Friday, June 25, 2010

The Scoop on Poop

Okay – time to talk about everyone’s favorite puppy subject……Puppy POOP! I know, I know talking about poop is gross and never a great topic of conversation but face it – poop happens!!! And what’s worse is puppy poop can be full of parasites. YUCK! Why do puppies get parasites – well for one thing – because they are puppies! The puppy intestinal tract is very immature and prone to pick up all sorts of nasty things. Plus puppies who love to explore, love to explore with their mouths. Decaying leaves….mmmmmm! Rotten tomatoes….delightful!!!! Dirty muddy puddle ponds….OHHHHH so lovely!!! Cat poop (aka Tootsie Rolls) absolutely divine! If it is yucky or dirty or smelly or off limits, why then - that is the bestest and most perfect place for a puppy to be!!!! On top of that, a Mommy Dog carries worms in her milk. Gross right? The worms are passed through the mommy dog’s milk into the puppies tummies. That is why puppies need to be wormed every 2 weeks when they are little. The odds are just stacked against them. One of the most common puppy parasite is Coccidia. Here at Yesteryear Acres it is something we fight constantly. This is pretty common in young puppies. Coccidia can lay dormant in a puppy’s intestinal tract and then become active with the stress associated with leaving their littermates, a change in environment, stress from travel, change in food or water – etc. It can be hard to catch as it can be dormant in one stool sample and appear in the next. We have our puppies stools tested before they go home. We take a sampling of all the puppy poop from one litter and the vet mashes it up and tests the batch. No matter how hard we try to maintain perfect stool samples it seems that we have one or two puppies go home and then develop coccidia. Coccidia is really easy to treat – but left unnoticed can cause bad diarrhea and stomach upset. The medicine is called “Albon” and is a vanilla or butterscotch flavored liquid medicine. Puppies love it and it is a once a day dose for about 10 days. I know for the puppy families who bring home a puppy that has a positive stool sample result – that is never fun – but in our 10+ years of raising puppies, I can tell you we have never had a single puppy go home that wasn’t well socialized. We have never have had a puppy that wasn’t well loved. We have never raised a puppy that didn’t go on walks, didn’t get to explore the big outdoors, didn’t hang out in the kitchen and love people and noises and all the commotion a loving busy family brings. Sure I could raise the puppies in an absolute sterile environment. I could keep them in a small area that is bleached and never allow visitors or small kids to come and play with them. I could put down an artificial grass surface and enclose it with a fence and bleach that and keep the puppies from ever being exposed to any germs whatsoever but that isn’t healthy for a puppy’s mind, spirit or soul. Life is messy. We love to take our puppies with us to the pond, through the woods and out in the yard. We love to have little kids here to play with the puppies. We love to have big kids here to play with the puppies too! So Coccidia happens. It happens here, it can happen at your place – puppies just are prone to parasites. But don’t worry. Puppies can be cured of Coccidia and it is rarely serious and once the puppies mature their intestinal tracts are much stronger and are immune to most ailments. Puppies however can never be cured of isolation so we will continue to take our puppies over the river and through the woods and we will love them and when you pick up your sweet puppy, you will know without a doubt that your puppy was cherished from the moment it was born. So to anyone who has brought a puppy home that had Coccidia and to any future puppy families that brings a puppy home that develops Coccidia, I am sorry that your puppy didn’t have perfect poop. I can’t promise perfect poop in our puppies but I can promise that the puppy you meet here will be full of unconditional love and once you bring home your new furry family member, you will marvel at how much laughter and joy your little four legged baby will bring to your heart.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

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