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Questions conserning my Great Dane.
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Questions conserning my Great Dane.

Hi.  My male Gr. Dane "Caesar" is almost 3 yrs old and 152 #'s.  Some of the older ones on here may remember a year or so ago when I was told at OSU that he had slight Wobblers.  He has several small issues going on now that are what I think is small issues; yet annoying.

1.   I made a big mistake a couple weeks ago and gave him a knuckle bone.  For two days he had very loose stools, and did not want to eat, but was drinking.  Then on the 3rd day no stools and would not eat or drink. I panicked in fear of a blockage.
The vet on June 30th put gave him fluids and put him on Flagyl 500 mg. BID X 7 days for colitis (inflamed intestines) and prilosec for one month because he has always eats grass, all the time since a pup.  

While he was on Flagyl we gave him plain white rice and ground venison w/o fat in it.  Now his bowels are soft but ok.  His appetite is back and he no longer is allowed anything other than his large breed Eukanuba food (2 cups 3 X/day) and Euk lg. breed treats (4/day) and all of the water he wants.  He is no longer eating grass.

Problem is now.... he is eating his BM's.  Yuck!  Why???

2.  His nails keep slitting and bleeding if I leave them grow.  I've tried cutting them right up to the quick and then the one toe (3rd toe on hind leg) will cut into his pad on his little toe; nevertheless, like I said, if they grow out they split.  

Any suggestions?  Should I just leave the one nail long?

3.  I skipped his interceptor due to being sick and then somehow forgot to give it.  (Stupid brain fog on my part) He is now 18 days pass due.  He also needs his vaccinations now.

a.) should I insist on a heartworm test?
b.) should I give just the recommended Leptospirosis (as the veterinarians seem to agree on now) and the Rabies or the full DA2LPP?   He will never be kenneled.  

Any new updates on what is best?  I want to protect him, but not over protect him.  If that makes since.

He is going in next week for his annual check up. I was hoping to get some idea's off here before we went back in.  Thank you all in advance.
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1. It sounds like Caesar experienced some "dietary indiscretion", but now things have somewhat normalized thanks to some medication prescribed by your veterinarian and a consistent diet. It is probably very important not to offer him anymore bones or human food in the future. One of the most beneficial treats you could give him is a prescription rawhide chew that is treated with an enzyme that helps maintain dental hygiene. The problem of dogs eating their own, or other dogs', stool is fairly common, and most dogs outgrow it. In the meantime, you must deny him access to his stool by cleaning it up immediately. There are no dietary supplements that have been shown to prevent this problem.

2. Most dog owners cut their dog's nails too short, possibly hitting the "quick" and making future nail trims a rodeo of sorts. Nails should be trimmed even with the bottom of the foot pads. To help maintain nail health, consider giving Caesar some biotin, a dietary supplement.

3. Give him the Interceptor, even if it is late, and make sure he is tested for heartworms next Spring. If you live in an area where there have been Leptospirosis cases, he should be vaccinated for Lepto as well as Rabies and the core vaccines, DA2PPV. A recent published study summarized the number and location of cases of Leptospirosis across the country, so your veterinarian should be able to confirm if it is a risk in your area. Dogs catch Leptospirosis mostly from contact with recently urbanized animals such as racoons, not other dogs.

Some veterinarians are vaccinating dogs less frequently as they get older, so you should discuss that possibility with your veterinarian. As a younger dog, Caesar should probably be fully vaccinated now, and then possibly you can rotate some of the vaccinations in future years. Rabies is a legal requirement in most areas, and only needs to be given every three years once a dog has reached one year of age.

Good luck!
Jon Geller, DVM

If I could just add something to what Dr. Geller wrote - even if you never see a raccoon in your area, leptospirosis can be picked up if your dog wades into a local pond or a shallow creek where wild animals may go for water.  If they urinate or defecate at the water's edge and their waste ends up in the water, if your dog drinks the water or even wades in it and then licks his paws he could contract lepto.  Even after a heavy rain that leaves large puddles around, you just never know what has been drinking (and relieving itself) in or near those puddles.  I just didn't want anyone to make the mistake of thinking that their dog couldn't be exposed to lepto just because they've never actually seen a raccoon or other possible host animal in their area.

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