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?

#MotherAgain – Time to End Backstreet Breeding

#MotherAgain – Time to End Backstreet Breeding

A mother… again… and again… and again… and again…

Every year, countless defenceless dogs are forced to repeatedly produce litters of puppies by unlicensed breeders and are then sold for easy money. They are mothers again and again before being callously abandoned, having served their only purpose; to make a profit.

Their litters are sold to owners who are often unaware of their origins before its too late, or worse, dumped when they fail to sell. Such over breeding can cause countless health defects and temperament problems in each generation.

Leading animal welfare charity, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is urging prospective dog owners to think twice about how and where they buy a dog, in an attempt to crack down on the horrific and cruel practice of backstreet dog breeding.

The relentless breeding of dogs usually in dirty, squalid conditions takes place throughout neighbourhoods up and down the country, so Battersea has decided to launch a major campaign – End Backstreet Breeding – calling for a clamp down on the many undercover dog breeders that profit from their cruel treatment of these animals.

The world famous animal charity is calling for:

A ban on the sale of puppies under eight weeks’ old. The current law allows for litters to be separated from their mothers at less than eight weeks old, to be sold on by pet shops when they are 12-weeks-old. Separating a mum from her puppies at such a young age denies her young from vital life and socialisation skills.

The introduction of a required breeding licence for any household producing two or more litters per year. A breeding licence is at the moment only required for a household producing more than five litters a year. Producing so many puppies has serious health and welfare implications for the mother.

Dogs used for backstreet breeding whose sole purpose is to make money are usually forced to lead a miserable life. They are frequently kept in cramped, uncomfortable conditions, are more often than not never exercised and are just used to produce litter after litter, with no regard for their health and even less for their happiness. Totally exhausted and inevitably under socialised, these dogs are all too often thrown onto the streets once they have served their purpose to fend for themselves until caught and entered into the “system”.

Battersea Ambassador Paul O’Grady is supporting the campaign and says:
“I’ve seen first-hand the poor, damaged dogs in Battersea’s kennels that have been bred from over and over again. It sickens me to think what these dogs go through before they’re dumped on the streets broken and unloved. The awful thing is that backstreet breeders are everywhere lining their pockets from the demand for puppies. If there’s one thing we can all do it’s to make sure we think about where we’re getting a puppy from. Visit a rescue centre or a registered breeder and help Battersea end backstreet breeding.”

If you are planning to buy a dog please spend some time and find a reputable breeder. The Kennel Club offers an excellent advice on how to pick a right breeder. Yes it will obviously cost more to buy your dog, but you will know the history and more importantly the mental state of your new found family member. Though never undervalue the importance of the small step you have taken to help eradicate the backstreet breeder.

And if you have two minutes to spare please email your MP today and help us change the law. No pet should be forced to breed again and again and again… no matter how profitable.

To spread the word about the campaign please share it with hashtag #MotherAgain