Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Breed of the Week: Newfoundland

I like this picture since it gives you an idea of size!

These dogs are truly gentle giants. They are very sweet dogs!  Due to their large size, however, they are not for everyone. Since they reach between 100-150 lbs, careful consideration must be made before purchasing one. Don't let your heart lead the way when you see this:

They look like little teddy bears! 

The main things to consider with them:

1. Size = $. Anything that you will need will cost you more - food, medications and surgical procedures (more anesthesia!!).

2. They do require quite a bit of coat maintenance - regular brushing, etc - otherwise they will get heavily matted leading to  skin issues

3. They can be prone to ear and skin problems 

4. Another BIG one is bloat or GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus) - a life threatening condition where the stomach dilates with air/food/fluid and twists on itself leading to shock and death in a short time. Some owners will have the stomach pre-emptively tacked - esp at the time of a spay or neuter. 

5.  Hip dysplasia - as with any large breed dog this is genetic and CAN be screened for, highlighting the importance of selecting a reputable breeder!

6.  Heart issues - congenitally they can have a defect calling subaortic stenosis that can cause sudden death even in young dogs (why your vet wants to check that puppy, as it grows, at each booster visit!). 

7. Another congential problem in this breed can be a defect that can cause them to form cystine stones in the urinary bladder.

8. Lifespan: 9-10yrs 

They come in a variety of coat colors - though most people  have only seen the black ones

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