefir or probiotic powder) to restore the beneficial cultures back to the gut. I would also recommend digestive enzymes with each meal, because her system is obviously very stressed.

I would try multiple small meals more often (as many as you can do each
day) , using protein sources that the body can easily digest. I would stay away from processed foods if possible. I’ve had good luck with boiled boneless chicken breast and sweet potato or pumpkin (pumpkin is a natural source of fiber that can help firm stools). I’ve dealt with bowel resectioning surgeries multiple times over the last 25 years, the key is to not get in a hurry to give her big meals or lots of variety.

Give her tiny amounts of food, don’t overwhelm her system and if you can find a homeopathic or holistic vet I would recommend it. Here is a list of vets we have compiled to date, with the help of our customers. If you do not find a vet close by on our list, I would suggest doing a Google search on holistic or homeopathic vets in your area.



First and foremost-thank you for what you do...but more importantly a BIG thank you to your son for serving! 

I'm an avid "reader" of you web site and have instilled many of your lessons into my obedience routine with my two Weimaraners.  I have a male and female.  My male-Harper is a rescue (yes, he's full of problems).  We've conquered the aggression and dominance factor---It took forever to establish me as alpha...but we did it!  One thing that I cannot break, and have sought behaviorialist opinions on is Harper eating feces.  He loves to eat my female's feces and sometimes we catch him eating his own.  Our back yard is not terribly small (privacy fence yes) but not exactly four acres either.  My wife and I scoop every time they go outside.  but sometimes---he beats us to it.  We've tried the powder mixed with dog food, we've tried cayenne pepper...nothing.  I've also started using a pinch (yes, it's up high-like you describe) and he will "leave it".  But...when he's out in the field when we work on retrieval...he keys in on it. 

Your thoughts?  And yes...I've looked through your articles too. 

We're stumped.....any direction?



The very first thing I evaluate with dogs that eat feces is what kind of diet they are on.  Many dogs do this because their nutritional needs are not being met.  The problem is that it does become a learned behavior and with some dogs even when the nutritional needs are met, they continue to do it because it has become a habit.

From a training standpoint, you could try supervising him all the time and using the remote collar to teach him to avoid

I would evaluate both of your dogs’ diets and if you aren’t already feeding a raw diet or a grain free high quality kibble, I would recommend it. We have an extensive section on the website on feeding and a raw diet.

There is also the possibility that he has an enzyme deficiency, which would have to be determined by a vet and a blood test.  Most dogs with pancreatic enzyme deficiency are quite thin though, and your dog looks like he’s carrying a lot of weight.

I would evaluate diet and retrain with the electric collar if this was my dog, and see how it goes.

I hope this helps.



HI Cindy and Ed,

Why does a dogs urine make yellow spots on the lawn? Is there vitamin or supplement that we can give the to help stop or minimize this.

I have a 11 month Shepard mix and sometimes his urine yellows the lawn and sometimes not at all.

I have mentioned this to my vet and they said not to worry about it.. I feel different with out making a big issue of it and before it leads to maybe something else.. I would rather prevent an illness then having to deal later.. I changed his food from Science Diet (which they were giving him at the shelter) to Natures Way allergy formula.. His stool looks a lot better… from that

Thanks I really appreciate your opinions!



In our experience, having discolored spots in the lawn is part of having dogs. Some people thoroughly water the lawn area where the dogs urinate right after they urinate so as to dilute it, and minimize the damage. There are supplements that are supposed to stop lawn yellowing but I am not sure of the safety or effectiveness of these products. I subscribe to the belief of NO unnecessary supplements or medications so I would not give these to our dogs.

You can also make a designated “potty area” for your dog, where there is grass you don’t care about or a gravel area your dog is trained to go to.

In this case, I agree with the vet on the lawn spots. I wouldn’t worry
about it.



Thank you for spending the vast amount of time I am sure it took to build your site. It is the most complete and non bias site I have found in a year and a half of surfing.

I would be great full for your help on this issue. I have a one and a half year old Boxer “Copper” who is experiencing hair loss, itchy and flaky skin on his ears head and neck. I am sure you can guess, the vet wants to give him steroids which I adamantly refused. But I am still left with a miserable itchy dog.  For the past month I have been feeding him Honest Kitchen Embark and adding a ¼lbs. of ground turkey or beef to it. I have noticed some improvement in eye discharge but the itching continues. I read some advice you gave another person but was left with a question. You advised they should feed just hamburger and nothing else (no supplements). If a improvement is noticed slowly add other foods  until an allergy is discovered.

I have just stopped giving Copper anything other then his Honest Kitchen but would like to end his suffering as quickly as possible. My question is, do you feel this approach should be applied to the Honest Kitchen? Feed Embark for a couple of months or longer? If a improvement is noted then add chicken, beef, venison ect.  (my concern is Honest Kitchen has several ingredients in it)


Should I stop feeding the Honest Kitchen and simply start with hamburger and work from there?  

Thank you in advance for any recommendations.

PS I have watched your training videos several times and still find new information out.



I would recommend that you see a holistic or homeopathic vet. Here is a list of vets we have compiled to date, with the help of our customers.  If you do not find a vet close by on our list, I would suggest doing a Google search on holistic or homeopathic vets in your area.

it may be an environmental allergy, and not linked to food but it’s always easier to control food than the environment. Have you had your dog vaccinated in the last few months?  One of the symptoms of Vaccinosis is allergies or allergy like symptoms.  If that is the case a homeopathic vet can help you work through the treatment.  Did your vet do a skin scraping?

I would do a single protein diet, but I would get another opinion from a vet first.  There are many reasons that your dog could be itching, and I would make sure to rule out all the medical reasons before I worked on his diet.  HK does have a lot of ingredients and some dogs are sensitive to the veggies in there.

We also have a book called Allergy Solution for Dogs  you may find it helpful.




I read your article about raw diets on the Leerburg site. I am very interested to know if any of the GSDs at the Leerburg Kennels have been diagnosed with Perianal Fistulae (a non-healing abscess adjacent to the anus). And if so where any changes to the normal diet made because of this condition?

This condition is very common with GSDs I am told. My Irish Setter [7.5 yr.] has been treated for the condition for over two years with little result. Because some research indicates that it is an autoimmune related illness and could be related to allergies, I have been on a long journey trying to find the right diet which may help. The first trial was to change his diet to a fish/sweet potato high-end kibble. Subsequently, we began seeing a holistic vet and he began am acupuncture and supplements treatment. We first transitioned completely from all commercial dog food to diet of cooked hamburger, mackerel, steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots & cauliflower), wild salmon oil supplement and --- eliminated all carbohydrates except sweet potato. She recommended cooked meat because she theorized that the body had infection going on related to the PF and that the raw diet would strain the digestive system and take energy from healing. His coat is looking much better but his fistulae is much worse!

The vet has also encouraged following the anti-inflammatory diet regime (no poultry of any kind, only wild caught fish)… however, she encouraged the use of hamburger… but now through our readings we are getting mixed messages about beef in general being inflammatory.

Therefore, I am interested both in any comments about raw chicken (and poultry) and any inflammatory concerns about this and most particularly if you have experienced dogs with the PF problem and any dietary suggestions you may have.

Thank you,


Perianal fistulas and allergies are an autoimmune problem, and in my opinion are associated with vaccines. I have a friend with a GSD that has perianal fistulas (dog was an overly vaccinated adult when she obtained her) and she feeds the raw diet as we outline on our website. She feeds quite a bit of poultry actually. If your dog’s system is really stressed cooking the food would be a good intermediate step.

If you choose to try feeding chicken, I would probably look carefully at the packaging of any poultry fed, as many times “solution” is injected into the birds to make their selling weight better. Beef is usually better tolerated by my dogs than chicken as a rule, but all dogs are different.

I am not a health care professional, and have no experience with this condition in my own dogs so I don’t feel entirely comfortable telling you what to do, and I might look for a homeopath to help you get to the root of the problem. I do know from dealing with chronic conditions in my own dogs that many times it gets worse before it gets better. The body heals (hopefully) from the inside out.



My dog has septicemia, and he has stopped eating completely. He was originally on a raw diet but I took him off for the summer and because he wasn't eating. Currently I am force feeding him with a syringe: sweet potato, vet recommended A/D and organic chicken broth. I am going to trade out the chicken broth with pedialite, and was wondering if you had any other suggestions as to what I can add to the food I am currently processing for him to get him as much nutrition as possible.

Thank you in advance for your help



Since septicemia is a life threatening condition and I am not a health care professional or vet, I am reluctant to give advice that may be detrimental to your dog’s well being. I would probably consult with a holistic and/or homeopathic vet.

Here is a list of vets we have compiled to date, with the help of our customers. If you do not find a vet close by on our list, I would suggest doing a Google search on holistic or homeopathic vets in your area.

I hope your dog makes a speedy recovery.



First I would like to thank you for the excellent article on proper positioning for hip x-rays.

A friend recently had a dog x-rayed for OFA. Her vet said the x-ray was normal. And the OFA result was mild dysplasia. I told my friend not to worry too much at this point. That first she should take her dog to an orthopedic vet and get x-rays with sedation and proper positioning and I sent her your article on proper positioning. If the x-ray looks good she can resubmit to OFA and if it looks bad she can find out what the orthopedist suggests for managing her dog's condition.

My question to you is... how does she find a really good orthopedic vet?
What do you look for when choosing an orthpedist?

And should she tell the vet that her dog has already OFAed mild dysplasia? Would that taint the opinion?

My breed has submitted less than 100 x-rays for OFA ratings and hasn't received an excellent rating in the last 11 years. Has OFA tightened their standards over the years or something? My breed is not known for having hip dysplasia but they are so small that it might not be noticed without x-ray if they were dysplastic. I wonder if OFA has some sort of quota system in place so that too many dogs in a breed won't receive an excellent rating and make the statistics for the breed so good that people will not to be inclined to use OFA.

And I wonder if I would be better off just taking dogs to a good orthopedic vet and getting an opinion on hips before breeding rather than submitting to OFA.

Thanks for your input.
-Cathy S.


If you can’t get referrals from other people who have had good experiences and results from orthopedics vets, then I would Google search your area for board certified orthopedic veterinarians.

If a vet is good, I don’t think it matters if you tell them about previous radiographic results. They should be able to see for themselves the status of the dog’s joints.

You will get varying opinions about the value of OFA, some people won’t breed or buy pups from stock that is not OFA’d. We personally feel that a qualified orthopedic vet’s opinion is good enough for us. We stand behind our puppies either way.



Mr. Frawley: I wrote to Cindy, and wanted to copy you on the same request for comment. I was referred to your site by a friend who thinks my 11 month old Mastiff's diet might be contributory to a 6 week limp on his front right paw. A round of x-rays of his entire front yesterday under anesthesia and a lime test, were negative. Yet, the limp is pronounced. The examination yesterday followed two 2 week rest periods with anti-inflammatories. I suppose I am next looking at a specialist and an MRI to rule out a soft tissue derangement. My friend thinks that the IAMS food that I have him on (with garlic supplement from springtime) is not doing him justice. I am told to go raw (as per your website) and supplement with longevity from springtime. Do you think the advice is sound for the problem? Best regards to you.

"Oz" and Charles.

Ed's Answer:

The odds are the dog has pano. I have an article on my web site. It is in the list of training articles I don't have the exact URL here but you can look it up.

I would not do any MRIs or anything like this. Do what I say in the article.

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley

Cindy's Answer:

Diet most definitely plays a role in skeletal development and growth, especially for giant breeds.

Ed recommended you read about Pano (which I am guessing is the problem with your dog). Pano is basically an inflammation of the long bones and it is self limiting. It will go away eventually so pain and exercise management along with feeding an appropriate diet are key. Most vets can't see Pano on an x-ray, because they have to know what they are looking for and most don't. In my experience, grains of any type aggravate Pano. This includes normal dog biscuits and treats, and most commercial kibbles (unless labeled grain free). If you use treats or commercial dog food you are going to have to become a label reader, because many products have hidden grain products in the ingredient list.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It's a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I hope this helps.


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