We are currently in the process of building a new website, so updates to this one have been scarce.
Overall, 2018 has been mixed. We had some wins, got some new titles, and (as always) have enjoyed the life we share with our dogs.
But it was a rough spring. Firenze bloated in February. Nearly all breeds of dogs can bloat, though some are more prone to bloating then others. Bloat is not overly common in sams, but neither is it rare. Please familiarize yourself with the symptoms. A dog that is bloating has only a few hours to get emergency veterinary attention, or they will die a very painful death. Bloat is also a very expensive emergency. Our vet bills for saving Firenze were around $5,000. We keep an emergency fund for expenses like this, but if you are unable to, I would strongly encourage you to look into pet health insurance.
Firenze's first symptoms were simply acting a bit 'off'.. he then went outside and tried to barf, unproductively. That is a classic sign of bloat. We immediately loaded him up into the car and headed to our emergency vet. In the 20 minutes time it took to get there, he went from acting a little uncomfortable to crying loudly from pain. Fortunately, he is fine now and has even won a few more Grand Champion points after returning to the ring just 4 months later.
In April we also lost our founding bitch Amber to hemangiosarcoma. She was healthy and fine and still walking a mile a day when I took her in for her 'old lady' checkup. Her bloodwork was perfect except for odd shaped RBC. The xray make me cry - she had cancer throughout her entire body. We took her home, loved and spoiled her and kept her comfortable for 6 precious weeks. She was nearly 13.5 years old, but no amount of time is enough. I am very grateful we had the time to say goodbye.
Half of all dogs over the age of 10 die from cancer. Hemangiosarcoma is one of the most common, and most insidious cancers. Dogs that have it often show no symptoms until nearly the end. There is currently little available for effective treatment, though there are some very promising studies being done.
The fall has brought some good news. Our final breeding with Izzi has shown puppies on the ultrasound. Currently these pups are all spoken for, so we are not taking applications. They are due the day before Amber's birthday. Please follow our facebook page for lots of puppy pictures coming soon.