This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on Pet360.com as: Kendall Jenner’s Great Dane Puppy Potentially Facing Health Issues
Nothing makes me cringe more than hearing that a pet has been given as a gift from one person to another. In such cases, the pet recipient is not often in the mindset of truly wanting a pet from the perspective of managing the pet’s medical and behavioral needs on a long-term basis. Additionally, the complete picture of potential health and lifestyle implications are usually not fully considered. In the case of celebrities, the cute canine or feline companion is often paraded around for photo opportunities and then seemingly disappears into obscurity or is neglected from the standpoint of socialization or basic care.
Such is why I never suggest giving a pet as a gift. Acquiring a pet via adoption or purchase is a decision that should be made only when the person or people who will function as the primary caretaker (s) truly seek the companionship of a pet and are willing to spend the time, effort, and finances to ensure the pet assimilates into the family fold as a well-trained member.
When I read about Kendall Jenner receiving the 18th birthday gift of a Great Dane puppy from her step-brother Rob Kardashian (see UK Daily Mail’s 'My new little princess!' Kendall Jenner's 18th birthday comes early as she is given a Great Dane puppy from Rob Kardashian), a feeling of disapproval developed in my common-sense and veterinary medical scrutinizing mind. The pup’s name is Blu.
Giant breed dogs like the Great Dane are prone to a wide variety of mild to life-threatening ailments associated with their large size and breeding.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation lists a variety of ailments affecting multiple body systems in the Great Dane, including:
Musculoskeletal- arthritis (joint inflammation), Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD, the sequela of arthritis leading to limited range of motion and compromised walking), Wobbler’s Syndrome (Cervical Spondylomyelopathy or CSM), etc. These conditions affect a Great Dane’s ability to walk and overall quality of life. When a large-sized dog cannot readily navigate the environment with her own limbs, then it’s up to the humans to support the pooch with a sling or other means so the skin surface won’t be continually soiled with feces and urine.
Digestive- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV or bloat) is considered “The Mother of All Emergencies” requiring emergency intervention to surgically correct the position of the stomach inside the abdominal cavity. GDV often takes the life of large and giant-sized dogs and is often correlated with the consumption of dry food (kibble) on a rapid basis (i.e. swallowing whole pieces of kibble).
Immune- Cancer (osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, etc.) can take the life of a giant breed like the Great Dane relatively early in life. When an adult or senior Danes suffers sudden-onset lameness, osteosarcoma (malignant bone cancer) is not a diagnosis anyone wants to hear.
Yes, Blu sure looks cute as Jenner carries her while out and about for shopping and “photo-op” excursions to Fred Segal. Yet, what is going to happen on a behind-the-scenes basis as pertains to Blu’s feeding, training, and the provision of medical care? Will Jenner responsibly care for Blu or will the primary care giving be up to a series of housekeepers or assistants? Considering she’s a busy teenager with a burgeoning modeling career and a hectic travel schedule, perhaps being a dog owner is not the most appropriate choice for Jenner at this point in her life.
I hope that Kendall will be closely involved with the ongoing care and training of Blu. A less-than trained puppy will continue to grow into an adult dog having behavior problems. This is especially an issue with big dogs, as an out of control Great Dane can easily push over or injuriously claw a child or debilitated adult.
I wish good fortune to the Jenner and Kardashian families in raising Blu on both a short and long-term basis.
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Copyright of this article (2013) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.