Why You Should Vaccinate your Dog!
Parvovirus (Parvo) is a common infection affecting dogs. We have recently seen some cases in young dogs, so we are advising everyone to be on the lookout for this nasty infection. We recommend vaccination of all dogs for this disease, especially puppies.
Signs of the disease are: Vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse, intestinal bleeding and sometimes death. The symptoms start 5-12 days after exposure to the virus, and the diarrhoea may not start until1-2 days after the vomiting. It can be hard to tell with young puppies if they are affected as they do develop vomiting and diarrhoea from all sorts of other causes, so a veterinary check is always the best idea.
Dogs usually always need intensive veterinary care with IV fluids if they are to survive, and unfortunately despite all treatment efforts some do not. Prevention by vaccinating is much better (and cheaper) than trying to cure it.
Parvovirus is very persistent in the environment so it is difficult to prevent exposure to it. It can last for years, and this is why we recommend all dogs be vaccinated. Puppies should receive vaccinations at 6, 9, 12 weeks of age or older, with high-risk cases having a booster at 16-18 weeks. Adult dogs should also be vaccinated, especially if they are on farms or in isolated situations, as contact with the virus could cause illness in these cases. Annual boosters are recommended. Dogs undergoing the vaccination course must be kept away from public areas, parks, the lake and dog exercise areas, as they are not fully protected until 10-14 days after their 12 week vaccination.
Don’t forget, if you are planning on going away over the summer you need to have your cat or dog vaccinated to leave them at a boarding facility. Some animals will require two doses, 3-4 weeks apart, so you need to do these now to ensure your pet is ready for the holidays.
If you have any questions about Parvovirus or vaccinations please phone us for more information - 0800 VETPlus.
Fleas Glorious Fleas!!!
Around this time of the year we start seeing more and more problems associated with flea infestation of pets. Fleas can cause a constant irritation and annoyance for affected pets. Unfortunately some animals are hypersensitive to flea saliva causing a disease syndrome known as flea allergy dermatitis. For these animals one bite can lead to a vicious cycle of biting and scratching which often causes a nasty bacterial skin infection and hair loss.
Most of the fleas in a household are usually not on the animal. The flea has a similar life cycle to the butterfly, involving eggs, larvae, pupae (cocoons) and adults. Eggs are laid on the animal and then fall off in bedding, on to carpet, floorboards and soil. The larvae hatches quickly, feeds on the faeces of adult fleas and then spins a cocoon within several weeks. The cocoons can lie dormant for up to 1 year before the adult flea emerges. Warm temperatures, high humidity, floor vibrations and carbon dioxide can stimulate the cocoons to hatch. This can be a particular problem when a house has been empty for an extended period of time. Suddenly the hustle and bustle of animals and people can cause hundreds of fleas to hatch at the same time.
Irritation is not the only problem associated with fleas, they also can carry tapeworm which can infest cats and dogs.
The best way to tell if your pet is infected with fleas is to place a piece of white paper underneath your animal, and then with a flea comb, comb any debris out of your animal’s coat concentrating on the lower back and base of the tail area. Drip water onto any material that falls off. If it turns red then you know your animal has fleas. This works because fleas consume blood only, and the flea faeces (flea dirt) that falls off is therefore dried blood.
As with any disease, the best way to treat disease is to prevent it occurring in the first place. Come in and talk to the friendly staff at VETPlus about the options you have with flea control.