This is a time where we start to take the dogs out for longer walks and in different places which is fabulous and makes us all, including the dogs feel so much better and fitter but please remember that we need to prepare the dogs for the new places with such as a good worming and also flea treatment.
Generally a dog should be treated every 6 months for worms. Roundworms and Tapeworms. They are the most common, roundworm being the bigger problem.
Roundworms migrate throughout the blood, into the lungs, and are coughed up, and usually re-swallowed. Sometimes the larvae can travel through the liver and brain. You may never ever see these worms, and one day one may come out in the dog’s stool. They can cause bloating, diarrhoea and vomiting. Your dog may stop eating, after passing through a stage of over eating, and always being hungry.
Dogs should be discouraged from using the area where kids play, as roundworms are dangerous especially to children. Roundworm eggs can lie dormant in a sandbox for years. Once they enter the child, they can migrate to the child’s liver, lungs eyes or brain and become permanently encysted. This can be dealt with by teaching your dog where to go to the toilet and having a specific place in your garden which will help isolate the possibility of this.
There are a few different varieties of Tapeworms. Fleas carry tapeworms, so if your dog has fleas, or had fleas, there is a good chance he could have tapeworms. Standard wormer doesn’t always kill tapeworms, so a stronger wormer is needed.
Heartworms live in the heart and large blood vessels. they are about 6 inches long. They are spread by mosquitoes. The tree hole mosquito, which breeds in oak trees, is very good at spreading heartworms. They live in areas where oak trees thrive.
If you have oak trees in your area, you most likely live in an area where there are heartworms. Heartworms show no symptoms at all until the disease is very advanced. When symptoms do appear they are the same as the symptoms for congestive heart failure.
Sometimes causing fainting, coughing, difficulty breathing, dull coat, lack of energy, and an enlarged abdomen. Heartworms can be prevented. Dogs should be tested for heart worms, then given a preventive medicine. It is not wise to wait until symptoms appear before treating this dangerous worm. Talk to your Vet!
How do you look for fleas? The first thing you need to do is look for flea faeces. This will be small grains of what appears to be dirt. If you take this ‘dirt’ and rub it between your fingers with a small amount of water and it turns red you’ve found your proof.
This is because flea faeces contain dried blood. The most common place to find it is on “Spot’s” belly, his favourite bed or any area that your pet frequents. These faeces drop off and stay in recesses. Look closely and you will find it hiding in the soft under fur of his coat or the deep dark recesses of his pet bed. This is where the flea favours to lay its eggs because this is a warm fertile area.
There are many ways to treat fleas – Flea collars, spot on treatment, powder, oral treatments and shampoos. All very effective and easy to use. If your dog lives in the house, don’t forget to fumigate your home. Wash the bedding and disinfect the area until you know that the fleas are gone! Make sure you also disinfect your yard too!
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