|Welcome to the American Whippet Club|
2001 American Whippet Club Whippet Annual
Pages 150 through 175
Back issues of the AWC Whippet News Annual can be purchased for $25.00 each ($30.00 foreign), which includes shipping; all funds must be U.S. dollars, payable by check or money order to Whippet Annual. Mail to: Wendy Clark, WNAnnual Editor, 5088 Breckenhurst Dr., Hilliard, OH 43026 USA.
MBIS/MSBIS Ch. Karasar’s Preference, ROM*
We believe “Pearl” may be the only whippet bitch in history to achieve:
– Number One Whippet – Breeder-Owner-Handled
BIS Ch. Karasar’s Temptress “Tessy”
BIS Ch. Karasar’s Reminiscent “Halle”
In 2002, looking forward to showing “Pearl’s” youngsters, born September 2001,
Best in Show Winning and AWC Specialty Select
2001 & 2000 #1 Breeder-Owner-Handled Whippet (Pedigree)
Our 9th Generation Breeder-Owner-Handled Champion
Multiple G.C.W.C. Supported Entry Best of Breeds
Breeder-Owner-Handlers of more Best in Show Winning, Number One or Top 10 Whippets
Northern California Whippet Club
2001 was a greatyear for Northern California Whippet Club dogs and their owners.
The club hosted four NAWRA/NOTRA race weekends. At the infamous "Mud Bowl" in early March, Washington State's Mooney (Over the Moon SRCh II, owned by Janet Trowbridge) won the NAWRA meet while NCWC's own Neoptolemus (Kentfield's Neoptolemus RCh ORC, owned by Merril Woolf and Robyn Brown) won the NOTRA meet.
Several club members travelled to Texas in April for the AWC Nationals and the meets associated with it. Pattie Burt's dog, Sterling (Windyglen's Solid Silver RCh), ran undefeated at the NAWRA meet held on April 21st.
A visitor from Southern California, Macbeth (Macbeth Vitesse RCh WRCh, owned by Patrick Burlingame) took top honours at our May NAWRA meet; club dog Tighe (Whoapats Tibernia ORC, owned by Wayde and Jennifer Jensen) finished first in that weekend's NOTRA meet.
Our July Fourth meet and match was a great success. Once again, Mooney came down from Washington and won the NAWRA meet while Tighe picked up another NOTRA meet win. Best of Breed in the fun match, judged by Dr. Jo-Ann Van Arsdale, was earned by Marika (Kentfield ER's Marika ORC, owned by Merril Woolf and Eric Rider) with Best Opposite Sex going to Neoptolemus.
Our Iron Dog Weekend, traditionally held on Labour Day Weekend, was cancelled in order that club members could attend the NAWRA/NOTRA Nationals in Squamish BC. NCWC member Lynne Underwood (Epinard Whippets) donated beautiful Top Ten medallions for the NAWRA and NOTRA National Meets, to be awarded annually.
NCWC dogs made Quite a showing at the NAWRA/NOTRA National meets. Top Twenty
dogs on Saturday (NAWRA) included: Cousin (Wheatland Kissin' Cousin, owned by Kim Otero and Michael Palmer), Neoptolemus, Cinder (Dream's Burning Down The House, owned by Pat & Debbie Swank), Roland (Mayamo's Gunslinger, owned by Eric Rider), Nutmeg (Regalstock Jabber RCh, owned by Tracy Daly), and Penny (Elektra Devil N A Black Dress RCh, owned by Gina and Tim Caspersen).
NCWC representation in the NOTRA Top Twenty was just as impressive with placements by the following dogs: Neoptolemus, Tighe, Streaka (Ringdove Santolina ORC, owned by Wayde and Jen Jensen), Syrime (Elektra's Syrime ORC CC CM FCh, owned by Robyn Brown), Miss Shelby (Miss Shelby Of Wyndsor ARX, owned by Jean Balint), and Soot (Elektra's Minutes To Midnight ORC, owned by Gina and Tim Caspersen).
Our final race weekend of theyear fell on the last weekend of October; Macbeth from Southern California won the NAWRA meet and finished his Supreme Race Championship title in doing so! Local dog, Tighe, won Sunday's NOTRA meet.
Although the club mainly hosted race meets and OFC thisyear, NCWC members and hounds are also active in lure coursing, agility and the show ring. Cheryl Boyer's Corky (MBIF FC Oxford's
Special Edition SC CGC FCh) earned a very impressive third place in the AWC National Triathlon. At the AWC Western Specialty in July, another NCWC club dog, Diana, ( Chelsea Kiss You All Over, owned by Andrea Meyer) was awarded Winner's Bitch and Best of Winners by judge Linda Scanlon.
We're very proud of NCWC dogs' contributions to all aspects of the whippet fancy and we look forward to returning to an expanded lure coursing schedule nextyear.
All the members of NCWC would like to wish whippet fanciers everywhere a successful 2002 in whatever endeavours they pursue.
BISS Ch. Allerei’s Rodeo Drive x Ch. Watch Me Shape of My Heart
Scarlett flew to her championship, owner-handled, with an AWC supported
Jennifer Beach-Buda • 3251 Sky Ridge Drive, Waukee, IA 50263
Am/BIS Can. Ch. Kamada Krossfire, SC, CGC, ROM
(Ch. Pennyworth Peter Cottontail x Ch. Kamada’s Metallica)
Burnie is pictured at TEN years of age winning Best Veteran In Show
Ch. Kamada Kissed By Kingsmark, ROM
Breeders - Owners
BIS Ch. Kamada Million Dollar Baby
(Am.Can.Ch. Kamada Krossfire, SC, CGC, ROM x DenGayle’s Just Cattin Around)
Millie was special from the day she was born.
We anticipate a bright future for our
MILLION DOLLAR BABY!
In 2001, Flint wowed us by earning three more BOBs from the classes, two of which led to Group placements. He is looking for that elusive major, and took some time off this fall to try coursing. In just 3 trials, he earned 66 ASFA points. Adam is enjoying semi-retirement, but occasionally graces both the show ring and the coursing field.
Ch. Kamada’s Almost Famous
Allison finished with a flourish:
(NSBIS Ch. Elysian A-Few Perrier, LCM, ROMX x Ch. DBL J’s Divine Providence, ROM)
National Select, Multi-BIF
Wyatt earned the Champion Award of Versatility Excellent title in 2001…
We would like to dedicate this page to the memory of his father, Perry.
Wildhare Cowboy Cadillac
The first born son of Wyatt, Dutch embodies the elegance of his dam, the power and drive of his father and the spirit of his grandfather. I am eternally thankful to Dwight & Paula Caffee (Wildhare) for breeding to Wyatt and for allowing me to have this beautiful baby boy!
Cherché Jump in the Fire, FCh.
Cherché The Matchless, FCh.
Tabor is shown winning a 5-point major under breeder-judge Mr. Bud Gutilla
This curvaceous, muscular dynamo needs just 2 points to finish.
Many thanks to Phoebe Booth
The Golden Years:Caring for the Geriatric Whippet
By Lisa M. Costello, DVM, MS
Although I have treated geriatric patients for years in clinical practice, it has not been until I have lived with one that I fully appreciate all the nuances to proper and complete care for our dogs in their Golden Years. For this article, I am using the term “geriatric” to refer to dogs that are older than 10 years of age. For some dogs, this may be too young to consider them “seniors” but all dogs in this age range begin to share common characteristics and ailments. I think it is easiest if we go from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail when discussing health considerations in the senior whippet. I will cover several common disease processes in older patients and then talk about a few other timely considerations if you truly want to make those latter years “Golden” for your dog.
To me, there is nothing more dear or filled with grace than an older whippet. They age with fragility rather than strength and need our help in considering their needs and comfort in the senior years. They have given us devotion and love throughout their lifetime and have done what we have asked. I look at the winter of a dog’s life as a time for us to give back to our canine companions to keep them warm, safe and comfortable.
The mouth has to be one of the most overlooked and ignored areas in dogs of any age, but particularly in older dogs. Oral health in the geriatric patient is of utmost importance as it can have very negative effects on many other body systems and can be a huge deterrent to keeping weight on your whippet if there are severe problems. This is probably the number one health issue I see in senior pets and it is almost ENTIRELY preventable with a little work on the part of the owner.
Dental health starts early (6 months) and should be maintained throughout the life of your whippet. Teeth should be brushed and examined on a regular basis (once to twice weekly, minimum) and should be cleaned professionally as needed (usually every 1 to 4 years, depending on the dog). It is paramount that you watch the older dog’s mouth regularly to look for tumors, broken teeth, infected teeth/gums or any other gingival or enamel problems. If you have dogs that eat soft food, brushing should be done more often. If you have dogs that eat feces (common whippet habit), brushing MUST be done more often as these dogs often suffer from severe tartar, gingival infection and halitosis. Dogs with heart valve problems should have dental cleanings on a routine a basis to prevent the spread of bacteria to the valves. The cleaner you keep your dogs mouth, the less often it will need to be anesthetized for a professional cleaning and the better chance you will have of extending your dog’s life.
It is very hard if not impossible for veterinarians to determine the amount of hearing loss in older dogs. Some dogs may lose it gradually, others seem to have dramatic changes that happen almost overnight. We will notice they can’t hear as well when far away, sleep more soundly and startle when touched, don’t come when called (but always manage to recognize the refrigerator door or can opener!) and eventually don’t hear anything at all. When dogs lose one or more of their senses they will manage to depend on the others (mainly sight and smell). Some dogs will lose hearing first, others sight. You must manage your environment and time to allow for these losses to prevent undue hardship on your dog.
The loss of sight seems to be one of the hardest things my clients have had to deal with in older pets through the years. Just like hearing, some dogs will lose it gradually (and usually adapt beautifully) while others will have dramatic changes that can leave them bewildered, bumping into things and afraid to go anywhere for fear of falling or crashing into something. When dogs start to reach the age of around 8 or 9, the lens (the structure behind the pupil) starts to change and appears to have a bluish hue. Many people mistake this for cataract formation which is a separate entity. Lenticular sclerosis or hardening of the lens is normal in dogs. It is the equivalent of our bifocal years! This bluish change will become more pronounced as they age until it is a steely gray, almost white. It does affect vision to some extent… much the same as humans. Dogs do not see as well at night, do not see as well far away and I suppose if they could read they may have trouble with that too! I think having your dog’s eyes examined on a yearly basis is vital as they become senior citizens. There are some conditions we tend to see more in older age (cataracts, glaucoma, lens luxation, dry eye, cancer of the lids) which can be prevented or controlled if they are diagnosed early in the condition.
The loss of sight does not necessarily mean the loss of life for an older dog. If they adjust to it well, many dogs can live normal, productive and happy lives while blind. They learn to navigate in known environments extremely well and exist with little handicap. However, changing furniture around, moving or taking the dog to new places or placing them in a new environment can be difficult, so you must be patient and help them during these times.
This is another area that is very difficult for most owners and often results in untimely euthanasia of the older dog due to management problems at home. Put simply, cognitive dysfunction is the $64,000 dollar term for senility. True senility is actually fairly rare in dogs but the loss of one or more of the senses (hearing, sight, smell), which is very common, can mimic senility. Dogs suffering from cognitive dysfunction are the dogs who “live in their own world”, have problems performing previously learned behaviors (housetraining), are confused or disoriented, and have alterations in their sleep/wake cycles. These dogs can be extremely difficult and frustrating for owners to live with, as their behavior almost reverts to puppyhood and is difficult to manage in an older, frail body.
If you are having this type of problem with your geriatric whippet, I would first recommend you consult your veterinarian to rule out any other medical conditions that could mimic senility. You may be having housesoiling problems due to renal failure or an intestinal problem that can be managed with diet. Your dog may be barking due to hearing loss. There may be problems making it to the dog door because they are not able to see as they did before or they are afraid to walk across that slippery linoleum. Sometimes simple changes can help control the problem before it worsens. If the veterinarian determines your dog does indeed have cognitive dysfunction, there are several medications available that you can try to help manage the problem. However, the success rate has been negligible in the owners I have questioned who have tried the products on their dogs.
This is a problem that seems to affect older beings globally… humans, dogs, cats, horses, etc. We are fortunate in the whippet breed that we do not have a high incidence of hip dysplasia or a large body frame that often leads to very crippling arthritic problems in larger dogs. On the other hand, whippets live at light speed most of their active lives, have common problems with toe injuries, many have neck issues after running accidents and most older whippets still want to run long after their bodies tell them to stop. This is also a very commonly overlooked area in the geriatric dog because they can not tell us they are in pain. It is easy to see if a dog is blind or deaf, but not as easy to interpret the level of daily pain they live with. If you wait for your dog to cry or yelp in pain, you have waited way too long to address the problem.
Flexibility in the hip region is one of the first things to decrease in older whippets and a common sign we see is stiffness in rising or stretching after sleep. In dogs without overt signs of lameness, this can be all you will see to tip you off that things are starting to hurt for your dog. Whippets with huge toe joints, misshapen feet due to past injury, large elbow joints, stiff necks, etc., will be feeling some level of pain or discomfort due to arthritis. Fortunately there are several ways you can help older dogs lead a life of less pain. Certainly anti-inflammatory medication is one of the most universal and successful ways to treat bone and joint pain. There are several choices available (Rimadyl, Vioxx, Feldene, Etogesic, Aspirin, etc) and you will need to work with your veterinarian to find the best choice for your dog. Not all dogs respond the same to these medications and some will have stomach problems on one where they can manage with another. Some will not have the same level of pain relief with one, while another choice may make a world of difference. It does seem to be different from dog to dog, so monitor your dog closely when on a new medication to see if it is truly helping and if there are any untoward side effects. Rimadyl has been shown to have negative effects on the liver, so I usually recommend a complete blood panel on older dogs before placing them on this medication.
Other modalities that can help the geriatric dog with arthritis include acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment (especially for dogs with neck and back injuries), and massage on a regular basis. I believe in feeding what are called nutraceuticals or glucosamine type supplements as well. This would include products like Cosequin, Arthrisoothe, Glycoflex, etc. These have been shown to help manage arthritis in human patients and studies now show that there is a benefit in dogs as well. Glucosamine supplementation is designed to help re-lubricate joint spaces where age has deteriorated the joint surface and/or joint fluid. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements supply the building blocks of normal joint cartilage and over time can make a difference in how the joint feels. A warning though: these are NOT anti- inflammatories so will not have a dramatic affect on how the joint feels in the short run. If you have a dog in acute pain, you must use these in addition to an anti-inflammatory medication. They must be used over a period of time (at least a month) before you can accurately decide if they are helping or not. This type of product also comes as an injectable (Adequan) and when given in this form, may help some dogs when the oral product does not.
I believe pain relief is one of the main objectives in providing optimal care for the older whippet. None of us want our dogs to be in pain of any form if possible, so look for changes in the way your dog is moving, getting up after sleep, walking and trotting. Providing warm areas for sleep will also help this in addition to good bedding. A blanket laid down on a concrete run is not enough for this body type of dog. Good, solid foam bedding, orthopedic beds and ideally a bed raised up off the ground is a good start. Even if you can not stop the progression of the disease, you can do a lot to help manage it along the way.
The digestive system of our breed tends to be more sensitive than the average dog. Couple this with aging and you can have problems determining how and what to feed. While some whippets have problems with obesity, it seems that the main goal for the older whippet is to maintain a good body weight and prevent weight loss as age progresses. I like a lot of the senior foods on the market and usually recommend my clients begin feeding these between the ages of 8 to 10, depending on their dog’s weight.
If you have problems with obesity (my 9 year old has been an easy keeper for years), undue stress is put on all joints, the heart has to pump more for those extra pounds and it is harder for these dogs to exercise and enjoy life. Good low fat diets are available as well as prescription weight loss diets for those who are extremely obese or hard to get to lose weight. You need to reduce snacks, increase exercise (just walking is good enough) and measure what you feed. You may need to continue this diet long into old age before switching to senior foods, depending on how your dog keeps the weight off.
If you are having problems with keeping weight on your whippet, make a visit to the veterinarian to rule out other problems before simply changing foods. If all is well in the body (no concurrent dental, heart, or kidney problems, no cancer), then consider a different food choice. Premium diets are recommended due to less filler and greater digestibility. Senior diets, in the case of a thin dog, may not be a good idea since many of these are actually lower in calories than the average maintenance diet. You may want to consider “supplementing” the diet with canned food, cooked meals (rice, ground turkey, vegetables) or for those of you who believe in raw feeding, this may be an opportunity to put weight back on your dog. You can also feed such products as Ensure or Pediasure mixed with canned food, etc., once a day to increase the caloric intake above and beyond the diet. Watch stool quality to see if you are accomplishing what you want to. If you are having trouble with soft stools or diarrhea, working the problem up further is a good idea. You may be dealing with inflammatory bowel problems or possible cancer of the lower GI tract.
While the heart of our whippets is something we all treasure, it is an organ that commonly has dysfunction in the senior years and should be monitored on a consistent basis (ie, yearly). While heart disease is not “preventable” to the extent that dental problems are, it is moderately controllable if treated early in the course of the disease. The most common problem seen in geriatric dogs of all breeds, across the board, is heart valve dysfunction or regurgitation. This is the most common reason for murmurs in dogs and is a result of the heart valves not functioning properly. The valves do not close completely and blood will “back-flow” through them, creating a “whooshing” sound or murmur. This is usually a degenerative condition and will worsen over time. The rate of decline will depend on the individual dog.
Eventually heart chambers will enlarge due to abnormal blood flow and regurgitation and the heart muscle will begin to lose contractility or ability to squeeze blood from the heart properly. This is known as congestive heart failure (CHF) and is the end result of valvular dysfunction. Dogs in CHF will have fluid build up on their lungs and will cough frequently and consistently (usually what we call a “wet” cough). They will have exercise intolerance, may lose weight, may have high blood pressure and may have kidney problems concurrently. These dogs are very fragile and need medication and dietary changes if they are to live with their disease successfully.
When a murmur is detected in your whippet (at any age), it should be followed with chest x-rays and possibly an echocardiogram, depending on the severity of the murmur (even if the dog has NO symptoms of heart disease). Your dog may be put on medication to try and slow the progression of the disease. These dogs should be carefully monitored over time (serial chest x-rays or echocardiograms) to track how the heart is functioning and determine if medication or diet change is warranted.
Chronic renal failure is another hallmark problem in older dogs and cats (it is the most common geriatric disease in the feline). You may notice your dog drinking more than usual, needing to go out more frequently to urinate, having accidents in the house and losing weight. There are several diseases that can cause excessive drinking and urination (mainly diabetes) so a trip to the veterinarian and a complete blood screening should be done when you FIRST notice this problem, not months after the fact.
Kidneys function to help filter toxins from the blood and conserve water within the body. When they begin to fail, the dog is not able to excrete the normal amount of body waste and this can build up, causing nausea and general malaise. Body water is not able to be retained efficiently, thus creating a large amount of dilute urine (excessive urination and accidents in the house). The dog goes into a constant state of dehydration, making them thirsty all the time (excess drinking). The kidneys also begin to lose body protein which will result in accelerated muscle breakdown (body weight loss, especially muscle). This is another disease that is not curable but is controllable with mainly diet and some medications.
The other stuff to consider:
Anesthesia for anything: Anesthesia is extremely scary for most owners of geriatric pets. If you take proper care of your whippet during the younger years (teeth cleaning, blood panel screening, etc.), you may lessen the need for anesthesia in the senior years. However, eventually you will be faced with anesthesia for one reason or another (lump removal, dental, etc). What should you know? You should be able to talk freely with your veterinarian about what type of anesthetics they use. Some are inappropriate for senior animals (xylazine, acepromazine, medetomidine, thiobarbituates) while others do a nice job with minimal side effects (propofol, valium). While you may not know the specific drugs, you can ask what considerations they give as far as drug choice for the senior. You should know if they have monitoring equipment (pulse oximeter, ECG, blood pressure, breathing monitor). Senior dogs should have IV catheters and fluids during procedures to keep blood pressure up and keep blood flowing to vital organs (kidneys, liver, etc). How and where are they recovered? Do they have someone with them during recovery? While all of this may result in a larger bill, it is worth it to know that your dog is being treated to the best of your vet clinic’s ability. All of these are valid questions when you are making decisions about anesthesia on an older dog. It is NEVER without risk, so the more informed you are, the better able you will be to make a good decision.
I can not stress enough the importance of doing routine bloodwork over time on geriatric pets. I actually like to do a complete chemistry screening on my dogs throughout life to get an idea of their own individual baseline values so I can compare these through the years as they age. A complete blood panel will give you an idea of liver and kidney health, will screen for blood glucose (sugar) and give you information about how the body is functioning. It will not detect heart disease or cancer but may show other organ dysfunction that is being caused from these problems. It is one of the simplest tools we have in veterinary medicine and one of the most useful. When you have dogs in renal or heart failure, routine bloodwork is very important to monitor response to medication. In other diseases, it can monitor if the disease process is worsening or has stabilized. I require blood work on all dogs over 7 in my practice that are going to undergo anesthesia (it should probably be required on all, regardless of age). Use this tool to help your vet manage your whippet as the body begins to have age-related changes.
Group living vs. the single dog
I think this is something that is often overlooked in our breed, but can make or break the senior years for whippets. Since most of you reading this are diehard whippet addicts, the chance of you having more than one is pretty high (the potato chip theory!). If your house is like mine, you have dogs that range in age from the very old to the young (and sometimes very young… puppies). How does this affect the older dog? If you do everything with your dogs in groups, I believe it can have a significant effect on their comfort level. I know I have watched my herd trying to all get out the door at the same time and they end up smashing the older dogs in the process. Group feeding cannot address individual dietary needs and may result in obesity or a thin body if you do not feed the older dog separately. Are they chewed on by the younger crowd? Do they have a chance to lay on the couch, bed, blanket, etc., if the younger dogs are playing? Do they get enough water? It can be hard to watch individual needs in older dogs if they are forced to live with a large pack. If this is your situation, you may want to examine ways to separate your geriatric dogs during feeding and outside time to more closely monitor their quality of life.
This is a very hot topic in veterinary medicine right now and has been for the past 5 to 10 years. While the veterinary community has looked at vaccination frequency with regard to overall and long term dog health, they still have not arrived at a definite recommendation for how often to vaccinate and what to vaccinate for. You must consider the region where you live when deciding what vaccines your dog needs (not all areas of the country have the same exposure to disease, ie. Lepto, Lyme, etc). You also need to consider your dog’s exposure to disease when determining how often you want to vaccinate. While I have read in many textbooks that immunity starts to decrease in the geriatric dog, I have yet to see a case of distemper or parvo in dogs past middle age. I tend to be conservative about vaccinating geriatric dogs as I believe their immune systems are better used to fight the common diseases found in that age bracket. However, this is my personal opinion and may not fit your area of the country or the beliefs of your veterinarian.
Euthanasia and grace
A final comment on The Final Gift we can offer our whippets. I am a person who believes in euthanasia as a means to end the suffering of our beloved dogs. Not all people believe this. All too often I witness owners who can not make the gut wrenching decision about when to let their long term companions go in peace. Because it is a very unique and extremely difficult decision, many owners will simply avoid making it until their pet is too sick to give them any other choice. This is TOO LATE.
If you love your whippet, and your goal is to avoid pain and suffering, then I ask you to be brave enough to let go when the timing is right for your dog, not for you. If you need to talk to the vet about when the time is right, if you need to consult with friends, other whippet sources, etc., then do so, but do it with the thought in mind that you are giving your dog the gift of no more pain, no more suffering, no more cold, no more disease. It truly is the Final Gift we can give to our whippets to let them go in peace, love and grace. All the things they have encompassed in life.
The “Queen” is Fourteen
Although number of champions produced does not always indicate the producing quality of the sire and dam, we think we were extremely fortunate to own a foundation bitch with a pedigree of the most potent producers in the breed. We are proud that Maxine easily completed her ROM in 2000, with two average-sized litters, in the tradition of her family. This photo was taken at age 9 during a romp on the beach at Lompoc - but at fourteen she remains beautiful and strong and continues to defy time. Our grateful thanks to the breeders before us for their dedication, their education, and the sacrifices made to allow us to enjoy spending “14” with the “queen”.
Sun Run • JP & Sally deBeque Smith • 250 WCR 3 • Erie CO 80516
Copyright © 2005, American Whippet Club, All Rights Reserved.