Height: minimum 25Vi and 27 Vi inches (65 and 70 cm); weight: 145-225 pounds (66-102 kg).
This is the breed that won fame as the rescue dog in the snowy Alps, working out of the Hospice of St. Bernard. More than 2,500 saved lives were credited to the noble animals, one of whom, Barry, led to the rescue of 40. In 1830, the St. Bernards at the Hospice, who all were shorthaired, had deteriorated because of too much inbreeding. The monks then brought in some Newfoundlands and from the outcross came the first longhaired variety, which now are so popular.
Both types are massive dogs, strong and muscular with a powerful head and a most intelligent expression. The shorthaired has a dense, smooth-lying coat that does not feel rough to the touch. In the long coat, the hair is of medium length, straight to slightly wavy, never curly or shaggy.
The tail is bushy, with dense hair of moderate length. There must be a white chest, feet, and top of tail. The well-bred St. Bernard has a sweet disposition and is very good with children. He drools excessively and his coat comes out by the handful when he sheds.
Leptospirosis in Dogs
Leptospirosis is not a virus like canine distemper and in fectious hepatitis, but a highly contagious bacterial spirochete infection that primarily attacks the kidneys. It is spread in the urine of infected animals, mainly rats, and can affect humans as well as canines. Unvaccinated dogs of all ages are susceptible, although the disease is more likely to strike male rather than female dogs.
Signs of leptospirosis appear within five to fifteen days after exposure, and include fever, loss of appetite, depression, jaundice, vomiting, dark colored urine, and abdominal ten derness from kidney pain. Treatment involves the use of anti biotics and fluid therapy.