Moisture and heat are the prime
ingredients for high populations of fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and other pests
that bite, sting and spread disease.
They can be divided into two groups --
those that suck blood, fleas, flies, ticks, and mosquitoes
and those that bite or sting as a
defensive mechanism, wasps, bees, ants, spiders, and centipedes.
We also have plans to discuss more common
disorders among dogs, or those that effect Tamaskan in particular, we have
started by adding some information on food allergies.
This page will be expanding, please check
back for updates.
Worms can cause a large amount of
problems, from kidney damage to brain damage when they occur in young puppies
still with their mother. Breeders must be fully aware of these risks and start
treating their pregnant bitch for worms at an early stage. Then the puppies need
worming every two weeks or more, it is very important to weigh young puppies
correctly before medicating. Always read the label or talk to your vet about a
suitable worming schedule.
Roundworms are the most common and they
look like short lengths of spaghetti. They grow to around 100 mm in length, and
live in the dog’s gut, feeding off the contents. Given that there may be dozens
of them in the gut of an infected animal, it’s not surprising that the dog may
be undernourished, with a dull coat, and lacking energy. Other symptoms include
diarrhoea, vomiting and weight loss. Worse still, the most common dog roundworm,
Toxocara canis, can also infect people – and children are particularly
Tapeworms resemble long,
flat ribbons or tapes, divided up into segments. The mature tapeworm segments
are filled with eggs, and individual segments break off, to pass via the dog’s
anus into the environment. The commonest tapeworm to affect dogs in the UK is
the flea tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum), so called because it uses the flea as an
intermediate host. Dogs are infected by swallowing fleas while grooming, and
once in the dog’s gut, the worm larva carried by the flea begins to develop into
an adult worm, which can quickly grow to a length of 500 mm. But even this is
not the longest worm which can infect UK dogs: some species can reach a
frightening 5 metres in length!
These worms live off the
dog’s blood. Though they are not very big (around 70 mm and 100 mm respectively)
their feeding habits can make them very damaging, particularly in young animals.
It’s not always easy to
determine whether a dog is infected with worms. The most obvious sign is
“scooting” – that is, dragging its bottom along the ground. This may indicate
tapeworm infection. The dog does it because the egg filled segments shed by the
mature tapeworms are expelled via the anus and irritate the dog's bottom.
Heavy worm infections may
cause a distended stomach – particularly noticeable in puppies. And almost any
type of intestinal worm can cause vomiting or diarrhoea.
In general, though, by
the time symptoms are visible, the worms have reached maturity, and are already
damaging your dog’s health. That’s why it’s far better to follow veterinary
advice on a specific worming routine, before the symptoms become obvious
Unfortunately, there is
no tablet or injection you can give a dog which will prevent worm
infection. To avoid worms reaching maturity and affecting your pet's health, and
to reduce public health risks, you should worm your pet regularly.
Worming at least every three months will reduce this risk, but ask your
vet who will be able to evaluate your pet's health and your family's
requirements and advise you on a specific worming routine for your pet.
The best worming products in the UK are Drontal plus that kills all worms and
Panacur 10% that kills worms and is also used for the treatment of puppies with
protozoa (giardia) and for the treatment of pregnant bitches to reduce prenatal
infections with Toxocara canis and the transfer of T. canis
and Ancylostoma caninum to their pups via the milk.. I recommend
changing your dogs worming tablets each time they are wormed as it is possible
for the worms to become immune to certains products if used extensively.
Heartworm (not in UK)
Heartworm is a
roundworm that is spread from
host to host through the bites
mosquitoes. The heartworm is a
type of small thread-like worm. The definitive host is the
dog but it can also infect
foxes and other animals, such
sea lions and even, under very
The parasite is commonly called "heartworm"
because the adult reproductive stage of its
life cycle resides primarily in
right ventricle of its host
where it can live for many years. Heartworm
infection may result in serious
disease for the host.
If an animal is diagnosed
with heartworms, treatment may be indicated. Before the worms
can be treated, however, the dog must be evaluated for heart,
liver, and kidney function to evaluate the risks of treatment.
Usually the adult worms are killed with an
Fleas are more common during spring
months, they often carry tapeworms, can cause severe itching and even allergy,
and often bite humans.
By late spring, fleas begin to emerge from
their pupae as adults and migrate to the nearest dog for blood meals. An adult
flea mates shortly after emergence and begins laying eggs within 36 hours. In
her brief 50-day lifespan, a single female flea can lay more than 2000 eggs.
About the size of a pinhead, fleas can
jump about 100 times their own height. This ability to jump makes it possible
to travel quickly from host to host, meaning if one dog in your household comes
home with fleas, the others will soon have them as well.
Female fleas need blood to complete their
reproductive cycle. Baby fleas need blood to grow. The female lays eggs on the
host animal, but the eggs can fall to the ground, carpet, sofa, dog bed, owner's
bed, or easy chair where they hatch in two-to-five days. The flea larva feeds on
organic debris in the environment.
The egg turns to larva which in turn
becomes a tiny maggot-like creature then a six-legged blood-thirsty super-jumper
able to leap 100 times its own height, and the cycle begins anew.
Checking for infestation is achieved by
means of a simple test. Fleas are very agile and hard to see on the coat, so
instead comb your pet over a white surface and collect the results. Using moist
white kitchen paper or damp cotton wool, tip the collected material on top and
wait to see if any of the specks turn red or brown. If so, you are in fact
seeing the digested blood from your pet appearing in the flea faeces.
are numerous and vary greatly in their efficiency and range of effects.
It is always advisable to firstly treat your home by thorough vacuuming
and washing any bedding. You may then consider the various medications
preparations are most
popular. Frontline is a highly effective product. The active
ingredient spreads out from the applied site on the neck and accumulates in the
oily skin glands from where it then spreads back up the hair and fur. It claims
to kill up to 98% of new flea arrivals before they have a chance to bite and
will persist for up to 2 months in dogs. Advantage is another
prescription spot on. Capstar is a tablet treatment and kills
fleas via the blood they ingest.
include Acclaim, Staykil, RIP Fleas and Indorex. They work by
killing adult fleas and also contain a hormone to prevent larval pupation. Treat
all relevant surfaces but remove and animals, fish and birds from the rooms
first to avoid toxicity.
With eight legs instead of six, the tick
is cousin to the spider, not the insect. There are several species that feed on
dogs, including the wood tick, the brown dog tick, and the deer tick, and they
all thrive in tall grass, shrubby areas, and woods.
Ticks can carry tick paralysis, and Lyme
disease, so it is important to prevent tick infestations in domestic dogs.
Unlike the flea, the tick is a sluggish
mover and can easily be picked off the dog with tweezers as it crawls about
looking for a feeding spot. There favourite places are around the dog's head and
ears and in his armpits and the inside of his thighs.
Daily grooming can find ticks that have
not yet become embedded in the skin. Ticks can be picked up on the comb and
flicked into a container of alcohol.
simple, remove the tick properly. Using sharp pointed tweezers, or specially
made tick tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, as close to
its embedded mouthparts as you can. If you squeeze the body or head, you risk
compressing the guts and salivary glands and expelling even more organisms
through their mouth.
Do not twist the tick or turn the tweezers
as you pull out the tick. Pull out straight with a slow, steady motion.
Do not apply any substances to the tick
before removing it - no alcohol or nail polish, no petroleum jelly or other
ointments, and do not try to burn it out or otherwise convince to let go of you.
It won't let go. It will just happily keep on sucking your blood and pumping
pathogens into you.
If your dog falls ill after removal of a
tick, consult your vet immediately
preparations are most
popular for preventing Ticks. Frontline is a highly effective
The mosquito prefers to bite people but
will settle for a dog. Although the itchiness of mosquito bites is short-lived,
this insect carries the heartworm microfilariae, the immature stage of the
heartworm, and can transfer it to the dog. Heartworm infestations kill dogs.
Since heartworm preventive can have adverse effects on dogs already infested
with the parasite, owners should have their dogs tested each spring. Once the
dog is found to be heartworm free, the preventive can be given.
After ingesting enough blood to satisfy
their reproductive needs, the female mosquito lays her eggs in water, where they
develop into larvae and adults. Elimination of standing water helps control
mosquitoes, so remove any debris that can catch rain water and dump the water
from plant-pot saucers. If you have a pond, keep the water aerated to disturb
the surface tension.
If you walk with your dog, avoid marshy
If you live in mosquito country be sure to
get your dog checked for heartworm. This is a parasite infestation in which
prevention is cheaper and safer than cure and where early diagnosis is a
Some dogs are bothered by flies that bite
their ears. In severe infestations, the flies cover the ears and leave behind
bloody bite marks that seem to be irritating and can become infected. Some dogs
cause hair loss by rubbing their ears to relieve the discomfort.
Prevention is better than cure. Owners use
a variety of salves, insect repellents, and insecticides to kill the flies or
keep them away. They slather stick insecticides, Vicks Vapo-rub, Vaseline, and
other products to keep the flies off and use antibiotic creams to soothe the
bites. However, the best prevention is to keep affected dogs inside during the
heat of the day.
Biting and stinging insects
These critters bite to protect themselves
or their nests. They include bees, wasps, ants, spiders, and
centipedes. Their attacks can cause allergic reactions or
neurological or other symptoms.
Dogs come in contact with biting and
stinging insects in the home and garden. The bite may leave an itchy or painful
welt or could cause more generalized symptoms.
Dogs often get stung by bees and
wasps because they stalk them as prey or snap at them in irritation.
Although one sting should make a dog swear off these hovering, buzzing insects,
avoidance is not always possible.
If your dog is stung, remove the stinger if visable with tweezers, make a paste
of baking soda, and apply it to the sting. Ice packs can also relieve swelling,
and calamine lotion relieves itching. If the sting causes widespread swelling,
call your vet immediately.
Giardia mature in stages, but unlike many
other parasites no time elapses between infestation and activation of the
disease. The cysts (the inactive form) are found in contaminated water and feces.
Once ingested by the dog, the cysts open and discharge the pear-shaped parasites
with whip-like flagella that propel it through the intestine. If the dog is
healthy, the trophozoites may live in the lower digestive tract for years. If
the dog has an immature or overburdened immune system, the trophozoites continue
to multiply by dividing and can cause sometimes severe illness.
Giardia is a zoonotic disease and can
affect other pets and humans. Cysts can remain viable for several weeks or
months in cold, wet environments, so areas littered with feces should be avoided
and piles should be removed from backyards.
Diarrhoea with feces that are soft, light-colored,
and greasy. Mucus from the large intestine may also indicate that the large
intestine is irritated even though the colony of active protozoa remains in the
small intestine. Blood tests appear normal with the possible exception of an
increase in a type of white blood cells and mild anemia.
Panacur 10% in liquid form (Fenbendazole),
is approved for use in treating dogs with roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm, has
been shown to be effective in treating canine giardiasis. Panacur is safe to use
in puppies at least six weeks of age or pregnant bitches.
In large kennels, mass treatment of all
dogs is preferable, and the kennel and exercise areas should be thoroughly
disinfected. Kennel runs should be steam-cleaned and left to dry for several
days before dogs are reintroduced. Lysol, ammonia, and bleach are effective
Because Giardia crosses species and can
infect people, sanitation is important when caring for dogs. Owners should also
prevent their dogs from drinking potentially infected water in streams, ponds,
or swamps and, if possible, avoid public areas polluted with feces.
Panacur can be expensive in some places so
we suggest you shop around for the best price. We always use the canine chemist
for our panacur, you can find them at