Ocicat


Looking for a cat that looks like it walked out of the jungle but behaves like a domestic? An Ocicat may be for you. Ocicats are medium to large cats that have substantial bone structure and is well-muscled. The powerful legs are muscular and medium-long. The feet are oval and compact. The torso is solid and hard. (Ocicats are surprisingly heavy; it’s all that muscle inside them.) The tail is long and slim. It slightly tapers and has a dark tip. The overall appearance of an Ocicat is lithe and athletic. Males weigh 10 to 15 pounds (really) while females weigh 7 to 12 pounds.
The muzzle of Ocicats are broad and square looking, with strong chins and firm jaws. The ears are alert and somewhat large. The eyes are wide-set, large and almond-shaped. All eye colors (except blue) occur but aren’t related to coat color. Lynx tips (ear tufts) occasionally occur and lend the Ocicat an even more exotic look.
The Ocicat coat is short and lays close to the body. Ticking bands give a lustrous, smooth, satiny feel. All Ocicat coats are spotted from the shoulders down through the legs. The belly is spotted. The tabby “M” is on the forehead. Broken bracelets are found on the lower legs and at the throat.
Ocicats come in tawny spotted, cinnamon spotted, chocolate spotted, blue spotted, fawn spotted, lavender spotted, ebony silver spotted, cinnamon silver spotted, chocolate silver spotted, blue silver spotted, fawn silver spotted or lavender silver spotted coats. The coat is lighter on the face around the eyes and on the chin and lower jaw. The coat is darkest on the tip of the tail.
The Ocicat breed was an accident. In the early 1960s, a Michigan breeder wanted to breed Siamese with Abyssinian-colored points. She chose a ruddy Abyssinian male and a large seal point Siamese female. The Abyssinian pattern and color is a dominant gene over the Siamese pattern’s gene so the kittens looked like Abyssinians that carried the recessive gene for the Siamese points. One of the female kittens was bred to a champion chocolate point Siamese male. This produced the breeder desired Aby-pointed Siamese kittens.
The next litter produced an ivory male with a golden spotted coat and copper eyes. This kitten was named Tonga. Poor Tonga was sold as a pet. A conversation with a geneticist who wanted to recreate the now extinct Eygptian spotted fishing cat required Tonga to be brought back into the mix as he was to be the new sire. Unfortunately, by this time Tonga had been neutered. Thankfully (for the future breed), Tonga’s parents created another “accident” named Dalai Dotson. Dalai indeed became the forefather of the Ocicat breed.
If the Ocicat breed didn’t descend from wild ocelots, how did they get their name? It was the breeder’s daughter that named the breed “Ocicat” because Tonga reminded her of a baby ocelot.
An Ocicat may not be 100% civilized, but they are as domesticated as any other cat. They are active, intelligent, talkative (!) cats. Loyal and loving, their love runs deep. They tend to bond to only one lucky family member and are completely enamored! They are fond of the rest of the family and their companion pets though.
Extremely confident, they are a rambunctious breed. You will have many hours of (free) entertainment with an Ocicat in the household. Outgoing and people-oriented, your Ocicat will not run from a doorbell. When an Ocicat isn’t getting enough attention, you will hear about it. (That’s the Siamese in them.) What they’ve (thankfully) lost from their Siamese ancestors is the raspy yowl. The more you talk to them, the more an Ocicat will reply back to you. (No one-sided conversations with these guys.)
Most Ocicats fetch and some will drop their toys on your face in the middle of the night, if they believe it’s play time. Ocicats quickly learn their name (though they still have the cat tendency to come when THEY are ready) and with your time (and some patience) can readily learn a variety of tricks. An Ocicat can rival the family dog with what they can be taught to do. Ocicats are able to learn “tricks” of their own, like how to open doors or containers that contain treats. They are acrobatic, curious and highly clever (too clever for their own good at times). If they really want something, an Ocicat will find a way to get it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an enduring trait to humans who collect knickknacks or fragile valuables. Even more unfortunate is no shelf is inaccessible, no height
is too high (this includes ceiling fans).
Their ancestors — Siamese and Abyssinians — don’t do well when left to their own devices and neither do Ocicats. If you work 60-hour weeks and don’t provide your Ocicat with a companion (meaning an outlet for his curiosity and affection), your life will be miserable. Just ensure that when you get home, you give your Ocicat some quality time. When considering a companion for him, don’t feel like you need to provide another Ocicat. Two can cause double the trouble.
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Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla


AKC Group: Sporting
Vizslas began to come to fruition in the 1930s. Some Vizslas had thicker coats giving them better protection in cover and water. One of these thick coated dogs was crossed with a German Wirehaired Pointer. This breed has two cousins: the Smooth Vizsla and the rare longhaired Vizsla. Longhaired Vizslas can come from either the Smooth or Wire coats.
Size: 21 to 25 inches high; 40 to 60 pounds
Color: Russet gold. Small white marks on the chest or feet are allowed.
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Health problems: Prone to hip dysplasia, cancer, epilepsy, thyroid disorders or von Willebrand’s disease.
The Wirehaired Vizsla is an expressive, gentle, loving canine. Highly trainable, the Vizsla requires plenty of mental stimulation everyday. This will help to stave off boredom and destructiveness. They also require a firm, calm, patient handler otherwise they can become extremely stubborn. They do great with kids and love to play for hours at a time. Without enough exercise, a Vizsla can become too boisterous for youngsters. They adore other dogs. Socialize them as early as possible to people, places, noises and other animals to help bring out the best of your Vizsla’s personality. Obedience training is a must. Training a Vizsla is easy when you can get him to understand exactly what you want from him. Always be sure that your Vizsla sees you as the Pack Leader.
These hunting dogs have a lean build and look robust. Tails may be docked to three-fourths of its original length. The Vizsla coat is harsh, hard, but loose-fitting and has no natural gloss. Brush him with a firm bristle brush. Dry shampoo occasionally. Bathe with mild soap only when necessary. Keep his nails trimmed.

Cryptorchidism

Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testicles to descend normally from the abdomen into the scrotum of young intact male dogs. The goals of treating this disorder are to prevent subsequent torsion of the retained testicle(s) and to prevent development of testicular cancer. Treatment is also designed to prevent propagation of genetic abnormalities and to eliminate undesirable male behavioral traits associated with testosterone.

Cryptorchidism is often asymptomatic and rarely painful. Many owners are often unaware that their dog has the disorder. However, it is quite important to diagnose and treat this condition, because dogs with retained testicles are at an enormously increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Signs of retained testicles that owners may observe include:

  • Noticeable absence of one or both testicles in the scrotal sac, either visibly or upon palpation (the dog’s scrotum looks empty and loose)
  • Leg-lifting during urination earlier than expected in a supposedly neutered dog
  • Exuberant male breeding behavior (mounting, “humping”) in a supposedly neutered dog
  • Intense interested in intact females, particularly when they are in season, in a supposedly neutered dog
  • Dog-aggression, especially towards intact males, in a supposedly neutered dog
  • Successful mating (cryptorchid dogs may be able to impregnate female dogs, depending upon the location of their retained testicle(s))
  • Testicular infection
  • Testicular tumors
  • Acute onset of extreme abdominal pain (from torsion or twisting of the spermatic cord of the retained testes)
  • Symmetrical hair loss (alopecia) along the trunk and flanks
  • Pendulous preputial sheath
  • Darkened (hyperpigmented) external genitalia
  • Feminization (from estrogen secreted by Sertoli cell tumors in retained testes)

While signs of cryptorchidism are normally mild or nonexistent, the condition does carry some risks. Retained testicles develop disease at a much higher rate than do normal testicles – including infection and testicular cancer. They also are prone to twisting, or becoming “torsed”, which causes acute-onset of extremely severe abdominal pain. Some cryptorchid dogs can impregnate females, which is usually quite surprising to owners who have had their dog “neutered,” but unbeknownst to them only one testicle was removed. Other cryptorchid dogs may try but be unable to reproduce successfully due to impaired sperm development in the retained testicle. Mature dogs with two retained testicles are usually sterile.

Retained testicles can occur in any male dog of any breed. Purebred toy and miniature breeds seem to be at significantly higher risk, especially Yorkshire Terriers, Toy Poodles and Pomeranians. Some family lines of German Shepherds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Boxers also are predisposed. There is thought to be a strong genetic component to this condition. It is much more common for affected dogs to only have one retained testicle (unilateral cryptorchidism) rather than two (bilateral cryptorchidism). Interestingly, the right testis in dogs is retained almost twice as frequently as the left. The reason for this statistical anomaly is not known.

The treatment for cryptorchid dogs are castration and removal of both testicles, whether they are retained or in the proper anatomical location. Most breeders agree that cryptorchid dogs should not be considered candidates for breeding. Their fathers, male siblings and any male offspring have an increased chance of being genetic carriers of the condition, even if they do not have it themselves.

Undescended testicles can be difficult to locate. Transabdominal ultrasound can be very helpful to veterinarians trying to find retained testes, especially before surgery. Removal of retained testicles usually is more expensive than a normal castration procedure, because it almost always involves abdominal exploration. In rare cases, a retained testicle can be manually massaged down into the scrotum, making it easier and less costly to remove.

After surgical removal of undescended testes, the dog will need some down time to recover. He should be given soft, thick bedding in a quiet area, with free access to fresh water. His activities should be restricted for a week or two, until the surgical incision has healed and the swelling has resolved.

Dogs with retained testicles have a much greater risk of developing testicular cancer than do dogs whose testicles both descend normally. In fact, neoplastic tumors occur in roughly 50 percent of undescended testicles – a ten-fold increase over the risk of cancer in non-retained testes. Surgical correction of cryptorchidism should involve removal of both testicles, regardless of their location in the scrotum, inguinal canal or abdomen. With this treatment and appropriate post-operative supportive care, the prognosis for affected dogs is excellent.

Havanese


AKC Group: Toy
The Havenese breed originated in Cuba and is part of the Bichon canine group. In fact, the Havanese was bred from the Bichon when Europeans landed in Cuba in the 17th century. These imported Bichons were not suited to the Cuban climate and over time the dogs adapted, morphing into the Blanquito de la Habana, known as the Havanese Silk Dog. The Havanese are smaller than the Bichons and entirely white with a silkier coat. During the 19th century, French and German poodles were introduced into Cuba and they began to cross the Havanese with these poodles.
Size: 8.5 to 11.5 inches; 7 to 13 pounds.
Color: All colors and/or combinations; including pure white.
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Health problems: Thryoid problems, luxating patella, cataracts.
The Havanese may be a toy breed but they have a big personality. They are quite the friendly, outgoing dog. The national dog of Cuba, they love to play and love the company of their family. The Havanese is a sweet, mild mannered canine. A Havanese is an entertaining dog, but can be demanding. They do not tolerate being neglected so be sure that you have the time to devote to him. Naturally agile and obedient, the Havanese makes a great companion! Havanese tend to get along better with older, mature children. Other companion animals do not faze them, nor do most strangers. Havanese are quick learners and are eager to please. Some Havanese are difficult to housetrain, most are not though. They can also be extremely sensitive; avoid being loud and harsh with them. After you complete the basic commands, a Havanese is extremely eager to learn any trick you can teach him. They love games in which they have to use their sense of smell to seek something. A unique problem to the Havanese is they tend not to like eating by themselves. If you leave the room while they’re eating, they will follow you with food in their mouth.
The Havanese is a small, sweet looking dog that is compact but sturdy. The Havanese coat is long, soft and flat. It can be straight, wavy or curly. The grooming requirements are moderate. Brush him every other day. His coat should be clipped every six weeks. Trim his bottom hair for hygienic reasons and check that his ears are clean and dry.