Monday, September 18, 2017

Amazing Recoveries

Nearly lost one of my Shikoku girls this month. Mumu was bred on her heat (last attempt before retiring her), didn't look pregnant one month on, and that was when everything started. She started losing appetite a bit. Usually she's a pretty voracious eater. When I started to worry was one day when she didn't want to walk up hill. At first I thought maybe her hips were starting to bother her (she's got pretty poor hips), but after she left all her food a few days later I took her in to the vet.

A sonogram showed the womb slightly enlarged, but normal considering she could have been pregnant. We got some light meds to treat possible pyometra which was my main concern. Her heat before this she had been bred as well, and got quite large, but turned out to either have absorbed the pups or not to have been pregnant at all. Anyway, she started eating grass and vomiting daily, and continued to not eat. After a few days I took her in again, and we drew some blood. The results showed her kidney function was poor, but again not too much clarity on how her womb was doing. We ramped up meds, and my vet finally got me to agree to learn how to put an IV in. That's one of those things I've always just taken my dogs in for, but every so often it's a necessary and quick fix for issues, and if I'm already able to sew up my dogs every now and again, putting an IV in is another good skill to have.


With a new slew of drugs and a box full of IV, I moved Mumu into the house so she could enjoy the airconditioning. There was really no change. She slept all day, wouldn't eat, vomited a lot, and just started wasting away. All in all she stopped eating for around 3 weeks, got rail thin, and I made my peace with the fact that she was not going to make it. I'd carry her outside to urinate, and we'd walk around on the lawn for a while.

Well she was really starting to weaken, and it was hard to watch her in such obvious pain for so long. I remember thinking I'd maybe take her in to the vet the next day to have them put her to sleep. Well next morning I let her out in the back yard while I got everyone's breakfast ready, and all of a sudden she started eating some of the leftover kibble. After so many weeks of trying to make so many tasty thing for her to eat even a few bites of, and now she's just gone for the dry kibble! Anyway, it was fast after that. She's back to normal now, aside from loss of weight and muscle definition, she's back to being the same old beautiful dog.

My vets were shocked when I told them yesterday that she came around. We were all sure it was just a matter of time. But hey, I guess Mumu wasn't ready to kick it just yet. I'll be waiting till she's put on a bit more weight, and then I'll be spaying her and looking for a retirement home.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Banryuu

This little guy was born over at Sai no Kuni Inoue Sou in Saitama. The Inoue's are good friends of mine, and I really like the sire (Asahi) of these pups. Their mother, Kurumi, is the daughter of Peromi. Peromi is the most famous Kai in Japan, as she was raised on a national TV show along with 5 other pups representing all the Japanese breeds.


I'll say it again, I love Kai pups. For anyone thinking of getting a Nihon Ken as a companion, seriously consider a Kai. The ease of ownership has them tops in my book.

This little guy is just staying here for 2 weeks, but I picked him up Saturday, had him in the house meeting Baron in the evening. Of course he's still a pup, but the Kai's dog social nature was already on show. Lot's of really good communication going on, and understanding boundaries. I took him outside, he did his business. I put a couple absorbent sheets down in a corner of the kitchen (the same ones that I put in his crate when we drove home from his breeder), and later on he walked over and peed on them.

From there, he's been great. No accidents. Business is done outside, with some pee on the sheets. I haven't had to crate him at all, he just plays with his toys and Baron. He's quickly learning what is not to be chewed, and that when we go on walks we'll come back. Kai do often suffer from separation anxiety, but I think that's part of the package with a dog that chooses you as their person. The initial few days are important with a Kai pup, and slow comfortable socialization is key. They're very smart little thinkers, and their flight response to things can be very high. Don't scare them, always be their protector and be in control of situations, and they'll learn to trust you. Once they do, it's all gold from there.

Well, at least till adolescence. That's another journey.

For anyone that's wondering, I shot this video on my recently acquired Sony Nex. It's a digital mirrorless camera, and I can't recommend it enough. It's tiny. TINY. Goodbye DSLR, this tiny little camera shooting amazing still and video, with fun little adaptors which allow you to use old lenses (I have several now including a 50mm 1.8 Minolta which is amazing) has you beat. I picked up this cam to snap some good quality dog and surf videos, and I could not be happier with it.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

NIPPO Show Dates Autumn 2017

Here are the dates for all the NIPPO branch shows for the coming autumn season. They will culminate in the grand national which will be held in Wakayama this year. I've already blogged the location here http://nihonken.blogspot.jp/2017/05/2017-nippo-grand-national-location.html

September 10th: Tochigi, Ishikawa
September 17th: Hokkaido, Ibaragi, Yamanashi, Niigata, Shiga, Miyazaki
September 24th: Miyagi, Saitama, Shizuoka, Fukui, Nara, Tottori, Ehime
October 1st: Aomori, Chiba, Aichi, Hyogo, Shimane, Kochi, Oita
October 8th: Yamagata, Santama, Nagano, Osaka, Okayama
October 15th: Iwate, Kanagawa, Mie, Tsuyama, Kagawa, Nagasaki
October 22nd: Akita, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Hokuriku Regional (Toyama)
October 29th: Kumamoto, Tohoku Regional (Fukushima),Chugoku Regional (Yamaguchi), Shikoku Regional (Tokushima)
November 3rd: Kinki Regional (Wakayama)
November 5th: Kanto Regional (Gunma), Chubu Regional (Gifu), Kyushu Regional (Kagoshima)

I should be at most of the Kanto branch shows. Now that I've typed this I'm realizing it's time to start the process of getting everyone show ready. It's still damn hot out here, over 30 degrees celsius.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Picky Eater Shikoku

I hear it a lot, 'My Shikoku is a picky eater and I can't get any weight on him/her!' I've experienced this and other digestive issues in the Japanese breeds, so I'm going to share how I deal with it. So far the results have been 100 percent management success.


So what are you feeding your dog? I guess we've got the kibble feeders, cooked food feeders, and the raw food feeders. I find that most of the time, picky eaters will eat more readily eat cooked or raw food. At least at first. But, a lot of dogs will get bored of eating the same thing every day for every meal.

Since I have a lot of dogs, and a lot of dogs that I kennel for varying lengths of time, I feed my dogs a grain free salmon/sweet potato kibble. Mixed with this I will throw in varying meat topping, and they get cooked boar bones on occasion as well. When I boil the meat scraps and bones for the dogs after butchering a boar, I keep the soup. This soup is gold for dogs that temporarily lose their appetite, or to mix with rice when dogs are not feeling well.

My dogs are fed twice a day, individually, a set amount which varies by season. Dogs don't need to eat quite as much in the summer. Whatever they don't eat in 15 minutes is put away. The kibble is mixed with a bit of topping, and some warm water. Not all the dogs need topping or water, some will eat straight up dry kibble from the bag, but the majority will not do that unless they are starving. So, I could keep trying to force different types of dry dry dry food down them till they are skin and bones, or I can create a system that helps them maintain proper weight. This is especially important for working/show dogs if you're trying to keep them in optimum condition.

If a dog starts leaving food a few meals in a row, I will reduce the amount by a third. If their stool is looking a bit soft, I'll reduce by half. If they have diarrhea they skip a meal. This happens more often during the summer months. Dogs lose their appetite, get a bit more lethargic, and are more prone to digestive upsets.

One important thing to remember when dealing with dogs with appetite loss or upset stomachs is to not go switching their food suddenly. This is generally a bad idea unless you like dealing with poo explosion. Any change in diet or food should be in small amounts and gradual.

I believe there is a train of thought that kibble and cooked food digest at different rates so should not be fed together, but I have not found that to be the case. I read a good study on it somewhere that showed that when fed together they were digested at the same rate. Anyway, I mix. Blocks of meat, rice, pumpkin, these are all things that make it into the mix. Just be careful with keeping the meat you feed low fat. Anything too fatty or oily will often give a dog diarrhea.

And just to throw this in, get your dog's stool checked by your vet every once in a while. Parasites and bacteria can cause loss of appetite and poor stools. Dogs that have a habit of eating random things may also have a blockage in their digestive system (where's mom's other red sock?). Maybe your dogs eating issues have a more serious cause? If you get a new dog or pup, the first thing to do is to get their stool checked. Always. Some parasitic issues can cause permanent damage to the digestive tract.

Where do your dogs eat? Shikoku tend to be pretty reactive to their environment, everything is interesting. So, if you want your dog to relax and eat, set a routine. Mine is that after going for our twice daily walk, everyone goes into their kennels/crates, then it's time to eat. Once they're done eating, the rest of the day begins.

So to sum up my system...
1. Feed them quality food that they will eat (just don't suddenly add new things to their diet)
2. Feed them in a quiet, safe place
3. Always keep an eye (and your vet's eye) on your dog's stool
4. Add toppings - meat, fish, rice, pumpkin (just no fatty stuff, and make sure you check before adding any other exotic stuff) and warm water
5. Skipping meals every now and again is good for dogs. It can help their digestive systems catch a break, and help them regain their appetite.

Lastly, dog's that are burning calories (ie getting enough exercise!) will have more of an appetite, and of course will be happier. Get out for walks/runs/play with your dogs as much as possible!





Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sesame in the Shiba

Sesame is an officially recognized color in the breed, but it's not without it's controversy. Some say it wasn't originally in the breed (at least not the type of sesame we have today), and some say the current coloration was created by adding Shikoku to the mix. Who knows these things.

All that is certain is that there is sesame in the breed, but generally just in one line that originally comes from Shikoku.

It's a very difficult color to select for in the Shiba, so there's plenty of people that have purchased a sesame Shiba pup only to have it turn out like this.





We were sure that one was going to be a sesame...
So why am I blogging this? Rare color always seems to equal a large amount of requests. So here's the answer. The odds of you getting a sesame pup is low. It will take time. And then, it's a crapshoot whether it will end up being a proper sesame (with even coloration over it's entire body).

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Available Shiba Puppies

A friend has some Shiba puppies available for sale.
DOB June 16th, white male, white female, and 2 red females.
Anyone interested is welcome to contact me at kato.the.walrus@gmail.com so we can discuss details.







Saturday, July 8, 2017

Heats

This should be interesting. My 3 Shikoku females and 1 Kishu female all came into heat this week. 3 of the girls started on the same day. I refuse to have 4 litters born at the same time!

In other news, my brother just moved in with me the other day. Getting some help around here (and another surfing buddy) will be fun! He had his girls down here with him over the weekend, so bbq and beach was on. The girls got to surf and had heaps of fun. At least it looked that way to me.

Shigeru Katoさん(@katothewalrus)がシェアした投稿 -
Shigeru Katoさん(@katothewalrus)がシェアした投稿 -