- Treating your Dog for Worms
- Vaccinating your Dog
- Speying your Bitch
- Why should I have my dog neutered (castrated?)
- Allergy Advice - Itchiness
- Anal Gland Problems in Dogs
Remember - just because you don't see any worms doesn't necessarily mean your pet is worm free!
All adult dogs should be treated against roundworm and tapeworm every three months, whether there are obvious signs of not. Low grade infestations with roundworms can contaminate the environment with their long lived eggs. Any infestation with one or more of the different tapeworm types needs to be eliminated.
All the preparations mentioned are available from our surgeries, just ask at reception which are best for your pets.
We are always happy to give you all the advice you need.
Recommended Treatment Regime
Drontal Plus tablets contain the most effective combination of drugs to kill both round and tapeworm infestations with one dose. Suitable for most dogs.
Plerion chewable tablets. These are a highly palatable and very effective dual wormer.
Panacur (liquid or granules) may be used, especially for dogs which are difficult to administer tablets to. Stronghold is a flea treatment which also kills roundworms.
There are also other preparations available from us which may be suitable.
Pups need to be treated for roundworms. They become infested with these worms from their mothers, which excrete them in their milk
Recommended Treatment Regime
We recommend Drontal Puppy Suspension, once every two weeks until at least 12 weeks old.
Start worming as for adults from 6 months old.
The aim is to eliminate transfer of roundworms from mother to pups, producing a virtually worm free litter, giving them a better start in life.
Panacur (liquid or granules), is given from day 42 of pregnancy to 2 days after whelping.
We advise all dogs are protected by vaccination against the following major contagious diseases:
- Distemper (Hardpad)
- Leptospirosis - four types
- Infectious Canine Hepatitis
The primary course of vaccination involves two or three injections. They can be started from six weeks of age, with the final injection of the course being given at a minimum age of ten weeks and four weeks after the first.
Your dog should be fully protected three weeks after the last injection. It is important to keep your puppy in your house or garden until protected but we will advise on a managed socialisation program for your puppy.
It is essential a booster vaccination is given every 12 months to maintain your dog's immunity to these diseases.
This is available against:
Kennel Cough - Vaccination is of great help in reducing the incidence of this disease and is given by nasal drops. It is best given a few weeks prior to periods of high risk. e.g. boarding or every spring. The vaccine lasts for 12 months.
Rabies - We can vaccinate your pet against rabies. This is required if you wish to take your pet abroad using the PET travel scheme.
There are many reasons why it is advisable to have your bitch speyed (dressed.)
- To prevent the birth of unwanted puppies.
- To prevent the nuisance of a bitch of heat attracting male dogs.
- It stops the problem of a discharge every time she comes on heat.
- Prevents womb infections (pyometra) - which is common in older unspeyed bitches.
- If speyed before 18 months old, this greatly reduces the chance of developing mammary tumours (breast cancer) in later life. These are also very common in older animals.
- Prevents false pregnancies with the associated problems of milk production, mothering toys and nest making.
Are there any disadvantages of the operation? There are several points to be considered.
- As with all general anaesthetics there is always a slight risk but this is minimal in young healthy bitches.
- There is a slightly greater risk incidence of urinary incontinence in speyed bitches, but this can usually be controlled by treatment.
Won't she put on weight? NO - so long as you are aware that speying reduces their need for food. You must cut down their food intake by as much as ONE THIRD, soon after the operation.
Should she have a litter before being speyed? No - this is not necessary. It will not alter he temperament if she does or does not have pups.
So when should she be speyed? We can spey her before she has ever come into season at 6 months old. Alternatively, she can be dressed three months after finishing her season.
Will she take a long time to recover after the operation? Not normally. She will usually be sent home on the day of the operation. You can expect her to be subdued for the first few days after the operation. The stiches will be removed 10-12 days later. Restricted exercise during this time i essential.
What will it all cost? Current prices are available from the surgery.
There are several reasons.
- To prevent him fathering unwanted puppies.
- Prevents him running off after bitches on heat.
- Prevents CERTAIN types of aggressive behaviour.
- Stops dogs being over-sexed.
- Helps prevent prostate gland disease.
- Helps prevent certain hernias and anal tumours in later life if castrated when young.
- If your dog has one or more retained testicles, castration is essential to prevent the greatly increased chance of testicular tumours in later life.
Are there any disadvantages? As with all general anaesthetics, there is always a slight risk but this is minimal in younger animals.
Any other points to consider? Most dogs require less food after castration. It is therefore important to reduce their food intake by as much as a quarter soon after the operation to prevent weight gain.
Skin Allergy (Atopy)
This is a common, partly heritable skin condition which is often first seen between the ages of 2 - 4 years old. Certain breeds are more likely to suffer, e.g. Westies, English Bull Terriers. Your vet may diagnose this condition after eliminating the many other problems that can cause itching.
This condition affects areas such as the face, ears, feet, underside, rear and can show up with the following symptoms.
- Itching - scratching/biting/licking/rubbing
- Inflammation - reddening.
- Thickening / black pigmentation of skin in chronic cases.
- Secondary bacterial infection. - boils/pimples.
- Secondary yeast infection - causing greasy/smelly skin.
- Pink/brown staining of feet in light coloured dogs (saliva stain.)
- Occasionally conjunctivitis and sneezing.
- House dust mite droppings.
- Pollens especially summer.
- Carpet fibres/dyes/shampoos/shake n vac/floor polish/flash etc.
- Food allergies - e.g wheat, dairy.
MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENTS
- Corticosteroids These are useful anti-inflammatories and usually reduce the animal's discomfort. They are available in lots of different forms such as injections/tablets or locally applied cream. However, they can have side effects so their use should be kept to a minimum. They may increase thirst/hunger and urination. Long term side-effects include diabetes, Cushing's disease and a reduced immunity. These risks are reduced by using minimum doses and alternate day therapy.
- Antihistamines These can help in about 20% of dogs and may help reduce the steroid dose. Your vet may prescribe a combination of different anti-histamines.
- Essential Fatty Acids These have been found to be useful in animals. It can take 4-6 weeks before an improvement is seen. Examples include evening primrose oil and borage oil.
- Shampoos These can reduce secondary yeast and bacterial infections e.g. malaseb, etiderm, hexocil prescribed by your vet.
- Flea Prevention Flea bites will cause further irritation to an atopic animal so a flea treatment from your vet is recommended.
- Hyposensitisation This involves a series of injections if the actual cause of the allergy has been identified. This can be achieved by tests at a veterinary dermatologist.
- Reduce Exposure To any known allergen, if feasible, will reduce the symptoms.
What are anal glands?
Anal glands are two sacs about 5mm long situated either side of the anus at the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. The lining of the sac is made up of secretory cells. Each sac has a small duct which leads to a tiny opening just inside the anus.
What is their function?
A pungent secretion normally accumulates in the anal sacs. This secretion is used as a marker and in the wild is used to mark territory. In the domestic cat or dog they have little or no use, although the sacs are often emptied when the animal is frightened. Emptying usually occurs during defecation as this process has a squeezing effect on the sacs.
The two major problems encountered commonly in practice are impaction (blockage) and infection. Neoplasia (cancer) of the sacs is also possible but is quite rare. Impacted or infected sacs are often painful and the irritation causes the animal to "scoot" its bottom along the ground and to lick or chew in the area.
Blockage or overfull sacs occurs if the normal emptying process fails. This can be due to diarrhoea (reduced squeezing effect as mentioned above), poor anatomy such that the sacs have difficulty emptying normally and diet may play a part especially if the stool is not properly formed.
Uncomplicated impaction can be treated by manual emptying of the sacs by your vet. This may mean squeezing the sacs by pressing from the outside or by using finger pressure from within the rectum. In either case the sac contents empty via the ducts into the anus and material is wiped away. Be careful that none of the secretion gets on you - it smells! In a small number of animals this treatment may be required on a regular basis. Bulking out the stool might help in the recurrent cases e.g. by using bran or changing the diet. Ask your vet what he or she recommends.
A bacterial infection often presents in much the same way as impaction but the condition may progress to a situation where an abscess forms in the sac and the whole area becomes inflamed and very painful. This can be quite sudden in the onset and can lead to a lot of worry both to the dog and the owner. Washing the area with warm water may encourage the abscess to burst but emptying as described above is often necessary. Antibiotics are usually prescribed and these may be infused into the affected sac via the duct and/or given by pills and injections.
Recurrent and problem cases of anal sac disease may warrant surgical removal. This requires general anaesthesia and the sacs are removed via two small incisions either side of the anus. The skin is stitched and although the patient may be uncomfortable for a few days the surgery provides relief from the problem quickly. Complications are unusual and surgery is of great benefit in recurrent cases.