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Prevention Of Diseases In Dogs

Prevention is better than cure!

Most Mediterranean Diseases Are Spread By Mosquitoes Or Ticks

The prevention of tick-borne infections in dogs must focus on tick control, while the prevention of mosquito-borne infections must focus on the control of mosquitoes.

Fortunately, there are chemicals that help control both ticks and mosquitoes and some have the added advantage of eradicating fleas as well (see chart below).

Commercial Treatments Available To Buy:

Anti Parasite Treatment for Dogs Mosquitoes Fleas Environmental control Ticks
Frontline Tri-Act (Pipetas)
Frontline Combo (Pipetas)
Frontline (Pipetas)
Frontline Spray
PUL-GAR Vet (Electric)
Ex-Spot (Pipetas)
Advantix (Pipetas)
Scalibor (Collar)
Taberdog (Collar)
Seresto (Collar)

Some dogs however, are allergic to these chemicals and you might choose to treat your dog with natural products. There is a possibility then, that he/she will get more ticks and will be at greater risk of developing tick-borne diseases.

There are specific measures that can be taken to reduce exposure to ticks:

  • Avoiding high risk areas, particularly during periods of peak tick activity during Spring and Autumn, can help
  • Carefully examining your dog after walks to identify and then remove ticks is important, as removal of ticks within 48 hours of attachment helps to reduce the risk of disease transmission

There are other measures that can be taken to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Avoiding high risk areas, particularly during the time of year when mosquitoes are more prevalent
  • Making the home environment unattractive to mosquitoes

Vaccination is an integral part of a preventative health care programme

Vaccination has been one of the great success stories of veterinary medicine, and has saved countless thousands of animals, and it's worth remembering that many of the pet diseases we vaccinate against are killers.

Vaccines against infectious diseases

Dogs should be routinely vaccinated against:

  • Canine distemper virus
  • Adenovirus types 1 and 2
  • Parainfluenza
  • Parvovirus

These are administered in the one vaccination (often called a polyvalente vaccination).

Other vaccines, that are administered separately include:

  • Rabies vaccination, which is mandatory in Spain.
  • Kennel cough vaccine, which may be given if your dog is spending time in a kennels - it is given into a nostril and protects against parainfluenza virus and bordetella bronchiseptica.
  • Vaccination to protect against Leptospirosis (if your dog is at risk).

The timetable for vaccinations and worming is in a separate section at the bottom of the page called Vaccination and Treatment Timetable for Pup/Dogs”.

Worming

Regular worm control is part of being a good dog owner.

The two main categories of worm affecting dogs are roundworms and tapeworms.

The commonest of the roundworms is toxocara canis — this is the one that gets a lot of publicity about being a health risk to children.

Tapeworms are made up of strings of long flat segments, and can grow even longer than roundworms; the most common is dipylidium caninum.

More information on roundworms and tapeworms can be found in the relevant Fact Sheet.

Even if there are no obvious signs of worms, it’s still possible your dog has them, so don’t wait for symptoms of infection to appear before you do anything about it. By the time this stage has been reached, he’ll have a heavy infestation and the worms will be doing their damage.

Worming products are a treatment and not a preventative. They are available in:

  • Flavoured pastes
  • Flavoured and chewable tablets
  • Powder/granules
  • Liquid suspension form (recommended for puppies)

Some spot-on monthly parasite control treatments will contain anti-worming properties. However, owners must be aware that most spot-on treatments will not provide the same level of worm control as traditional all-wormers.

As well as buying veterinary recommended products, such as Drontal and Panacur, other brands are available in supermarkets and on-line. It is advisable to check that these are as efficient.

When a wormer is given, although it removes worms already present in the digestive tract, it doesn’t have a residual effect, but leaves your dog’s system after a few days, so it won’t prevent re-infection. This is why it’s important to have a year-round programme in place.

The frequency of worming depends on the product you use, the age of your dog and your lifestyle. Puppies are generally wormed every two to three weeks from the age of two weeks until 12 weeks old, then monthly until six months old, after which every three months is usually sufficient.

Before giving a wormer, make sure you are giving the right dosage for your dog’s weight; and as this can fluctuate with both age and activity, check it first.

You may prefer to use natural products, perhaps because your dog has health problems, or simply because you don’t like the idea of using chemicals. There are alternatives to choose from, including giving garlic, neem or one of the many herbal and homeopathic preparations available. Remember that they will not have undergone the same safety and efficiency testing as the commercial products, so it may be a good idea to have stool samples checked periodically.

Prevention

A preventative strategy is as important as some form of regularly administered wormer; such preventative measures include:

  • Scooping your dog´s poo both in the garden and when out on walks.
  • Trying to keep your dog from scavenging.
  • Regularly washing the dog's bedding.
  • Routinely cleaning and disinfecting your home (or kennel) to ensure that any infected material has not been brought on the soles of shoes etc.

Vets in the Axarquia

See a list of some of the vets local to the Axarquia

Reporting Abuse

If you need to report a case of cruelty please contact SEPRONA

If you find a stray ...

dog or cat abandoned in the Axarquia region, here's what to do