Hunting Dog Health Issues That Surprise
A hunting dog can develop health issues so quickly that sometimes you might not notice it until it's to late. We have a female Lab that is prone to Uterine Infections, which is highly uncommon at her age, but it's happening. I hope that by reading this article you will understand the importance of keeping a close eye on the physical health of your pet. Even the smallest changes may be linked to a serious health concern.
"Bailey" our 2yr. old female began showing signs of weakness and fatigue. She was drinking a lot of water and eating less and less. This was highly unusual as she was the most active and high energy dog we have ever had. Then she slowly began to lose weight and her ribs were becoming visible. Our first thought was that the food we were giving just didn't have enough protein to sustain her energy level. So we slowly began to switch her to a better quality food. She continued with training as usual and did well on actual hunts so we decided to give it a few more days and see how things went. There were no flashing red lights going off yet that there could be something terribly wrong.
Just a few days later we went out in the morning to find her unable to stand and come out of the kennel area! When she attempted to get up she whined in pain and laid back down. She had just been running and playing fetch with the kids the night before in the backyard. We instantly went into panic mode and contacted our vet to bring her in. We could not understand how this happened so fast and how it had become so serious!
We rushed her straight to the veterinarian and he did a full exam. This is when we learned about Uterine Infections. Bailey had just finished a heat cycle a couple weeks earlier and he told us that it had started there. Some type of bacteria made it's way into her uterus while she was cycling and started to cause an infection. As the infection grew it caused her to have abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss. When she was done with her heat cycle the Cervix closed and the infection remained, smoldering like a fire that hadn't been fully extinguished.
She spent almost two weeks at the vets office on IV antibiotics, and taking medications to force her uterus to contract and try to push out the infection. These medications were so strong that it could have been fatal to her and she remained on machines monitoring her heart rate, blood pressure, etc.
This has now caused her to have scar tissue inside and it may make it difficult for her to carry a litter of pups. We have to keep very close track of her heat cycles and give her antibiotics two weeks prior to help prevent future infections. Which may not always work but it is the only thing we can do to try to save her from going through the same painful situation. Luckily she has been doing great and has not gotten an infection since.
The health of our pets should be a major concern and something we pay very close attention to. Small things such as this can quickly and easily become a serious issue. It could claim the life of your pet or treasured hunting partner if we take the signs for granted.
By Kelly Olson- Professional Dog Breeder