Stop the Parasite Party

No matter how much you care for your dog, there is always a chance that he or she will pick up some nasties like worms, fleas or ticks. Knowledge is the key and lately I’ve been deepening mine on the website called Parasite Party… weird name for a site I know, but you can learn a lot there; all about the weird and wonderful world of dog parasites.

No matter how much you care for your dog, there is always a chance that he or she will pick up some nasties like worms, fleas or ticks. Knowledge is the key and lately I’ve been deepening mine on the website called Parasite Party… weird name for a site I know, but you can learn a lot there; all about the weird and wonderful world of dog parasites.Parasite Party provides us with some basic knowledge about each potential parasite including information on how our dogs might get them in the first place and how they will show up so you can tell your dog is infected. There is also a “one minute check” test which allows us to determine what kind of risks your dog is exposed to and what we should know about it. Just 6 simple questions which will give you some understanding about the risks to your dog.

Let’s meet the main contestants for a place at the party…

Pet Care - All you need to know about hookwormPet Care - All you need to know about roundwormPet Care - All you need to know about whipworm

You have roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, heartworm as well as the traditional tick and flea. These are also other worms which can affect our pets – ask your vet for further advice about the risk for your dog. Worms are especially nasty, they affect our pets in many different ways, some of them might not even show any signs of an infection, when others might end up being fatal. Humans can be affected by some of these worms, too. Accidental ingestion of roundworm eggs can lead to a variety of health problems in people, one of the worst being blindness. Children are particularly at risk as they often play on the ground or in soil where worm eggs may be present (in parks, sandpits etc). Adults may be exposed during activities such as gardening.

For everyone who doesn’t want to read too much, you can use Merial YouTube channel and watch some videos like this one:

So what are some of the ways you can avoid an infestation?

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Clean up your pet’s droppings as soon as produced or at least daily.
  • Do not give your pet uncooked meat/offal unless you can vouch for its complete history.
  • Treat your pet regularly against all parasites as instructed by your vet.
  • If you have several pets, make sure to treat all of them at the same time.

And if you are forgetful, Parasite Party offers a reminder service! All you have to do is to fill out a few details and you will receive a reminder email on the date you requested… it’s that simple!

Help protect your family!

Treat your dog inside and out.

Ask your vet about recent innovations in parasite control.

* This is a collaborative post.

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.

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 – 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?

Pet Health Diary – Monthly Check-Up

Pet Health Diary – Monthly Check-Up

First of every month marks my monthly pet check-up. Why the first you might ask? Well, it is easy for me to remember. I do my monthly invoices on the first, I pay my credit card bill, the month changes and it is one of those tasks I always do on the first of each month.

All pet owners know that even a low maintenance pets need some care. When it comes to cats and dog they need much more attention than a fish or a turtle for example. There is quite a lot of things which need monitoring and checking up on, on a regular basis.

I have a list (kept safe in my head) which I run through during my monthly pet check-up.

Body mass

This is related mainly to Lilly. She has a weight problem, so my monthly check-up on how she is doing is a must. There is a great body condition tool on the Purina website, which can be a tremendous help for any dog owner.

Skin, coat and nails

This one is especially important for Bunk. He gets hot spots and despite petting him daily sometimes they get missed. A full body check-over of the skin is a necessity for me. This also applies to our cats. They aren’t happy with the check-ups but I simply need to know if they are all ok.
As for nails – I don’t trim nails myself but I monitor them monthly and take the dogs to the groomer or vet if needed.
This is also the best time for some preventing treatments. I treat all my pets with Frontline in order to keep them tick and flea free. The treatment is easy and as long as you have the correct product from your vet, you can easily do it at home. You can read more about fleas and ticks here.

Ears

The first of the month is also the time when my dogs get their ears cleaned. No matter if they are dirty (they shouldn’t be) or not, they get cleaned. Keeping your dogs ears clean is very important as an untreated infection can lead to a hearing loss 🙁

Eyes

I buy an eye cleaner for my dogs. In most cases it is used if / when needed. Bunk is a very messy pup and from time to time things get into his eyes, things like his dinner for example. Then he rubs his eyes with his paw, making the irritation even worst. A few drops of eye cleaner and a cotton wool pad and done, shiny healthy eyes.

Mouth

Smelly breath isn’t nice. We have a no kisses policy anyway as standard behaviour in the house but as bad breath can suggest something more serious is going on with your pets health I like to check if their breath is still acceptable. At the same time I have an opportunity to check their teeth and gums; this is how I know that Lilly needs a trip to the vet dentist for some fang cleaning.

This is our standard monthly routine. Every three months I am adding some worming tablets to the mix just to keep things on the safe side.

Do you perform any health check-ups on your pets?