All You Need To Know About Canine Babesiosis

I’ve covered the importance of tick prevention in the past but it looks like now it is even more important than ever, as canine babesiosis can be fatal.

Babesiosis is a malaria-like, parasitic, tick-borne disease caused by various types of Babesia, a microscopic parasite that infects red blood cells. There have recently been a number of reports of dogs in the UK diagnosed with canine babesiosis. This disease can be fatal to dogs and current cases aren’t restricted to dogs which have recently travelled abroad, so it seems like we may have a problem.

Babesiosis is a malaria-like, parasitic, tick-borne disease caused by various types of Babesia, a microscopic parasite that infects red blood cells. There have recently been a number of reports of dogs in the UK diagnosed with canine babesiosis. This disease can be fatal to dogs and current cases aren’t restricted to dogs which have recently travelled abroad, so it seems like we may have a problem.Ticks can be found anywhere your pet goes, not just the obvious high risk places such as forests, heathland, and grassy areas but also in urban playgrounds, parks and even your back garden. Therefore, it’s important to take action to protect your pet.

Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors are at an increased risk of tick bites and of contracting this parasite. This is especially true in the summer months, from May through September, when tick populations are at their highest, so correct prevention is key!

To help protect your pet from ticks (and fleas), apply FRONTLINE® Spot On monthly. It kills ticks within 48 hours of contact with your treated pet, minimising the risk of tick-borne disease transmission.

I know a lot of dog owners don’t think monthly treatments are necessary, but are you really willing to take the risk?

Diagnosis of canine babesiosis can be quite challenging especially as the symptoms can vary from case to case. The severity of symptoms will depend on the species of parasite involved and on the ability of the dog’s immune system to defend against it. Symptoms may come and go as the disease runs its course and can include lack of energy, lack of appetite, weakness, fever, pale gums and tongue, orange or red-coloured urine, discoloured stool, weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, an enlarged spleen, and jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin. A severe infection can affect multiple organ systems including the lungs, GI tract, kidneys, and nervous system.

If your dog is acting abnormally, take it to the vet, especially if it has been exposed to ticks; ask your vet about the potential for infection with a tick-borne disease.

Remember, the health and wellbeing of your pet are in your hands, so please be a responsible pet owner and protect your furry friend.

If you want to read more about ticks in general please refer to my previous post: All you need to know about ticks and fleas.

Take care and remember to take care of your pet!

* This is a collaborative post
**FRONTLINE® Spot On contains fipronil. Legal category: AVM-GSL. ®Registered Trademark. For further prescribing information, refer to the data sheet on www.noahcompendium.co.uk or contact Merial Animal Health Ltd, CM19 5TG, UK. Use medicines responsibly.

Happy National Dog Day!

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
Roger A. Caras

National Dog DayToday is the day!

National Dog Day!

We should love and care for our dogs every day but today is a special day so it would be nice to show them some special love – maybe a longer walk or an extra session of their favourite game… maybe a special dinner, some dog friendly cake or some home baked cookies… whatever you do, remember to do something extra special today 🙂

Frontline Spot On commissioned a survey polling 2,000 dog lovers in order to find out our nation’s favourite dog…

Can you guess which breed won?

Labrador Retriever!

Labrador Retriever received almost double the votes of the second place, German Shepherds. On the list of the UK’s Top 10 Favourite Dogs we can also find the Border Collie, Yorkshire Terrier, Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bulldog and West Highland White Terrier.

What breed would you have voted for?

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Josh Billings

Josh Billings was right and we should never forget it!

In celebration of National Dog Day I have a giveaway for you. I’ve received a few Pawsomeboxes which are still intact and were not raided by my two pooches, I will create from them a dog friendly goodie bag and send it to one of you.

To take part in my giveaway tell me one special thing you do for your dogs to show your love. For extra entries please just follow the Gleam app below.

#win a goodie bag for your dog

Good Luck!

And remember dogs are for life, not just for Christmas!

T&C:
1. Open to UK readers only.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by Bark Time in connection with Pawsomebox.
3. There will be 1 winner chosen at random from all valid entries. Winner will be chosen by Gleam.
4. The winner will receive a dog friendly goodie bag. The prize will only be fulfilled by Bark Time.
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Sunday 13/09/2015 at 23:59pm.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax – Home of The Lucky Duck
SuperLucky Blog Giveaways Linky
Competition Hunter – UK Competitions Community

Pet Health Diary – Ticks and Fleas

Pet Health Diary - Ticks and FleasOk, so some of you may have spotted that I have had a small break with my Pet Health Diary series but you will be pleased to note I am back. Despite the fact that I haven’t written a new part for the series for a while… well 2 months to be exactly… trust me when I say I would not neglect my pets in reality and skip their monthly health check, you have to believe me. Time to write about it later however is far less certain.

According to the plan we should talk about skin, coat and nails in this post but instead I have decided to cover ticks and fleas… again. I am saying again as last year I posted a detailed post about these creatures – All you need to know about Ticks and Fleas. This post covers a lot of information and underlined the main difference between ticks and fleas.

Today’s post was actually prompted by our recent trip to Europe.

I have to admit I have never had any serious tick problems whilst being in the UK despite regular trips to our local woodlands and of course countless fields and ponds but once we hit Europe it was a different story… within days I started to notice ticks on both Lilly and Bunk… they were ever so small… first time I notice one it was on Bunks head, the tick was tiny yet we attempted to remove it… the next day we called at the local vet. As we use FRONTLINE® Spot On regularly I was surprised to see any ticks at all… the vet set us straight. First of all the vet was very surprised that we only found few ticks as apparently there are 1000s of them around and hardly any prevention works; she also told us that if our dogs are protected we should simple leave the ticks alone as they will die. Well, as hard as it was for me to accept this new information we decided to bow down to her expert opinion and listen. Of course she was right, it worked as intended as next ticks I found where all dead and dry – just like this:

Pet Health Diary – Ticks and FleasTicks can be extremely dangerous, they can cause irritation, lead to an abscess and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. Part of being a responsible pet owner is our duty to care for our furry babies, so don’t ignore the flea and ticks problem, protect your pet. Using FRONTLINE® Spot On on a regular basis will ensure that your dog or cat is cared for and will significant reduce any chances of them becoming more seriously ill through complications.

Using FRONTLINE® Spot On  is easy but if you have never used it, you might want to watch this video:

I am working with FRONTLINE® Spot On to spread the word about the necessity of tick and flea protection for pets but I wasn’t paid to write this post; I have however been using FRONTLINE® Spot On on all our pets for several years, way before I even started blogging and I truly believe that this is the best protection I can offer for all my furry friends.

Have you ever experienced a flea or tick infestation?

What do you use as a preventive measure?

Pet Health Diary – Worming

Pet Health Diary – Worming VeloxAA new month can only mean one thing, yes a new chapter on pet health. I am supposed to write this month’s post about skin, coat and nails but instead I have decided to talk about the importance of worming; it kind of ties together with my previous posts about body mass.

We all know about worming but what a lot of people simply don’t understand is why we should worm our pets. It might sound like a bold statement but I have talked to many dog owners and hardly anyone understands the need of worming.

So should you or shouldn’t you worm your pets?

Of course you should.

Even a healthy looking, well cared for pet can get infected with worms.

There are many different ways for your pet to get infected: from an infected nursing mother (this is why puppies have to be wormed more often than adult dogs), through contaminated drinking water or contact with infected animals or their faeces, by eating infected meat (aka road kill) or accidently swallowing an infected flea (yes, fleas can carry worms too this is why it is extremely important to regularly use a flea preventing treatment like Frontline).

There are two main types of worm that can affect dogs: roundworms and tapeworms.

Roundworm is the most common worm and most puppies are born with it. This is also the one that can easily pass to humans. They look like strands of spaghetti and can reach up to 20cm in length.

Tapeworms have distinctive, flat segments and are found in the dog’s intestines. They can cause irritation around the anal region causing dogs to ‘scoot’ along the ground. Tapeworm eggs need to be eaten by an intermediate host, such as a flea, and when a dog swallows the host he becomes infected. Tapeworm can pose a risk to humans too.

In addition to these two specimens pets can also get infected with hookworm or whipworm as well as heartworms or ringworms (this actually isn’t a worm but a fungus which effects the skin).

All worms cause health risks, not only to your dog, but to other dogs, cats and pets in general and to people too — this is why it is so important to worm your dog regularly.

Main symptoms of your pet being infected by worms include:

  • Worms in faeces or vomit
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Bottom scooting
  • Hunger
  • Flaky skin and dull looking coat

When untreated this can cause breathing difficulties, recurring infections as well as general weakness and swelling of limbs.

When it comes to worms it is much easier to prevent them than end up combating the worms later on. Worming is easy, pain free and in most cases hassle free for both you and your pet.

It is recommended to treat adult dogs every three months. The frequency may have to be amended if your dog “hunts” a lot or meets a lot of “shady” characters on your daily walks 😉

There are a lot of worming tablets on the market. Pick one from a recommended source, which will match your dog requirements and when in doubt consult your vet. Try to buy them from the vet or a pet store and avoid auction sites. (Don’t get me wrong I love eBay, Gumtree etc but when it comes to meds I would rather be on the safe side than saving a few pennies).

We used to use Drontal but lately I was introduced to VeloxA. Drontal XL are great but having a giant breed means I need two large pills and “serving” tablets to pets isn’t always an easy and straightforward job. VeloxA resolved this problem by offering chewable and flavoured tablets. Now worming couldn’t be easier! They literally eat it out of your hand.

Was your pet ever infected by worms?

Do you worm your pet regularly?

Pet Health Diary – Body Mass

Pet Health Diary – Body Mass

Well it is the start of the month again so pups in a line and health check time. Whilst checking Lilly’s backbone and ribs for coverage it occurred to me that although I have resolved her problem that it still exists for many people around. In case you’re unsure what I am referring to let me be clear….

Pet obesity is a huge problem and not only in this country. It may be hard to admit but we are actually killing our pets with kindness.

One treat here, one treat there seems innocent enough at the time but all that extra food adds up and the result it’s making our pets fat!

I am not saying that treats are bad, far from it, but we should take them into consideration when planning the daily meal for our pets.

Do you remember our 30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home? During our initial consultation I was given a detailed round up on how much food reduction I should practice to make room for all the additional bits and pieces I feed to my dogs. As it ended up I had to reduce their kibble intake by 1/3 – that’s a big cut down from the general recommendations but it paid off. I am sticking to what I was told and three months down the line our Lilly still keeps her ideal weight; she is no longer overweight; she has much more energy and generally seems to be happier.

Keeping our dogs slim is very important. Overweight dogs have a much greater risk of health issues including arthritis or heart problems and their life span is greatly reduced.

It is really important to stay on top of any weight problem when it comes to our pets. A friend of mine has a lovely Beagle type girl called Hopey; she is really sweet little thing but she is huge… when I met her for the first time I honestly thought she was pregnant and about to have a litter. I was wrong. She is simply obese and the owner doesn’t seem to see it as a big problem… 3kg overweight is not a big deal in his opinion… in my opinion yes it is! When you consider that at her ideal weight she should weigh around 10kg, an additional 3kg is a huuuuge deal; that’s an additional 30% of mass. Can you imagine a human with an additional 30% of his or hers body mass. Just a few kilos might sound innocent (if we discount the significant increase to medical issues) when we think about humans as we tend to start off with a large mass. This doesn’t apply to dogs as they start off with such a small mass so it is not innocent when it comes to dogs.

If you are a pet owner please make sure that you check your dogs or cats weight at least once a month. This is really important. Look at this body condition tool on the Purina website, visit your vet if you are in doubt or book yourself a nutrition visit at Pets at Home.

And as we are talking about monthly health routine don’t forget to check everything else we covered last month; don’t forget to Frontline and de-worm your dogs. By the way very recently I’ve came across some new worming tablets for dogs – Veloxa, which is a tasty beef flavoured chewable tablet so no need to hide it in food in order to persuade your dog to eat it 🙂 This should make things easier for most of us. Has anyone used it?

How is your dogs’ weight?

Is it increasing, declining or stable?

Are they at risk of falling into the category of being overweight?