Striving For


Immunizing vs Over-vaccinating

We believe in a whole health approach to the care of our dogs.  They are members of our family and we strive to provide them with the best care we can.   Just like with the care of other family members, that sometimes means we have to further educate ourselves on what is often considered common approaches or the way it's always been done so we can ensure we are making the choices for our dogs that are inline with our value systems and based on the most current information available to us.   This is a page in development and will eventually cover our perspectives on a wide variety of topics; over vaccinating, early altering, food choices, flea/tick meds, hip dysplasia, proper exercise and more.  Check back, we'll be updating from time to time.  

Fleas, while far less harmful than ticks, are still quite annoying and your dog can pick up multiple harmful parasites from them.  Ticks often pose a much higher risk of health concern.  Tick borne diseases have been on the rise over the last few years for both animal and human.   As with most sporting breeds, we spend a lot of time outside with our dogs, in the woods daily and regularly in fields or hiking & swimming.  We take a multi layer approach to combatting these parasites.  It's important to realize that ALMOST ALL preventatives are toxic.  That includes most everything prescribed from a veterinarian or purchased over the counter.  Most of these medications are either applied topically or they are ingested.  Once the toxin enters the dog's system it remains there for X period, typically a month, and kills or repels parasites.  It is unlikely these products would be beneficial if they did not include some form of toxin.  Different dogs respond differently to the various active toxins and other ingredients in the various products.  Your dog may or may not visibly react to a product.  NO matter which product you chose, there are risks.  This is important to realize so you are always looking for possible reactions.  Some dogs react immediately with obvious signs while others take time to show the reaction as the toxins build up in their system.  The reaction can be mild or as severe as death and can present as itching, vomiting, lethargy, seizures, disorientation and more.  We are aware of dogs in our breed as well as others who have experienced severe reactions to Flea/Tick meds in the isoxazoline medication class and strongly recommend against them. However, no matter which product you research, Bravecto, Frontline, Seresto,  Nexgard, Advantix, and the list goes on, you are likely to find stories of dogs reacting to and even dying from that product.  The same applies to Heartworm medication.  To kill and repel parasites, in most cases, some form of toxin is involved and you must do a risk assessment for your particular situation to determine how to handle your risk to the parasites and the treatment/preventative plan you choose.  There is no single right answer to every situation.  I find autoimmune issues to be of concern in not only Wirehaired Vizslas but in most breeds/breed mixes these days because of many contributing factors; nutrition, proper exercise, more toxins in our overall environment, over-vaccinating, early altering, genetics and more.  Any toxin we're putting into their system has the potential to impact the immune system in a negative manner.  However, the parasites also have a high potential of impacting our dogs' health.  I've included the article below for your review on the most common tick borne diseases, their symptoms and common locations.  

FDA issues WARNING regarding certain FLEA/TICK preventatives and adverse reactions 2018 & 2022 - DO NOT USE

One of the Nastiest Parasites That Could Latch Onto Your Dog

We've been through multiple trial and error seasons and have found that what works one season may not the next.  Our most recent approach has included multiple layers.  

We've had some good success with three products during the less intense portion of tick season.  Cedarcide, Wondercide and Kin Kind.  These are natural products that require you to spray them on the dog's coat and/or bathing.  Be cognizant of not getting it up their nose, it's a strong smelling product.  We also treat our yard twice annually with Cedarcide. 

Cedarcide -

Wondercide -

Kin Kind -

We frequently treat our yard with Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and our dogs with Food Grade DE. Keep the dust away from their nose and eyes.  Here's additional info for your review.

In lieu of Seresto collars, we have used Permethrin based products on a very limited basis.,%2Fdogs%2F%20to%20learn%20more

Because of the dangers we find during high tick season, we do use a toxic product during that time and in limited amounts.  Personally, I do not put anything on/in my dogs for tick/flea control that I can not get back off for a month or has a slow release.  This leaves me with the collars and a spray.  I have used Seresto collars for a couple of years now, successfully.  However, I do not use it to the degree the instructions read.  The collar is full of toxins that release into the dog and enter the system, covering the entire dog within minutes/hours.  The collars only come in two sizes and I do not feel comfortable putting that amount of toxin in my dogs nor have I found it necessary to be effective for our lifestyle.  We take a single collar and cut it into 3 sections.  I then rivet that section on the inside of a standard collar and put it on my dog.  I typically find that 3-4 days on and a week or 10 days off works well for us.  The amount of preventative that enters the dogs system within a few days provides protection for several after it's removed.  I store the collars in a ziplock bag when not on the dogs, helping to maintain their effectiveness.  I have had dogs react to the Seresto collars.  Most commonly this reaction is vomiting but I've also had one experience staggering and lack of coordination.  After removing the collar, all recovered but it's important to realize this potential is present with any toxins we place on our dogs and we need to be aware and prepared to take action. 

Hip Dysplasia

The 10 most important things to know about canine hip dysplasia, 12/11/2015 , By Carol Beuchat PhD

Flea & Tick Preventative




The effects of Early Spaying and Neutering

Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers

Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete: One Veterinarian’s Opinion © 2005 Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP, DACVSMR Extensively revised and updated - 2013 

Health Implications in Early Spay and Neuter in Dogs 

Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs Laura J. Sanborn, M.S

Decision Making on Age of Neutering