General Health Tips....

Sites that list Toxic and Hazardous Foods, Plants and Products

http://dogs.about.com/od/dogandpuppyhealth/tp/toxicfood.htm


http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/VirtualContent/107048/45_DTplants.pdf

 

 

Below we have listed some General Health & Welfare Tips for your Canine Companion.

VITAL SIGNS

Body Temperature F  100.9 – 101.7

Body Temperature C  38.9 – 39.7

Pulse Rate   70-80 beats per minute

Respiration Rate  15-30 breaths per minute

HEALTH SIGNS

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      DAILY  EYES – Look for the presence of excessive discharge or pus in the conjunctival sac. Check that the cornea is not cloudy that the dog can see clearly.  The sight can be checked regularly by throwing a titbit for the dog to catch.  During summer months, check for grass seeds in the eyes.

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      FAECES – Note consistency and colour.  Check frequency.  Look for undigested food, foreign bodies (plastic bags, cardboard etc)

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      WEEKLY EARS – Check that there is no discharge or odour coming from the ear canal.  Examine ear flaps for presence of wounds or swelling.  During summer months check for grass seeds and/or ticks.

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      PAWS – Examine for wounds, cracks, cysts between the toes and nail bed infections.  During the summer months, check for grass seeds, they can grow into the paws and move up the legs internally.

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      MONTHLY SKIN/COAT – Look for areas of thickened skin and baldness, particularly on elbows and hocks.  Check for evidence of excessive scratching and the presence of abrasions.  Test the skin’s mobility.  Look for worm segments around the anus.  Check the whole body for new warts, lumps under the skin etc.  If you find any lumps or bumps it is a good idea to chart these on a sketch of the dog’s outline so that you can monitor their rate of growth.

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      CLAWS – Check nail beds for signs of inflammation. Examine claws for length and presence of splits. Don’t forget the dew-claws if your dog has them.

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      TEETH – Check the teeth and mouth for dental decay, accumulation of tartar and inflammation of the gums. Chewing on bones can help remove the tartar.

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        WORMS

Worming your dog is important for your dog's health as well as your own, because some canine parasites can be transmitted to humans. Worming frequency depends on a dog's age, its habitat, and which parasites are a problem in the areas in which the dog lives and visits.

The intestinal worms commonly affecting dogs are:

  • roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina)
  • hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma brazilense and Uncinaria stenocephala)
  • whipworms (Trichuris vulpis)
  • and tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum, Taenia spp and very occasionally Echinococcus spp)

Dogs can be infected with worms in many ways, such as accidentally swallowing them in grass or something else they are eating, such as a rabbit. Some parasites have the ability to penetrate skin, while others can pass to the pup while it is still in it's mother's womb, or be transmitted via suckling.

When worm parasites first enter a dog's body, some will move straight to the intestines while others initially migrate around the body. Problems caused by worms, mainly diarrohea, mostly relate to the parasites living and feeding in the intestines, but some can cause vomiting or weight loss. Other common signs of worms include anemia, due to blood loss, or a cough due to worms migrating to the lungs. Some dogs display no signs of infection at all.

Most worming treatments will kill the adult worms in the intestines at the time of treatment, with only a few being able to target migrating parasites. The time it takes for the parasites to mature to a point where they can produce eggs is what determines the frequency of treatment in most parasite control programs.

Worm eggs are excreted in the feces of infected dogs. These excreted eggs  develop to a larval stage infectious to humans. People who pat dogs infected with parasite larvae and forget to wash their hands before eating a meal could unintentionally infect themselves .

These worms can cause problems in humans when they migrate through the body. In order to prevent disease in both dogs and humans, the following are general recommendations for worming dogs:

Puppies should be treated for intestinal worms at two, four, six, eight, ten and twelve weeks of age, then monthly until they are six months old, then at least every three months during their lifetime. If Echinococcus tapeworms are a problem in your area, three to six-weekly treatments are recommended instead. Female dogs should be wormed before mating, then from at least day 42 of pregnancy and fortnightly while the pups are suckling.

There are several ingredients available which effectively kill worms. Some products combine intestinal worming with heartworm prevention or flea treatment. Many products combine a number of ingredients in order to kill all of the intestinal worms listed earlier.

When selecting a product check out the list of worms against which it is effective, to ensure you are protecting your dog against all relevant worms. Your vet can advise you on the most appropriate product for your pet.  

FLEAS

In a recent survey, nearly half of all pet owners whose pets had fleas were totally unaware of the problem.

The fact is, fleas are a very common problem. If you have cats or dogs, the chances are they'll experience a flea infestation at some time in their life. In summer 2005, more than one in fifteen dogs and one in five cats showed signs of a flea infestation or flea-related problems.

At the very least, fleas cause irritation and skin problems in pets - you'll see this if your pet is itching, scratching or biting their coat. Newly hatched fleas will often jump onto pet owners causing discomfort for us too, but the problem doesn't end there. Fleas can carry diseases that affect people as well as pets.

  • Some pets develop Flea Allergy Dermatitis, an allergy to fleas where they can suffer a nasty skin reaction.
  • Fleas can carry tapeworm, which infect cats and dogs. Ask your vet about worming, especially if you've seen any fleas.
  • Fleas are involved in the transmission of Bartonella henselae, a bacteria known to cause mild flu-like symptoms in people.
  • Fleas can also carry Rickettsia species, a bacteria that causes fever and a skin rash in humans.
 

TICKS 

Wherever you live in the UK, if you have cats or dogs, they could pick up ticks in rural areas, public parks, and even in your garden.

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that can pierce your pet's skin with their mouths and cement themselves into position to prevent easy removal. Most ticks in the UK are 'hard ticks' which means they have a hard outer shell protecting their body. The most common type is Ixodes ricinus, known as the sheep or deer tick. It's not only a risk to our pets, but can also infest other animals - and humans too.

Ticks are temporary parasites that spend 3-10 days feeding on your pet. They rely on their host for a blood meal - all stages of the life cycle, except for the egg, must attach to a host to feed before falling off into the environment to develop into the next stage. The whole lifecycle can take 1-3 years to complete.

Ticks can cause a variety of problems, some of them with serious consequences for your pet. At the very least, the physical presence of the tick is uncomfortable for your pet and can lead to a skin reaction or abscess where the tick is attached - particularly if the mouthparts are left behind when a tick is removed. But the problem doesn't end there, as ticks can also carry diseases that can be transmitted to your pet.

  • Lyme disease. Caused by the parasite Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted by Ixodes species of ticks, the most common ticks in the UK. Lyme disease can affect humans as well as dogs and on occasion cats. In dogs it may cause fever, lethargy, arthritis and occasionally skin disease.
  • Anaplasmosis. Caused by the parasite Anaplasma phagocytophila and transmitted by Ixodes ticks. Although rarely diagnosed in the UK, symptoms include depression, fever, reluctance to move and general malaise.