Dogs

Blue Heeler – Dog Breed Information On The Australian Cattle

Blue Heeler Puppy
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Do you know that the Blue Heeler dog is also called “Australian cattle”?  Blue Heeler Puppy was first bred in Australia for the purpose of herding cattle over long distances across rough terrain.

These are very lively and happy dogs and always interested to do some activity.

Australian cattle dog is a modern version and there was a predecessor for this breed that was introduced by Thomas Hall, an Englishman during 1840.

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Blue Heeler Video And Infographics

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Infographics

 

Blue Heeler Infographics

Blue Heeler Puppy Appearance

Blue Heeler dog is a medium-sized dog with a short coat. It has a good muscular build with strong shoulders and muscles. It has a broad skull.

Blue heeler puppy has wider ears but the size is either small or medium. Its eyes are oval and dark and it looks always express its alertness.

Generally, the feet of this dog appears round and arched and it has bulky toes and nails. The Blue Heeler puppy has a long undocked tail.

Blue Heeler Colors

The Blue Heeler dog is mostly seen in coat colors like red, black, white, black and white with tan markings and blue. Another point to mention, the puppies usually look white while at birth and only after they grow over a period of time, they get their color.

Blue Heeler Temperament

  • Adaptable
  • Alert
  • Courageous
  • Obedient
  • Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Affectionate
  • Active
  • Independent
  • Protective
  • Playful

Blue Heeler Size / Lifespan

The average height of a male and female Blue Heeler dog ranges between 46-51 cm and 43-48 cm. The normal weight of a male and female dog of this breed is somewhere between 15 kg to 22 kg.

Blue Heeler Lifespan

The average longevity of a Blue heeler dog is between 10 to 13 years. Highly healthy and happy dogs live for a couple or more years.

Therefore, it is very vital to note that the surroundings and food has a key role in determining the health of a dog.

 

Blue Heeler Dog Food

Recommended Read: What Food Can/Can’t Dogs Eat?

Foods that a Blue Heeler Puppy eats

“Not to eat” foods for a Blue Heeler puppy

Red Heeler vs Blue Heeler

Red Heeler DogBlue Heeler Dog
In fact, Queensland Heeler dog breed with a brown color coat is referred to as Red HeelerThe similar breed of dog with a black or grey coat is called as a Blue Heelere Heeler
The body of red heeler dog is completely speckled with red markingsThe body of a blue heeler dog can either appear in blue, blue mottle or blue speckled with or without black, tan or white markings

 

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Interesting Facts About Blue Heeler Puppy

Blue Heeler dog is a descendant of the Dingo dog breed.

Interestingly, it stands in the #10 position of smartest dog breeds.

Blue Heeler Puppy has many nicknames like Australian Cattle Dog, Red Heeler, Queensland heeler, and Australian Heelers.

In particular, Guinness Records named Bluey, a dog which comes under the blue heeler dog breed as the oldest dog to have lived in this world. The dog lived for 29 years and 5 months.

Moreover, the white patch present on a Blue Heeler’s head is known as “Bentley Mark”. The name Bently refers to an ancient dog breed that was named after Thomas Bently.

During 1980, Blue Heeler was recognized by the AKC as a standard dog breed. However, in 1903, the Australian Kennel club had accepted it as a standard breed.

Names For Your Blue Heeler Puppy

Male DogsFemale Dogs
BlakeAbbie
CharlieAnnie
DaleBella
EddieClare
FreddieEllie
HarryFrankie
JackGrace
MiloHarley
OttoJo
TedMeg
TroyRose
WadeSky

Blue Heeler Health Problems

The Blue Heeler usually suffers from the undermentioned diseases.

Recommended Read: Dog Diseases

1. Hip Dysplasia

Symptoms

  • Avoidance of some daily activities
  • Lameness in the hind limb
  • Feeling difficulty in running, jumping and climbing the staircase
  • Narrow stance
  • Loss of muscle weight in the thighs
  • Reduced level of hip movement
  • Bunny Hopping
  • Expanded shoulder muscles due to the heavy transfer of weight to the front legs
  • Pain in the hip joints

Causes

  • Genetic disorder
  • Poor nutrition
  • Injury
  • Weight gain
  • Obesity

Treatment

Based on the stage of hip dysplasia that a Blue heeler dog is suffering, the vet gives the required treatment.

  • Modified Diet – The vet will initially start treating an affected dog by recommending its owner to give nutritious diet and effective exercises. Reducing the pain is the highest priority. Factors like age, breed and the level of hip dysplasia will be studied by the vet firsthand before recommending good nutrition and exercises.
  • Giving Oral Supplements – Dogs with osteoarthritis will be recommended for intake of oral supplements such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin. These drugs are safe and helpful for the dog in properly maintaining its joints. The two supplements will supply the building blocks required for forming the joint cartilage and also prohibit damaging enzymes.
  • Physiotherapy – The purpose of physiotherapy is to ensure that the loose joints become firm and builds the muscle mass. Generally, swimming is recommended as a safe and low-risk therapy.
  • Recommended usage of NSAIDS – Vets recommend and treat moderate to severe stage hip dysplasia dogs with non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs. It is necessary to periodically monitor the liver’s functioning while using these drugs.
  • Surgery – After taking into account factors like age, size, level of activity and extent of damage suffered by your dog, the vet would recommend if thought as fit, to undergo a surgery.

Surgical methods involve:

  • Juvenile Public Symphysiodesis – Conducted before the dog completes 5 months of age and before it has symptoms of hip problems.
  • Triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) – Done on a dog that is less than 10 months where the purpose is to correct its very loose joints. It is not done for correcting any joint damage. The pelvic bone is broken and the hip joint is realigned.
  • Excision arthroplasty – Performed on dogs that weigh less than 40 pounds.  It is an operation that requires excision of the head of the femur and then implants a new one.
  • Total hip replacement – Dogs with chronic hip dysplasia are operated for removal of the damaged hip joint and a new joint is implanted

2. Deafness

Symptoms

  • Difficulty in waking up
  • Show a sense of astonishment after wakeup
  • Extreme Barking
  • Unresponsive to sounds of clapping and squeak sound of toys
  • Not responding to doorbell noise and other loud noises
  • No response when its name is called
  • No response even if its owner enters the room
  • Remain unresponsive to the barking sounds of other dogs

Causes

Deafness might occur in dogs due to congenital (birth) or acquired

  • Congenital – Defects in the ear or nervous system due to genetically inherited disorder
  • Acquired – Affected by pain or infection, blockage of the ear canal and degeneration of the geriatric nerve
  • Other Reasons For Deafness may be:
    • Infection – Bacterial or yeast infection formation in the inner, outer or middle ear
    • Inflammation – Swelling caused in the ear or eustachian tube
    • Ear Tumor – Tumor of the ear or Eustachian tube
    • Exposure to heavy metals – When a dog is exposed to mercury, lead or arsenic, it can face severe hearing loss
    • Toxicity of drugs – Some toxic drugs such as say, for example, ethanol and erythromycin are wrongly utilized could lead to side effects like deafness

Treatment

It depends on the kind of hearing loss suffered by the dog: congenital or acquired.

  • Permanent Deafness – Congenital hearing losses are difficult to cure. Some minor corrections can be done in the middle ear through surgery. Exposure to loud noises, drug toxicity and exposure to metals will cause severe and permanent deafness.
  • Vets Recommend use of hearing aids –Vets may recommend hearing aids but dogs do not feel comfortable to use the hearing aid. Apart from this factor, a hearing aid is costly.
  • Treatment for Infection – Based on the severity of the infection, a vet could recommend topical treatment and ointment for a few weeks and some antibiotics, if required. Topical ointments will show good effect within a short time on the dog. Likewise, wax-based medication could be done in the vet clinic for dogs that are not subject to ear cleaning at home.
  • Eviction of foreign bodies present inside the ear – Removal of the blocking substances in the ear canal could be undertaken by clearing the wax out of the ears and pulling out some overgrown hairs. The vet will look out for any injury in the ear canal and then involve incomplete cleaning of the ear/s if required.
  • Tumors of the Ear – Tumor growth in the ear is mostly cured only through applying the surgical method to free the ear canal from tumours and ensure the smooth flow of sound

3. Progressive Retinal Atrophy

blue-heeler-progressive-retinal-atrophy

Symptoms

  • Decreased level of vision in dim light
  • Slow response of pupils to light
  • Bumping into wall or furniture
  • Stumbling over objects
  • Minimal response to disturbances
  • Cloudiness on the surface of the eyes
  • Formation of cataract on the retina
  • Greenish shine to the eye
  • Reluctance to climb and alight the staircase

Causes

Hereditary disease if the retina is affected by degeneration of tissue. The autosomal recessive gene carried by a parent is the cause of PRA (progressive retinal atrophy.

This gene can attack the newborn puppies despite the parent not being affected by PRA.

In the veterinary profession, the respective professionals state that mostly when the dogs are between 6 to 8 years of age they face the big risk of getting this disease.

Treatment

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a progressive disease and you can detect the disease only in its final stage. It is a very difficult disease to detect quickly, in the initial stage.

There is no cure guarantee for the dog since even a surgery could cause post-surgical complications like the development of glaucoma. Until now, there is no effective treatment for the cure of PRA in dogs.

Overall, maintain a similar environment to help your dog.

4. Liver Shunt

Symptoms

  • Lethargy
  • Ataxia (coordination problem)
  • Abnormal vocal
  • Weakness
  • Circling
  • Head pressing
  • Drooling
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Collapse (In case of very severe condition)

Causes

Congenital – Congenital (birth) defect causing intrahepatic (blood diversion in a vessel within the liver) and extrahepatic  (blood diversion in a vessel outside of the liver).

The passage of nutrients, proteins and toxins through the liver and enters the blood circulatory system.

Acquired – Liver Cirrhosis (Acquired liver shunt)

Kidney stones formation and kidney and bladder infection

Treatment

Important factors like age of the dog, stage of the liver shunt and overall body condition decide the right course of treatment for liver shunt.

Medications

Firstly, the vet will try to control liver shunt with excellent medication itself. With respect to medications, a vet could recommend:

  • Diet changes to the dog – Recommend lower amount of protein in the diet and only intake high-quality protein that is easily digestible
  • Vets prescribe certain antibiotics for lessening the number of bacteria in the gut (stomach) of an affected dog. An enema is given to eliminate the faecal matter along with bacteria from the colon.
  • Likewise, oral lactulose is an indigestible sugar that can ensure the smooth pass out of stools from the intestinal tract. This will lower the pH level in the stomach.

Only a veterinary surgeon can recommend Surgery after thoroughly examining the degree of the shunt, location of the shunt and the dog’s age to bear a surgery.

However, surgical treatment is majorly successful because it ensures normal blood flow to the liver after removing the shunts.

Blue Heeler Price

There are many factors that determine the price of a Blue Heeler puppy such as the age of the dog, quality of the dog (health), its parentage,  nature of breeder and the state of purchase.

However, the average price of a Blue Heeler puppy is $500 – $700 in the USA market.

In the United Kingdom, the current price of a KC (Kennel Club) registered Blue Heeler puppy is £300 and a Non-KC registered category is £408.

Blue Heeler Breeders

  • South Haven Farm
    Address: PO Box 156
    Millers Tavern, VA, 23115
    Tel.: 804-443-3243
    E-mail: rockin@southhavenfarm.com
  • Bendigo Kennels
    Address: Elk Grove,  CA 95624
    Tel.: 916-961-7561
    Email: k9krazy1@pacbell.net
  • Kittys Kennel Blue Heelers
    Address: Lansing, Iowa
    Tel.: 563-586-2102

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