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 vulnerable


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!

Whipworms and Hookworms

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 parasitic roundworm that is spread from host to host through the bites of mosquitoes. The heartworm is a type of small thread-like worm. The definitive host is the dog but it can also infect cats, wolves, coyotes, foxes and other animals, such as ferrets, sea lions and even, under very rare circumstances, humans.  The parasite is commonly called "heartworm" because the adult reproductive stage of its life cycle resides primarily in the 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 arsenic-based compound.



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.

Treatments 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 available.

Spot-on 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.

Household sprays 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.

Treatment is 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

Spot-on preparations are most popular for preventing Ticks. Frontline is a highly effective product.


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 places.

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 life-saver.


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.

TREATMENT.  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 decontamination agents.

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










Heat Stroke


Undescended Testicles


Renal Failure


Toxic Substances