Life with your new Havanese will be full of surprises, most of them pleasant and entertaining. But along the way, there may be a few challenges due to general health issues and/or accidents that any K-9 friend is subject to. There are many web sites related to canine health. Here are some of our favorites that you may find helpful. Note: These references are intended for informational use only. You should consult with your vet for specific diagnosis and treatment of any health or behavioral issue.
What does that medical term mean?
The Merck Veterinary Manual provides a comprehensive electronic reference for animal care information. It includes over 12,000 indexed topics and over 1,200 illustrations. It features a rapid search by topic, species, specialty, disease, and keywords. Visit this site to learn more about a specific health topic.
Is it OK for my Hav to eat grass?
Don't be surprised if your Hav 'grazes' (eats grass) while out playing on your lawn. However, there are a number of various plants that are harmful and may cause illness and lead to death if digested. There are also many chemicals they can be exposed to. As a general rule, you should be very cautious about using chemicals that may be harmful to your pet in their play space. Be sure to keep the play space free of harmful plants also and supervise them as appropriate.
Accidental poisoning of dogs is fairly common due to frequent exposure of a wide variety of chemicals and plants. In fact, when there is a sudden onset of illness in a previously healthy dog, poisoning may be suspected. Please visit the Cornell Poison Control Center to see plant images, pictures of affected animals and presentations concerning the botany, chemistry, toxicology, diagnosis and prevention of poisoning of animals by plants and other natural flora (fungi, etc.).
9-1-1, What is your emergency?
Your pet has been involved in some sort of accident. It's after your normal vet's working hours. Who do you call? The first steps you take after an accident may mean life or death for your beloved pet. One of the most important things you can do is 'be prepared'. Most vets have a recommended after hours facility to contact. If more than one facility is available in your area, you may want to pay them a visit or call to determine which one you would be more comfortable with in an emergency situation. Visiting the facility will also ensure you know where it is located and what to expect regarding staffing, payments, etc. Vet and Emergency Animal Hospital phone numbers should be kept in easy to find places (i.e. refrigerator, wallet, speed dial, etc). Another suggestion is to store the numbers in your cell phone address book so it will be easy to call them if needed while in route or in case the accident occurs while you are away from home. You may need to call the emergency vet to determine whether or not the pet should be brought in or to find out if there is some immediate action you need to take. When calling, it's a good idea to have basic information available such as:
- Age (date of birth)
- Sex (neutered, spayed)
- Current physiologic condition (i.e., pregnant, lactating, known health disorders, diabetic, etc.)
- Medications currently being taken (i.e. heartworm preventatives, flea control products, baby aspirin, vitamins, prescriptions, etc.)
- Type of accident and injuries
- Observed symptoms (drooling, vomiting, difficulty breathing, etc.)
If poisoning is suspected, the following information will also be helpful:
- Name of the product and manufacturer or type of plant ingested
- Active ingredient and concentration listed on the label
- Formulation of the product (i.e. solid, liquid, aerosol)
- Amount of product or plant the dog was exposed to
- Time since exposure
- Time between exposure and onset of symptoms
A simple first aid kit may be beneficial in emergency situations. Visit the Dog Owners Guide website to learn the recommended basic supplies to have on hand.
More First Aid Info
Do you love to go places with your dog? Does a day in the park or on the trail or at the beach or lake sound like your kind of fun? Most Havs love the outdoors and are at their best when they are part of the action. If you plan to include your Hav in activities, you may want to learn how to treat minor injuries your Hav companion may endure while on adventures. Visit the Dog-First-Aid.com website to learn more about treating your dog in emergency situations. Your actions can influence the outcome of your precious companion’s injury.
Are You Ready?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed 'A Guide to Citizen Preparedness' that includes an 'Animals in Disaster' section. It brings together facts on disaster survival techniques, disaster-specific information, and how to prepare for and respond to both natural and man-made disasters. Your pets depend on you for their safety and well-being. They should be included in your household disaster plan. Visit the FEMA site to learn important tips for handling them in emergency and disaster situations.
What other canine health resources are available?
The James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health (Cornell University) is one of the oldest research centers dedicated to the study of veterinary infectious diseases, immunology and genetics. Use the Search tab to look for a specific topic.
Cornell University publishes a monthly newsletter called DogWatch. Visit here learn more about it.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation is another good source of health related information. Its mission is to develop significant resources for basic and applied health programs with emphasis on canine genetics to improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners.
You can use any web search engine to find literally tons of information about the health issues we have discussed. Please take the time to investigate the validity of information you find and use common sense and judgment to sort the facts from marketing gimmicks.
Always direct specific health and behavior questions related to your new Hav to your Vet.
Health Issues Wrap Up
Chances are good that you will not experience health issues with your Hav if he/she was purchased from a responsible breeder who acknowledges health issues and strives to breed away from them. But there are no guarantees. Just like with us humans, not all canines are perfect. NOEC hopes the information provided on Havanese Health Issues has gotten you off to a good start by educating you about potential Hav health problems.
Havs just want to Hav fun. So, here's to a long, happy, safe and healthy life for you and your Hav!