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It's hard to manage the disappearance of your dog:  you can't think clearly because of emotion, but you have to act quickly and firmly.
 
In this article, you will find a guide with the instructions to follow step by step to look for your dog in case of loss.
 
Losing your pet is an unpleasant experience and you hope it will never happen, but if by chance you find yourself in this situation, you will have to know how to deal with it at best without wasting time uselessly.
 
1.  Gather your thoughts
At first, try to remember date, place, time and how you lost him. You must try to remember all the details before starting his search: anything could be essential.
 
2. Search in the neighborhood
As soon as you have all the details good in mind, start your search. Check the place where you last saw him as best as you can. Remember to call him often by his name; if he's near, he could hear you and appear.
If your search in the neighborhood has no positive outcome, keep on searching elsewhere.
Look for him in a place where he usually tends to go with you (gardens, park, pet shop ...).
Finally, try to go home. Dogs often memorize the place where they live and the way to reach it, they are also able to walk long distances. You could find him there waiting for you!
 
3. Submit your report to the competent authorities
In case the previous steps prove to be not very fruitful, your next step will be to submit your report to the competent authorities.
Report the loss of your dog with a written document to the police and to the competent authorities where he was registered during the application of the microchip. If the area of loss is close to a forest, to a park or to a mountain, you may also warn forest ranger.
 
4. Share the disappearance of the dog on social media
Do not underestimate the power of social media, you live in an age dominated by technology, take advantage of it! Write a message to find your 4-legged friend without forgetting to include the ways to contact you and the pictures to simplify his identification.  Many owners found their dogs this way!
 
5. Contact the shelter
Do not forget to contact the shelters in your area, because your dog may have been found and brought there. This way, you don't only check if he is there, but you can also spread the news about his loss. They could call you in case they find him.
 
6. Print leaflets
Leaflets are very useful, especially if hang up in the area where the dog has disappeared. By printing them you can not only spread them into your town, but you can also show them to the various shops or institutions you will encounter during your search.
 
7. Contact veterinarians
In addition to the area kennel, try also to contact veterinarians. Often those who find a dog take him to the nearest vet to check for the presence of the microchip and make sure that he is well.
 
8. Arrange group researches
If you have the opportunity, you can arrange big research groups in the area where he might have got lost: you can cover more ground, thus increasing the possibility of finding him.
 
9. Check every day announcements about dogs found, lost or taken for adoption 
Someone may have found your dog and, not knowing what to do, he could put an announcement of finding or loss, hoping that the owner, in this case you, can see the post and answer promptly. Sometimes they could publish directly the announcement of adoption of the dog found, so pay attention  also to them.
 
Once you have found your faithful friend:
  • take him as soon as possible to a veterinarian for a visit. An ordinary check is compulsory in these cases. You don't know where he was, what he ate and who he was in contact with, so it's better not to risk and make all the necessary checks.
  • Remember to remove the leaflets  you had spread in your town and communicate the discovery of the dog on the social media where you posted the announcement.
Finally, you should make sure to be more experienced for the next time, should it happen (let's hope not!), for this reason:
  • provide the microchip, if you haven't already done.
  • Make sure he wears a collar with an ID tag that shows at least your phone number, so you can be tracked quickly.
  • Check that your pet is registered at the Dog Registry Office.
 
Do not forget that in cases like this, promptness is very important and crucial for a positive outcome.
 

Have you ever had a similar situation? Share your experience in the comments below :)

 

Eleonora Bosoni 

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

Lost dogs: how to find your four-legged friend

It's hard to manage the disappearance of your dog:  you can't think clearly because of emotion, but you have to act quickly and firmly.
 
In this article, you will find a guide with the instructions to follow step by step to look for your dog in case of loss.
 
Losing your pet is an unpleasant experience and you hope it will never happen, but if by chance you find yourself in this situation, you will have to know how to deal with it at best without wasting time uselessly.
 
1.  Gather your thoughts
At first, try to remember date, place, time and how you lost him. You must try to remember all the details before starting his search: anything could be essential.
 
2. Search in the neighborhood
As soon as you have all the details good in mind, start your search. Check the place where you last saw him as best as you can. Remember to call him often by his name; if he's near, he could hear you and appear.
If your search in the neighborhood has no positive outcome, keep on searching elsewhere.
Look for him in a place where he usually tends to go with you (gardens, park, pet shop ...).
Finally, try to go home. Dogs often memorize the place where they live and the way to reach it, they are also able to walk long distances. You could find him there waiting for you!
 
3. Submit your report to the competent authorities
In case the previous steps prove to be not very fruitful, your next step will be to submit your report to the competent authorities.
Report the loss of your dog with a written document to the police and to the competent authorities where he was registered during the application of the microchip. If the area of loss is close to a forest, to a park or to a mountain, you may also warn forest ranger.
 
4. Share the disappearance of the dog on social media
Do not underestimate the power of social media, you live in an age dominated by technology, take advantage of it! Write a message to find your 4-legged friend without forgetting to include the ways to contact you and the pictures to simplify his identification.  Many owners found their dogs this way!
 
5. Contact the shelter
Do not forget to contact the shelters in your area, because your dog may have been found and brought there. This way, you don't only check if he is there, but you can also spread the news about his loss. They could call you in case they find him.
 
6. Print leaflets
Leaflets are very useful, especially if hang up in the area where the dog has disappeared. By printing them you can not only spread them into your town, but you can also show them to the various shops or institutions you will encounter during your search.
 
7. Contact veterinarians
In addition to the area kennel, try also to contact veterinarians. Often those who find a dog take him to the nearest vet to check for the presence of the microchip and make sure that he is well.
 
8. Arrange group researches
If you have the opportunity, you can arrange big research groups in the area where he might have got lost: you can cover more ground, thus increasing the possibility of finding him.
 
9. Check every day announcements about dogs found, lost or taken for adoption 
Someone may have found your dog and, not knowing what to do, he could put an announcement of finding or loss, hoping that the owner, in this case you, can see the post and answer promptly. Sometimes they could publish directly the announcement of adoption of the dog found, so pay attention  also to them.
 
Once you have found your faithful friend:
  • take him as soon as possible to a veterinarian for a visit. An ordinary check is compulsory in these cases. You don't know where he was, what he ate and who he was in contact with, so it's better not to risk and make all the necessary checks.
  • Remember to remove the leaflets  you had spread in your town and communicate the discovery of the dog on the social media where you posted the announcement.
Finally, you should make sure to be more experienced for the next time, should it happen (let's hope not!), for this reason:
  • provide the microchip, if you haven't already done.
  • Make sure he wears a collar with an ID tag that shows at least your phone number, so you can be tracked quickly.
  • Check that your pet is registered at the Dog Registry Office.
 
Do not forget that in cases like this, promptness is very important and crucial for a positive outcome.
 

Have you ever had a similar situation? Share your experience in the comments below :)

 

Eleonora Bosoni 

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

I decided to treat this topic as it is well-known especially among breeders, less among common owners, that some Collies, due to a genetic mutation of the MDR-1 gene, are intolerant to ivermectin, an antiparasitic that can cause intoxications and bring them even to death.

The phenomenon of ivermectin toxicity in the Colie was first described in 1983.
Contrary to what we could think, the mutation of this gene does not only affect Collies in all his various breeds (Scots, Border, Rough ...). Nowadays there are several breeds in which said mutation was detected.
Among the most common:
  • Collie
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bobtail
  • Shetland Shepherd
  • German shepherd
  • Swiss shepherd
 
IVERMECTIN
Ivermectin is the active ingredient used in various medicines for the prevention and treatment of various parasites including Dirofilaria.
Treatments based on this substance can be given by mouth, by injection and applied to the skin as a spot-on with different doses.
For example: IVOMEC, GUARDIAN, CARDOTEK...
It is an active ingredient considered as safe and with a low risk of collateral effects by veterinarians. Let's consider the specific case.
 
MUTATION OF THE MDR-1 GENE
MDR-1 is a very important gene that encodes a protein, the P-glycoprotein responsible for the distribution of ivermectin (but not only) inside the body. When the MDR-1 gene changes, the produced p-glycoprotein is altered and can't perform its function:  the active ingredient transmitted by it is abnormally distributed, with consequent cases of toxicity, in particular as regards the central nervous sytem. The intoxication of the animal will happen quickly in case of massive dose of medicine, as for the therapy of dogs with Dirofilaria, bringing the animal to death; in case of smaller dosages, a prompt admission can save him.
 
Each gene is composed by two alleles: if they are identical, we speak of homozygosis, if they are different we talk about heterozygosis.
This mutation is autosomal recessive: therefore, a dog with homozygous mutated MDR-1 will have a higher sensitivity to ivermectin and will show symptoms much more serious than a heterozygous subject who, instead, having one healthy and one mutated allele, will be only moderately sensitive and the seriousness of his symptoms will be minor or sometimes null in the case of very low doses.
This defect then passes to the offspring, starting from even apparently healthy subjects but who are actually carriers.
 
Contrary to what we commonly believe, it is not only the dreaded ivermectin that may give problems to the dogs affected by this mutation: to date there are more than 20 molecules identified as dangerous and among them there are also common antibiotics, antiparasitics, antifungal, antiemetic, antacids, steroids and many medicines commonly used in veterinary anesthesia (doxorubicin, vincristine, vinblastine, doxycycline, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketaconazole, rifampicin, tetracycline, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, domperidone, ranitidine, butorphanol, ivermectin, morphine, moxidectin, phenothiazines, selamectin only to name a few among the most common).
The seriousness of the symptoms will obviously always be connected with the dose taken and with the degree of genetic defect (sick or carrier).
 
SYMPTOMS OF POISONING
Symptoms related to cerebral accumulation of ivermectin appear in 4-12 hours after exposure to the medicine in case of use of massive doses and in about 48-96 hours in the case of administration of smaller doses.
You will notice:
  • Dilated pupils with greater sensitivity to light
  • Digestive problems, lack of appetite and abundant salivation
  • Lethargy: drowsiness up to a real difficulty for the animal to stand up
  • Motor problems: the animal has difficulty in moving, stumbles, falls, staggers and can appear as disoriented and does not respond to your call
  • Respiratory problems: the animal will have a shallow, gasping breathing, which can cause him loss of consciousness, fainting. He may have epileptic fits that in case of lack of treatment will lead him to coma and death.
 
TREATMENT
Being a genetic disorder, treatment will only be palliative and will help to control the most dangerous symptoms, waiting for the animal to dispose of intoxication.
In any case, should you notice a symptom among those mentioned above in a genetically at-risk subject, it is important to contact immediately a veterinarian.
 
Dogs affected by mutation are apparently healthy and have normal physiological and haematological parameters; fortunately today it is possible to diagnose mutation with a specific genetic test through which you can establish with certainty if the dog is healthy, mutated heterozygous, that is with only one of the two mutated alleles, or mutated homozygous, that's to say with both mutated alleles.
The test is useful to identify the genotype of the reproducers intended for coupling and thus reduce the onset of this mutation. Considering the large number of potentially toxic medicines and the seriousness of symptoms that may occur following the intake of one of these molecules, in order to safeguard the health of our dog is very important to know if the MDR1 gene is changed or not. Therapies or anesthesia that may become necessary during the life of your dog will be calibrated according to the possible mutation of the MDR1 gene.
 
I hope I have been clear enough: it's difficult to simplify genetic concepts. Leave your comment, should you have other questions. I will be available.
I'll be back soon with my next article!
 

Eleonora Bosoni  

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

Collie and ivermectin, what to know.

I decided to treat this topic as it is well-known especially among breeders, less among common owners, that some Collies, due to a genetic mutation of the MDR-1 gene, are intolerant to ivermectin, an antiparasitic that can cause intoxications and bring them even to death.

The phenomenon of ivermectin toxicity in the Colie was first described in 1983.
Contrary to what we could think, the mutation of this gene does not only affect Collies in all his various breeds (Scots, Border, Rough ...). Nowadays there are several breeds in which said mutation was detected.
Among the most common:
  • Collie
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bobtail
  • Shetland Shepherd
  • German shepherd
  • Swiss shepherd
 
IVERMECTIN
Ivermectin is the active ingredient used in various medicines for the prevention and treatment of various parasites including Dirofilaria.
Treatments based on this substance can be given by mouth, by injection and applied to the skin as a spot-on with different doses.
For example: IVOMEC, GUARDIAN, CARDOTEK...
It is an active ingredient considered as safe and with a low risk of collateral effects by veterinarians. Let's consider the specific case.
 
MUTATION OF THE MDR-1 GENE
MDR-1 is a very important gene that encodes a protein, the P-glycoprotein responsible for the distribution of ivermectin (but not only) inside the body. When the MDR-1 gene changes, the produced p-glycoprotein is altered and can't perform its function:  the active ingredient transmitted by it is abnormally distributed, with consequent cases of toxicity, in particular as regards the central nervous sytem. The intoxication of the animal will happen quickly in case of massive dose of medicine, as for the therapy of dogs with Dirofilaria, bringing the animal to death; in case of smaller dosages, a prompt admission can save him.
 
Each gene is composed by two alleles: if they are identical, we speak of homozygosis, if they are different we talk about heterozygosis.
This mutation is autosomal recessive: therefore, a dog with homozygous mutated MDR-1 will have a higher sensitivity to ivermectin and will show symptoms much more serious than a heterozygous subject who, instead, having one healthy and one mutated allele, will be only moderately sensitive and the seriousness of his symptoms will be minor or sometimes null in the case of very low doses.
This defect then passes to the offspring, starting from even apparently healthy subjects but who are actually carriers.
 
Contrary to what we commonly believe, it is not only the dreaded ivermectin that may give problems to the dogs affected by this mutation: to date there are more than 20 molecules identified as dangerous and among them there are also common antibiotics, antiparasitics, antifungal, antiemetic, antacids, steroids and many medicines commonly used in veterinary anesthesia (doxorubicin, vincristine, vinblastine, doxycycline, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketaconazole, rifampicin, tetracycline, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, domperidone, ranitidine, butorphanol, ivermectin, morphine, moxidectin, phenothiazines, selamectin only to name a few among the most common).
The seriousness of the symptoms will obviously always be connected with the dose taken and with the degree of genetic defect (sick or carrier).
 
SYMPTOMS OF POISONING
Symptoms related to cerebral accumulation of ivermectin appear in 4-12 hours after exposure to the medicine in case of use of massive doses and in about 48-96 hours in the case of administration of smaller doses.
You will notice:
  • Dilated pupils with greater sensitivity to light
  • Digestive problems, lack of appetite and abundant salivation
  • Lethargy: drowsiness up to a real difficulty for the animal to stand up
  • Motor problems: the animal has difficulty in moving, stumbles, falls, staggers and can appear as disoriented and does not respond to your call
  • Respiratory problems: the animal will have a shallow, gasping breathing, which can cause him loss of consciousness, fainting. He may have epileptic fits that in case of lack of treatment will lead him to coma and death.
 
TREATMENT
Being a genetic disorder, treatment will only be palliative and will help to control the most dangerous symptoms, waiting for the animal to dispose of intoxication.
In any case, should you notice a symptom among those mentioned above in a genetically at-risk subject, it is important to contact immediately a veterinarian.
 
Dogs affected by mutation are apparently healthy and have normal physiological and haematological parameters; fortunately today it is possible to diagnose mutation with a specific genetic test through which you can establish with certainty if the dog is healthy, mutated heterozygous, that is with only one of the two mutated alleles, or mutated homozygous, that's to say with both mutated alleles.
The test is useful to identify the genotype of the reproducers intended for coupling and thus reduce the onset of this mutation. Considering the large number of potentially toxic medicines and the seriousness of symptoms that may occur following the intake of one of these molecules, in order to safeguard the health of our dog is very important to know if the MDR1 gene is changed or not. Therapies or anesthesia that may become necessary during the life of your dog will be calibrated according to the possible mutation of the MDR1 gene.
 
I hope I have been clear enough: it's difficult to simplify genetic concepts. Leave your comment, should you have other questions. I will be available.
I'll be back soon with my next article!
 

Eleonora Bosoni  

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine




A common fear among dog owners is represented by poisoned baits.

In 2016, 23,500 dogs were poisoned in Italy and the 30% of them died of terrible pains.  In the first three months of 2017, cases had increased in comparison with the previous year.

For this reason, we thought to create this informational "handbook" that could be a help to you.


Poisoned baits

Poisoning means a change of the normal physiological balance of the organism because of a respiratory, cutaneous, alimentary contact with a toxic substance.

The most used substances to create baits are rat poison or other kinds of very dangerous poison like metaldehyde, strychnine, ethylene glycol (antifreeze liquid).

These tasty morsels are prepared to attract your animal, by using ham, meat, sausage, etc. Once ingested, the poison contained in them starts to circulate in a short time, causing damages. There are obviously some variables, related to the ingested dose, the size and breed of the animal, the kind of poison and the promptness of action.


Good habits

We suggest you not to worry, but to follow these simple basic measures:

  • Watch carefully where your dog goes and pay close attention to what he could swallow.
  • Try to instruct him not to eat what is on the ground.


First aid

There is a useful method that we suggest you to know in order to save your friend's life: to induce vomit. You shall obviously use it only if you are sure about the ingestion.

Induce vomit as quickly as possible in case of need is essential, except in the case a caustic substance has been ingested (for example muriatic acid, hydrochloric acid, etc) which would cause additional damages by flowing again in the passage.


How can you induce vomit?

The easiest and most effective method to use in case of urgent need is to let your dog swallow 1-2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide by a syringe without needle or a solution of water and salt. This will cause instant vomit, avoiding the poison to circulate or at least limiting the damages. After this, you shall go anyway to your veterinary.

What are the most used poisons? What symptoms will your pet show? What could you notice?

Most of the times, unfortunately you don't catch out your pet, but after some time (a few minutes or even a few days) you will notice that your dog has a problem and therefore it is very important to be able to recognize the symptoms.

The most used substance and the easiest to find on the market is rat poison (rodenticide, anticoagulant). Once it starts to circulate, it causes bleedings, which are more or less serious according to the affected area and to the ingested quantity.

The active ingredient of this product doesn't let the blood clot; therefore, the diagnosis is immediate after a simple blood sample (the blood will always be liquid in the syringe).

Symptoms will be more or less clear and fast, depending on the ingested quantity; sometimes they may even appear after a week.

Therefore, you can mainly notice:

  • tiredness, apathy
  • short of breath, in case of hemorrhages in the respiratory system
  • external hemorrhages
  • pale mucous membranes

 

Another product used is the metaldehyde (lumachicide), which consists of blue and green granules, used to combat snail infestation in crops.

Symptoms appear within 2-3 hours of ingestion:

  • tremors
  • convulsions
  • dilated pupils
  • greenish diarrhea
  • short of breath

 

Similar but more serious symptoms are associated with strychnine, a substance commonly used in the countryside to poison rats, foxes and wild animals, which acts quickly causing:

  • tremors
  • dilated pupils
  • short of breath
  • body rigidity
  • rich salivation
  • respiratory block and death


If the animal outlives the first 24 hours after ingestion, he will have a good chance of survival, if treated with the appropriate medicines.

 

The last substance we would like to consider is ethylene glycol (antifreeze liquid, used by mechanics, plumbers, liquid put into the tank to wash the car's windows, ect), which can be accidentally swallowed, as it has a very pleasant and sweet taste, loved by animals.

The symptomatology caused can be divided into three phases:

  • in the first phase, the nervous system is compromised: after about 30 minutes, the animal seems "drunk", has vomit, nausea, rich urination, thirst, uncertain gait, tremors, convulsions
  • in the second phase, after about 24 hours, the cardiac and pulmonary problems begin: you could see your pet with short of breath, with a difficult breathing
  • after about 48 hours, there is a serious renal impairment, with consequent dehydration, coma and death

Also in this last case a quick action is essential: it will be difficult to save the animal if the intervention is not carried out within 12 hours after ingestion.
The lethal dose for animals varies according to weight, but it is anyway low: for a cat, two teaspoons and for a dog of 10 kg, 2 big tablespoons of liquid are enough.

Therefore you should follow the following, simple suggestions:

  • don't leave these products containing ethylene glycol or any used, dirty containers unattended
  • don't take pets into construction sites, workshops, garages ... where this substance is used
  • do not let your pet drink from puddles on the street


There are many other dangerous products, we have listed the most commonly used in the preparation of baits.

In any case it is very important to identify the substance in question and show it to the veterinary, in order to operate properly. The more data you have, the better chance you'll have to save your friend.

It is always right to inform the police about the presence of poisoned baits, as they are dangerous both for our pets and for our children and they are the cause of environmental pollution.

Furthermore, we shall not forget that the inappropriate use of dangerous substances represents a crime punishable by law with heavy penalties up to detention.

We hope that this short handbook has provided you useful information about the topic of poisoned baits!

See you next time!

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

How to save your dog from poisoned baits




A common fear among dog owners is represented by poisoned baits.

In 2016, 23,500 dogs were poisoned in Italy and the 30% of them died of terrible pains.  In the first three months of 2017, cases had increased in comparison with the previous year.

For this reason, we thought to create this informational "handbook" that could be a help to you.


Poisoned baits

Poisoning means a change of the normal physiological balance of the organism because of a respiratory, cutaneous, alimentary contact with a toxic substance.

The most used substances to create baits are rat poison or other kinds of very dangerous poison like metaldehyde, strychnine, ethylene glycol (antifreeze liquid).

These tasty morsels are prepared to attract your animal, by using ham, meat, sausage, etc. Once ingested, the poison contained in them starts to circulate in a short time, causing damages. There are obviously some variables, related to the ingested dose, the size and breed of the animal, the kind of poison and the promptness of action.


Good habits

We suggest you not to worry, but to follow these simple basic measures:

  • Watch carefully where your dog goes and pay close attention to what he could swallow.
  • Try to instruct him not to eat what is on the ground.


First aid

There is a useful method that we suggest you to know in order to save your friend's life: to induce vomit. You shall obviously use it only if you are sure about the ingestion.

Induce vomit as quickly as possible in case of need is essential, except in the case a caustic substance has been ingested (for example muriatic acid, hydrochloric acid, etc) which would cause additional damages by flowing again in the passage.


How can you induce vomit?

The easiest and most effective method to use in case of urgent need is to let your dog swallow 1-2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide by a syringe without needle or a solution of water and salt. This will cause instant vomit, avoiding the poison to circulate or at least limiting the damages. After this, you shall go anyway to your veterinary.

What are the most used poisons? What symptoms will your pet show? What could you notice?

Most of the times, unfortunately you don't catch out your pet, but after some time (a few minutes or even a few days) you will notice that your dog has a problem and therefore it is very important to be able to recognize the symptoms.

The most used substance and the easiest to find on the market is rat poison (rodenticide, anticoagulant). Once it starts to circulate, it causes bleedings, which are more or less serious according to the affected area and to the ingested quantity.

The active ingredient of this product doesn't let the blood clot; therefore, the diagnosis is immediate after a simple blood sample (the blood will always be liquid in the syringe).

Symptoms will be more or less clear and fast, depending on the ingested quantity; sometimes they may even appear after a week.

Therefore, you can mainly notice:

  • tiredness, apathy
  • short of breath, in case of hemorrhages in the respiratory system
  • external hemorrhages
  • pale mucous membranes

 

Another product used is the metaldehyde (lumachicide), which consists of blue and green granules, used to combat snail infestation in crops.

Symptoms appear within 2-3 hours of ingestion:

  • tremors
  • convulsions
  • dilated pupils
  • greenish diarrhea
  • short of breath

 

Similar but more serious symptoms are associated with strychnine, a substance commonly used in the countryside to poison rats, foxes and wild animals, which acts quickly causing:

  • tremors
  • dilated pupils
  • short of breath
  • body rigidity
  • rich salivation
  • respiratory block and death


If the animal outlives the first 24 hours after ingestion, he will have a good chance of survival, if treated with the appropriate medicines.

 

The last substance we would like to consider is ethylene glycol (antifreeze liquid, used by mechanics, plumbers, liquid put into the tank to wash the car's windows, ect), which can be accidentally swallowed, as it has a very pleasant and sweet taste, loved by animals.

The symptomatology caused can be divided into three phases:

  • in the first phase, the nervous system is compromised: after about 30 minutes, the animal seems "drunk", has vomit, nausea, rich urination, thirst, uncertain gait, tremors, convulsions
  • in the second phase, after about 24 hours, the cardiac and pulmonary problems begin: you could see your pet with short of breath, with a difficult breathing
  • after about 48 hours, there is a serious renal impairment, with consequent dehydration, coma and death

Also in this last case a quick action is essential: it will be difficult to save the animal if the intervention is not carried out within 12 hours after ingestion.
The lethal dose for animals varies according to weight, but it is anyway low: for a cat, two teaspoons and for a dog of 10 kg, 2 big tablespoons of liquid are enough.

Therefore you should follow the following, simple suggestions:

  • don't leave these products containing ethylene glycol or any used, dirty containers unattended
  • don't take pets into construction sites, workshops, garages ... where this substance is used
  • do not let your pet drink from puddles on the street


There are many other dangerous products, we have listed the most commonly used in the preparation of baits.

In any case it is very important to identify the substance in question and show it to the veterinary, in order to operate properly. The more data you have, the better chance you'll have to save your friend.

It is always right to inform the police about the presence of poisoned baits, as they are dangerous both for our pets and for our children and they are the cause of environmental pollution.

Furthermore, we shall not forget that the inappropriate use of dangerous substances represents a crime punishable by law with heavy penalties up to detention.

We hope that this short handbook has provided you useful information about the topic of poisoned baits!

See you next time!

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

Hello! Welcome to our new appointment!

I've decided to deal with this topic, because it is a very common event. I hope you will find it useful!


Foxtails

Foxtail is a generic term used to describe various species of wild grass, belonging to the family of Gramineae; Sativa Avena and Murine Barley are part of this group.  In spring and summer it's very common  in flowerbeds, fields and meadows. When it ripens, it dries and takes on a colour that goes from yellow to brownish, thus representing a real danger for your pet.

Why are they so feared?

Spike has a particular spear shape and a knurled, bristly, notched surface to the touch, which allows it to "walk" into the fur,  especially when it is thick, long or felted,  piercing , in case of permanence, the skin.

In this latter case, real fistulous paths are developped and their slow, gradual progression always moves forwards, because of their structure. They never spontaneously come out. 

Which body areas does it mostly affect?

In my work experience in this field, I often met dogs with a foxtail in a nostril. Dogs repeatedly sneezed and bleeded.

In this case, the extraction of the foxtail is mostly carried out through an endoscopy with the animal under general anesthesia, before the damage becomes too serious (for instance, the foreign body getting into the pulmonary tissue).

As you can see, the process is labored, expensive and with some related risks, but luckily most of the times the foreign body comes out through sneeze.

In most cases, the area concerned is the interdigital space, as foxtail easily slips into this area during walks.

If we act promptly and are lucky, foxtail will be pulled out by the vet with special tweezers even without sedating the pet, if he cooperates.

If the removal is not immediate, the foxtail could pierce the skin, creating a fistulous path, with abscess, pain and bother for the pet and in case of ascent along the tendinous canal, the procedure will be more complex: it will be necessary a real surgery.

Another common site, is the ear canal, especially for the breeds that do not have pendulous ears and for hunting dogs.

Also in this case, if we act promptly, the removal will be quick and painless, but if the foxtail deepens we will be in front of a purulent and painful otitis which can be also dangerous in case of the eardrum is perforated. In this case the removal will require a total anesthesia and a subsequent long antibiotic cure.

If the foxtail hits the eye, the annoyance will be considerable; the veterinarian, after applying a drop of local anesthetic, will extract the foreign body which may have caused a simple irritation or, in the worst case, a real ulcer, depending on the time of staying.

Also in the latter case, secondary antibiotic therapies are necessary to avoid dangerous infections that could further damage the eye or spread systemically.

What symptoms will your dog show?

Depending on the affected district, you will notice that your dog:

  • will continuously lick the affected area, which may be swollen and reddened
  • may sneeze in an uncontrollable manner. This sneezing may even be accompanied by a bloody discharge. Bloody discharge accompanying sneezing is a fairly good indicator that a foxtail is lodged in the nose
  • will repeatedly scroll the head, due to the discomfort inside the ear
  • will abundantly tear and the eye that be kept closed or semi-closed

The veterinarian will assess the severity of the situation and intervene in the most appropriate way.


How can you avoid these unpleasant inconveniences?

Timely intervention is essential:

  • after the walk, minutely check your dog' s hair, interdigital spaces, axillary, inguinal, perineal areas (under the tail) and the ears; the latter together with the eyes are the most dangerous areas where the greatest damage can occur;
  • avoid infested areas during the walks and keep your garden clean
  • remove all the foxtail that you find on your pet before they "move"

Doing so, you will avoid the most serious damages and make the walks with your faithful companion free from the dangerous foxtail!


See you next time! I hope this tips have been useful for you.

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

Foxtails, a danger for your dog.

Hello! Welcome to our new appointment!

I've decided to deal with this topic, because it is a very common event. I hope you will find it useful!


Foxtails

Foxtail is a generic term used to describe various species of wild grass, belonging to the family of Gramineae; Sativa Avena and Murine Barley are part of this group.  In spring and summer it's very common  in flowerbeds, fields and meadows. When it ripens, it dries and takes on a colour that goes from yellow to brownish, thus representing a real danger for your pet.

Why are they so feared?

Spike has a particular spear shape and a knurled, bristly, notched surface to the touch, which allows it to "walk" into the fur,  especially when it is thick, long or felted,  piercing , in case of permanence, the skin.

In this latter case, real fistulous paths are developped and their slow, gradual progression always moves forwards, because of their structure. They never spontaneously come out. 

Which body areas does it mostly affect?

In my work experience in this field, I often met dogs with a foxtail in a nostril. Dogs repeatedly sneezed and bleeded.

In this case, the extraction of the foxtail is mostly carried out through an endoscopy with the animal under general anesthesia, before the damage becomes too serious (for instance, the foreign body getting into the pulmonary tissue).

As you can see, the process is labored, expensive and with some related risks, but luckily most of the times the foreign body comes out through sneeze.

In most cases, the area concerned is the interdigital space, as foxtail easily slips into this area during walks.

If we act promptly and are lucky, foxtail will be pulled out by the vet with special tweezers even without sedating the pet, if he cooperates.

If the removal is not immediate, the foxtail could pierce the skin, creating a fistulous path, with abscess, pain and bother for the pet and in case of ascent along the tendinous canal, the procedure will be more complex: it will be necessary a real surgery.

Another common site, is the ear canal, especially for the breeds that do not have pendulous ears and for hunting dogs.

Also in this case, if we act promptly, the removal will be quick and painless, but if the foxtail deepens we will be in front of a purulent and painful otitis which can be also dangerous in case of the eardrum is perforated. In this case the removal will require a total anesthesia and a subsequent long antibiotic cure.

If the foxtail hits the eye, the annoyance will be considerable; the veterinarian, after applying a drop of local anesthetic, will extract the foreign body which may have caused a simple irritation or, in the worst case, a real ulcer, depending on the time of staying.

Also in the latter case, secondary antibiotic therapies are necessary to avoid dangerous infections that could further damage the eye or spread systemically.

What symptoms will your dog show?

Depending on the affected district, you will notice that your dog:

  • will continuously lick the affected area, which may be swollen and reddened
  • may sneeze in an uncontrollable manner. This sneezing may even be accompanied by a bloody discharge. Bloody discharge accompanying sneezing is a fairly good indicator that a foxtail is lodged in the nose
  • will repeatedly scroll the head, due to the discomfort inside the ear
  • will abundantly tear and the eye that be kept closed or semi-closed

The veterinarian will assess the severity of the situation and intervene in the most appropriate way.


How can you avoid these unpleasant inconveniences?

Timely intervention is essential:

  • after the walk, minutely check your dog' s hair, interdigital spaces, axillary, inguinal, perineal areas (under the tail) and the ears; the latter together with the eyes are the most dangerous areas where the greatest damage can occur;
  • avoid infested areas during the walks and keep your garden clean
  • remove all the foxtail that you find on your pet before they "move"

Doing so, you will avoid the most serious damages and make the walks with your faithful companion free from the dangerous foxtail!


See you next time! I hope this tips have been useful for you.

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

Pesticides on the market are many, so it is not so easy to choose the right one, you will find them in pharmacies, specialized shops and veterinary clinics. I would like to help you not to make mistakes.

Parasites that can infest dogs and cats are many and with different consequences, from simple itch to transmission of serious and severe illnesses.
The best care I recommend you is prevention, therefore from end of March till end of October, pesticides are crucial for your four-legged friend's protection.


What product to use?

It is important to take into consideration the parasite type but also the component of the pesticide. On the market you will find spot-on, collars, spray, shampoo and powders. Let's see them in detail.

  • Spot-on: they are active on fleas, ticks and lice, some even on mosquitoes, sandfly and horsefly for a period of time that covers 3-4 weeks, depending on brand. They can be easily applied on the area between the shoulder blades, where the dog won't be able to lick it away, and it's important that the application is done on the skin and not on the fur.
  • Collars: they slowly release an active toxic substance on fleas, ticks and some collars even on mosquitoes and phlebotomists, for some months, depending on the brand. Other ones, instead, release on the skin a toxin able of killing the flea that will try to bite the animal. Their limitation is given by the fact that they protect well the area close to the collar (head and neck) and are less effective on the more distant areas (legs and torso). It is important to choose the product based on the size of your animal and remove it immediately, in case you notice an irritation of the skin in the area of application.
  • Shampoo: it is perfect for the removal of adult parasites; the type of product (low contact time and rinsing), lowers the risk of toxicity but obviously makes it less effective to protect from infestations for a long time, it lasts a few weeks depending on the animal's habits (where he lives, how much he gets wet ...). The way you use it is very important; you have to apply the product starting from the neck, in order to create an obstacle to fleas, not to let them nest in the areas behind the ears. Then proceed along the body, insisting in particular on the areas where the animal scratches himself and then proceed to a thorough rinsing. The most of shampoos on the market are cosmetic products because they contain only essential oils and detergent ingredients listed in the so-called INCI (list of ingredients) and therefore they don't carry out targeted action on parasites. The ones which are effective to eradicate parasites contain active biocides substances (able to eliminate microorganisms) that appear listed with a ministerial authorization (AIC n° ...)
  • Spray and powders: these products are very useful to disinfest environments from fleas and lice (pet beds, carpets..) and their action lasts from few weeks to a few months according to the used brand. Instead, their use on pets is uncomfortable, because it's difficult to well spread the product and besides there is a high risk to inhale it and ingest it.



How does a pesticide work?

There are 3 different families of active substances, everyone suitable to different parasites or different species:

  • Fipronil: it's an active substance contained in products such as Flevox or first Frontline; it acts by quickly repelling adult parasites of ticks, fleas and lice (24h for fleas and 48h for ticks), it doesn't kill eggs and larvae. The duration of the protection is of 30 days for ticks and 90 days for fleas and lice.
  • Fipronil + S-methoprene: it's the active substance of Frontline Combo that, like above, has the same level of protection. The difference with the previous one is the presence of S- Methoprene that acts on eggs too, inhibiting the consequent growth of larvae. The action will be indirect also on environment, preventing the reinfestation for at least 8 weeks.
  • Permethrin: it's the active substance of Exspot spot-on, indicated for treatment of the main external parasites (fleas, lice, ticks and mosquitos). It must be applied exclusively on dogs and on puppies being at least two weeks years old. Warning: it's toxic for cats.
  • Fipronil + Permetrina: this one is highly toxic for cats, it is contained in the pesticides for dogs like Frontline Tri-Act and Virbac Effitix.
  • Imidacloprid: it's the unic active substance of Advantage, repellent pesticide in spot-on for cats and rabbits. Useful in case of allergic dermatitis from fleas.
  • Imidacloprid + Permetrina: it's contained in Advantix products, to use only for dogs protection. It acts quickly (in 24h) killing adult parasites and it has a repellent effect until exhaustion of substance. It is water resistant and it is valid for 30 days.
  • Imidacloprid + Flumethrin: it is the combination of active substances of the dog's Seresto collars; it works also on sandflies, flies, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and lice. it's ideal for the protection of your four-legged friend even against Leishmaniasis, it offers protection up to 6 months if correctly used.
  • Deltamethrin: it's the active substance of pesticide collar Scalibor for dogs. Deltamethrin acts quickly when it comes in contact with the parasite. It can be used combined with fipronil and has multiple effects:

Repellent effect: mosquitos tend not to get close to host.
Knock-down effect: insects that manage to get close to the host are affected by motor incoordination.
Anti-feeding effect: the neurological signs prevent feeding.
Lethal effect: parasite is killed.

 

Natural remedies: do they work?

Nowdays on the market there is a great variety of natural pesticides. There are many essencial oils with repellent properties (thyme, eucalyptus, lemongrass, geranium...)  but keep in mind that not always everything that is natural is risk and danger free and to up to now there is no documented studies for effectiveness on parasites and on health safety of our pets. One of the best current products is Neem oil which is considered, in veterinary field, a valid pesticide with repellent action against mosquitoes, sandflies, fleas, ticks and lice. It can be used as a spray, pure or added to shampoo.
The limit that you must consider is that, if the chemical pesticide has an immediate and lasting "effect", natural products are not so fast. Their action, to be complete, must work in synergy with other pesticides.

Most of these products will be part of, as already mentioned above, cosmetic products (they will have a list of ingredients, INCI), they will report repellent sign, repellent shield, remove insects, but they will not contain any effective active ingredient authorized by the ministry. It is important to always read labels, according to these concepts, to choose the product that best suits your needs.

How to use pesticides?

Given their characteristics, we can not expect these products to be harmless! Here are some tips to use them properly:

  • Always use the dosage based on the precise weight of your pet
  • Follow the use advice shown on the label
  • Be careful not to use products for dogs on other species. Some can even be fatal if used for example on the cat!
  • Never use them on a sick or debilitated subject, ask your vet for advice first
  • Do not use different products at the same time which would otherwise increase their toxicity (eg shampoo and collar)
  • Ventilate the environment after using these substances
  • Keep them out of reach of children and pay attention to contact with the product if it is just administered to the animal
  • Always follow the administration instructions well, avoid contact, use gloves, do not inhale ...
  • When you spray the product into the environment, cover any terrariums, aquariums to avoid contamination.

 

Now you have all the basics to buy a good pesticide. I hope this has been useful. See you next time!

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

Pesticides: how to make the right choice

Pesticides on the market are many, so it is not so easy to choose the right one, you will find them in pharmacies, specialized shops and veterinary clinics. I would like to help you not to make mistakes.

Parasites that can infest dogs and cats are many and with different consequences, from simple itch to transmission of serious and severe illnesses.
The best care I recommend you is prevention, therefore from end of March till end of October, pesticides are crucial for your four-legged friend's protection.


What product to use?

It is important to take into consideration the parasite type but also the component of the pesticide. On the market you will find spot-on, collars, spray, shampoo and powders. Let's see them in detail.

  • Spot-on: they are active on fleas, ticks and lice, some even on mosquitoes, sandfly and horsefly for a period of time that covers 3-4 weeks, depending on brand. They can be easily applied on the area between the shoulder blades, where the dog won't be able to lick it away, and it's important that the application is done on the skin and not on the fur.
  • Collars: they slowly release an active toxic substance on fleas, ticks and some collars even on mosquitoes and phlebotomists, for some months, depending on the brand. Other ones, instead, release on the skin a toxin able of killing the flea that will try to bite the animal. Their limitation is given by the fact that they protect well the area close to the collar (head and neck) and are less effective on the more distant areas (legs and torso). It is important to choose the product based on the size of your animal and remove it immediately, in case you notice an irritation of the skin in the area of application.
  • Shampoo: it is perfect for the removal of adult parasites; the type of product (low contact time and rinsing), lowers the risk of toxicity but obviously makes it less effective to protect from infestations for a long time, it lasts a few weeks depending on the animal's habits (where he lives, how much he gets wet ...). The way you use it is very important; you have to apply the product starting from the neck, in order to create an obstacle to fleas, not to let them nest in the areas behind the ears. Then proceed along the body, insisting in particular on the areas where the animal scratches himself and then proceed to a thorough rinsing. The most of shampoos on the market are cosmetic products because they contain only essential oils and detergent ingredients listed in the so-called INCI (list of ingredients) and therefore they don't carry out targeted action on parasites. The ones which are effective to eradicate parasites contain active biocides substances (able to eliminate microorganisms) that appear listed with a ministerial authorization (AIC n° ...)
  • Spray and powders: these products are very useful to disinfest environments from fleas and lice (pet beds, carpets..) and their action lasts from few weeks to a few months according to the used brand. Instead, their use on pets is uncomfortable, because it's difficult to well spread the product and besides there is a high risk to inhale it and ingest it.



How does a pesticide work?

There are 3 different families of active substances, everyone suitable to different parasites or different species:

  • Fipronil: it's an active substance contained in products such as Flevox or first Frontline; it acts by quickly repelling adult parasites of ticks, fleas and lice (24h for fleas and 48h for ticks), it doesn't kill eggs and larvae. The duration of the protection is of 30 days for ticks and 90 days for fleas and lice.
  • Fipronil + S-methoprene: it's the active substance of Frontline Combo that, like above, has the same level of protection. The difference with the previous one is the presence of S- Methoprene that acts on eggs too, inhibiting the consequent growth of larvae. The action will be indirect also on environment, preventing the reinfestation for at least 8 weeks.
  • Permethrin: it's the active substance of Exspot spot-on, indicated for treatment of the main external parasites (fleas, lice, ticks and mosquitos). It must be applied exclusively on dogs and on puppies being at least two weeks years old. Warning: it's toxic for cats.
  • Fipronil + Permetrina: this one is highly toxic for cats, it is contained in the pesticides for dogs like Frontline Tri-Act and Virbac Effitix.
  • Imidacloprid: it's the unic active substance of Advantage, repellent pesticide in spot-on for cats and rabbits. Useful in case of allergic dermatitis from fleas.
  • Imidacloprid + Permetrina: it's contained in Advantix products, to use only for dogs protection. It acts quickly (in 24h) killing adult parasites and it has a repellent effect until exhaustion of substance. It is water resistant and it is valid for 30 days.
  • Imidacloprid + Flumethrin: it is the combination of active substances of the dog's Seresto collars; it works also on sandflies, flies, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and lice. it's ideal for the protection of your four-legged friend even against Leishmaniasis, it offers protection up to 6 months if correctly used.
  • Deltamethrin: it's the active substance of pesticide collar Scalibor for dogs. Deltamethrin acts quickly when it comes in contact with the parasite. It can be used combined with fipronil and has multiple effects:

Repellent effect: mosquitos tend not to get close to host.
Knock-down effect: insects that manage to get close to the host are affected by motor incoordination.
Anti-feeding effect: the neurological signs prevent feeding.
Lethal effect: parasite is killed.

 

Natural remedies: do they work?

Nowdays on the market there is a great variety of natural pesticides. There are many essencial oils with repellent properties (thyme, eucalyptus, lemongrass, geranium...)  but keep in mind that not always everything that is natural is risk and danger free and to up to now there is no documented studies for effectiveness on parasites and on health safety of our pets. One of the best current products is Neem oil which is considered, in veterinary field, a valid pesticide with repellent action against mosquitoes, sandflies, fleas, ticks and lice. It can be used as a spray, pure or added to shampoo.
The limit that you must consider is that, if the chemical pesticide has an immediate and lasting "effect", natural products are not so fast. Their action, to be complete, must work in synergy with other pesticides.

Most of these products will be part of, as already mentioned above, cosmetic products (they will have a list of ingredients, INCI), they will report repellent sign, repellent shield, remove insects, but they will not contain any effective active ingredient authorized by the ministry. It is important to always read labels, according to these concepts, to choose the product that best suits your needs.

How to use pesticides?

Given their characteristics, we can not expect these products to be harmless! Here are some tips to use them properly:

  • Always use the dosage based on the precise weight of your pet
  • Follow the use advice shown on the label
  • Be careful not to use products for dogs on other species. Some can even be fatal if used for example on the cat!
  • Never use them on a sick or debilitated subject, ask your vet for advice first
  • Do not use different products at the same time which would otherwise increase their toxicity (eg shampoo and collar)
  • Ventilate the environment after using these substances
  • Keep them out of reach of children and pay attention to contact with the product if it is just administered to the animal
  • Always follow the administration instructions well, avoid contact, use gloves, do not inhale ...
  • When you spray the product into the environment, cover any terrariums, aquariums to avoid contamination.

 

Now you have all the basics to buy a good pesticide. I hope this has been useful. See you next time!

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

The external parasites that most commonly affect our four-legged friends are fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and phlebotomus; obviously with some variables related to the area in which we live with our pet.

My goal, with this ARTICLE, is to provide the basic knowledge to best protect your dog from these "little animals" and to face them without panic.

We are all happier when spring comes, and our four-legged friend can finally enjoy more freedom; nevertheless we have to be careful and to know how to defend ourselves against the annoying parasites hiding behind these "warm and smiling" months.


What is a parasite?

A parasite is an organism living in symbiosis with another one from which it benefits (nourishment, protection). Fleas, ticks, phlebotomists and mosquitoes are ematophagous parasites.

Their danger is related to the fact that these parasites, which feed on blood, through their bites can act as carrier of dangerous diseases for your 4-legged friend, some of which can even affect people (zoonosis).

For this reason it is important to have clear ideas on how to avoid unpleasant consequences. 

Fleas, what to know.

It is a small parasite of dark brown color, with a body about 1-3 mm long, widespread throughout the world, which mainly chooses dogs and cats, only occasionally people.

  • They are the best jumping insects, they have the ability to jump up to 200 times their body length.
  • You could find their feces throughout the fur of your dog as small black dots that if you put on a wet paper sheet will leave a dark red halo, as it is digested blood.
  • They haunt dog's bed, houses, kennels, flowerbeds, gardens ... and they are very resistant even in the absence of animals.
  • They are able to cause allergies and important itching.
  • They can carry intestinal verminoses, as if swallowed they are the vector of the canine tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum).


How to realize that your dog is infested?

You will notice that it has a lot of itching, it scratches and it is annoyed; it bites its legs, thighs and the area above the tail. It could experience real skin inflammation, hair loss, reddening due to the allergy caused by the saliva of the flea. A decisive test is the search for feces into the fur or for the flea itself.


Ticks

They are hematophagous parasites, able to significantly increase their body size after their abundant blood meal, which can last even 10 days
there are two ticks types: the hard ticks (those of the woods that we find more frequently on the dogs, fam. Ixodidae) and the soft ones, typical of the pigeons (fam. Argasidae)

  • they haunt gardens, parks, woods...
  • they do not jump but they pass from one animal to another, quickly sticking to the fur with their saliva, if infected, they can transmit dangerous diseases, starting from 12-24 hours after the attack on the skin, such as:

    ehrlichiosis
    piroplasmosis
    rickettsiosis
    anaplasmosis
    Lyme disease

For this reason it is important to remove them as quickly as possible.


Important note: how to detach the tick?

You will find many conflicting opinions on how to do so. The basic concept is that when you find a tick on your pet, it is important to remove it intact, including its head, to decrease the risk to transmit any disease with its saliva and to avoid a subsequent skin reaction.

My advice is to use tweezers, with which you will grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, trying not to break it or crush it. At this point you can remove it with a slight rotation and eliminate it, only after burning it or immersing it into alcohol.

The tick in fact contains many eggs in its abdomen that, thanks to the burning or to the immersion, will not be released into the environment.
In the tick bite area, it could create a swelling that will disappear within a few days.


How to fight fleas and ticks?

The best thing you can do is to prevent, treating your pets with the appropriate pesticide, given on a regular basis in the spring-autumn period. Then contact your veterinarian, possibly around March to carefully define the perfect program.

In winter, with low temperatures, these parasites theoretically should not be there, even if sometimes they can nest in the dog's beds, on the carpets ... so the treatment in this period must be evaluated in every specific case.

You must know that the eggs, containing new ticks, are released into the environment so in case your dog is infested, in addition to the treatment, it is good practice to disinfect the environment with the appropriate products to avoid the cycle to continue.


Mosquitoes and phlebotomus.

  • These insects feed on blood and they are present from April to October
  • they are particularly active in the evening and at night
  • mosquitoes are widespread everywhere, the phlebotomus more in the coastal areas of central and southern Italy, although in recent years they have also colonized flat and hilly regions of the north.

 

Filaria, what is this?

the mosquito bite can transmit to the dog an internal parasite, the filaria, which is established at cardiac and pulmonary level and if not discovered and treated early, leads the dog to death.

For this reason, in the infested areas it is essential to perform prophylaxis, using tablets or injections, as they are the only defense that you have to protect your pet. 

The symptoms.

The symptoms that you will notice in case of illness, will be manifest only when the parasite have caused a cardiac and/or pulmonary damage such as to have altered the normal functioning of the organ. This is why in case of an incorrect prophylaxis, a simple blood test will allow you to discover early if your animal is positive to the disease. The veterinarian can then prescribe the appropriate treatment, before the organic damage becomes too serious and irreparable.


Lehismania what is it?

  • The phlebotomus is instead able to transmit, with its bite, the dreaded leishmania.
  • The leishmania is the third most prevalent disease in the world transmitted by vectors.
  • Unlike the filariasis, from this disease the dog does not recover; it is controlled by pharmacological therapy but ultimately leads to death.
  • This disease can also affect people (zoonoses) but always through the puncture of the infected insect; remember that dog-people transmission can not take place.


What symptoms can be mainly noticed?

  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • eye problems
  • skin problems
  • nasal bleeding
  • kidney problems
  • slimming
  • tiredness

 

The advice I would like to give you, is to avoid or limit the bites of these insects as much as possible, through the regular use of appropriate pesticides (tablets, sprays, repellents, spot-on, collars ...) providing to your faithful friend an effective coverage throughout the spring-summer season. If you want to know more about pesticides treatment, read here!


PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE!

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

4 DOG'S EXTERNAL PARASITES: fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and phlebotomus

The external parasites that most commonly affect our four-legged friends are fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and phlebotomus; obviously with some variables related to the area in which we live with our pet.

My goal, with this ARTICLE, is to provide the basic knowledge to best protect your dog from these "little animals" and to face them without panic.

We are all happier when spring comes, and our four-legged friend can finally enjoy more freedom; nevertheless we have to be careful and to know how to defend ourselves against the annoying parasites hiding behind these "warm and smiling" months.


What is a parasite?

A parasite is an organism living in symbiosis with another one from which it benefits (nourishment, protection). Fleas, ticks, phlebotomists and mosquitoes are ematophagous parasites.

Their danger is related to the fact that these parasites, which feed on blood, through their bites can act as carrier of dangerous diseases for your 4-legged friend, some of which can even affect people (zoonosis).

For this reason it is important to have clear ideas on how to avoid unpleasant consequences. 

Fleas, what to know.

It is a small parasite of dark brown color, with a body about 1-3 mm long, widespread throughout the world, which mainly chooses dogs and cats, only occasionally people.

  • They are the best jumping insects, they have the ability to jump up to 200 times their body length.
  • You could find their feces throughout the fur of your dog as small black dots that if you put on a wet paper sheet will leave a dark red halo, as it is digested blood.
  • They haunt dog's bed, houses, kennels, flowerbeds, gardens ... and they are very resistant even in the absence of animals.
  • They are able to cause allergies and important itching.
  • They can carry intestinal verminoses, as if swallowed they are the vector of the canine tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum).


How to realize that your dog is infested?

You will notice that it has a lot of itching, it scratches and it is annoyed; it bites its legs, thighs and the area above the tail. It could experience real skin inflammation, hair loss, reddening due to the allergy caused by the saliva of the flea. A decisive test is the search for feces into the fur or for the flea itself.


Ticks

They are hematophagous parasites, able to significantly increase their body size after their abundant blood meal, which can last even 10 days
there are two ticks types: the hard ticks (those of the woods that we find more frequently on the dogs, fam. Ixodidae) and the soft ones, typical of the pigeons (fam. Argasidae)

  • they haunt gardens, parks, woods...
  • they do not jump but they pass from one animal to another, quickly sticking to the fur with their saliva, if infected, they can transmit dangerous diseases, starting from 12-24 hours after the attack on the skin, such as:

    ehrlichiosis
    piroplasmosis
    rickettsiosis
    anaplasmosis
    Lyme disease

For this reason it is important to remove them as quickly as possible.


Important note: how to detach the tick?

You will find many conflicting opinions on how to do so. The basic concept is that when you find a tick on your pet, it is important to remove it intact, including its head, to decrease the risk to transmit any disease with its saliva and to avoid a subsequent skin reaction.

My advice is to use tweezers, with which you will grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, trying not to break it or crush it. At this point you can remove it with a slight rotation and eliminate it, only after burning it or immersing it into alcohol.

The tick in fact contains many eggs in its abdomen that, thanks to the burning or to the immersion, will not be released into the environment.
In the tick bite area, it could create a swelling that will disappear within a few days.


How to fight fleas and ticks?

The best thing you can do is to prevent, treating your pets with the appropriate pesticide, given on a regular basis in the spring-autumn period. Then contact your veterinarian, possibly around March to carefully define the perfect program.

In winter, with low temperatures, these parasites theoretically should not be there, even if sometimes they can nest in the dog's beds, on the carpets ... so the treatment in this period must be evaluated in every specific case.

You must know that the eggs, containing new ticks, are released into the environment so in case your dog is infested, in addition to the treatment, it is good practice to disinfect the environment with the appropriate products to avoid the cycle to continue.


Mosquitoes and phlebotomus.

  • These insects feed on blood and they are present from April to October
  • they are particularly active in the evening and at night
  • mosquitoes are widespread everywhere, the phlebotomus more in the coastal areas of central and southern Italy, although in recent years they have also colonized flat and hilly regions of the north.

 

Filaria, what is this?

the mosquito bite can transmit to the dog an internal parasite, the filaria, which is established at cardiac and pulmonary level and if not discovered and treated early, leads the dog to death.

For this reason, in the infested areas it is essential to perform prophylaxis, using tablets or injections, as they are the only defense that you have to protect your pet. 

The symptoms.

The symptoms that you will notice in case of illness, will be manifest only when the parasite have caused a cardiac and/or pulmonary damage such as to have altered the normal functioning of the organ. This is why in case of an incorrect prophylaxis, a simple blood test will allow you to discover early if your animal is positive to the disease. The veterinarian can then prescribe the appropriate treatment, before the organic damage becomes too serious and irreparable.


Lehismania what is it?

  • The phlebotomus is instead able to transmit, with its bite, the dreaded leishmania.
  • The leishmania is the third most prevalent disease in the world transmitted by vectors.
  • Unlike the filariasis, from this disease the dog does not recover; it is controlled by pharmacological therapy but ultimately leads to death.
  • This disease can also affect people (zoonoses) but always through the puncture of the infected insect; remember that dog-people transmission can not take place.


What symptoms can be mainly noticed?

  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • eye problems
  • skin problems
  • nasal bleeding
  • kidney problems
  • slimming
  • tiredness

 

The advice I would like to give you, is to avoid or limit the bites of these insects as much as possible, through the regular use of appropriate pesticides (tablets, sprays, repellents, spot-on, collars ...) providing to your faithful friend an effective coverage throughout the spring-summer season. If you want to know more about pesticides treatment, read here!


PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE!

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

Are you planning a holiday abroad with your dog? I wrote this article to provide you a guide with some essential information to plan your holiday. I hope this can help. First of all, your pet, like every citizen of the European Union, must have a passport.


The passport
The European passport for pets is issued by the Veterinary agency of the Local Health Centres when:

  • the animal has a microchip or a readable tattoo done before 2011;
  • has been registered in the Canine Registry;
  • the dog was given an anti-rabies vaccination (not before the application of the microchip) or it has a valid vaccination. 

The passport will contain all data relating to the animal and his owner as well as information about the pet's health (vaccinations, any carried out pesticide treatments, etc.).


Rabies vaccination

Rabies is a viral disease affecting wild and domestic animals which can be trasmitted to human (zoonoses) and to other animals throught infected saliva, bites, scratches and wounds.

From an epidemiological point of view, the dog, in the urban cycle, and the fox, in the sylvan cycle, are the animals who are the most affected by rabies. This disease causes acute encephalitis and, when the symptoms are manifest, the outcome is always fatal both for animals and humans. Rabies is throughout the world, but 95% of deaths occurs in Asia and Africa. In Italy, between 1997 and 2008, the rabies was considered eradicated but in 2008 some cases were identified again in the north-east of the country, referable to the sylvan form, occuring in the nearby Slovenia.

Prevention in pets is carried out by vaccination, which consists of an injection giving one year immunity and perfomed by a veterinarian. Rabies vaccination cannot be carried out on pets younger than 12 weeks old. So, depending on the travel situation, it is advisable to check the rules to follow. 
For the ones travelling to Italy, for example, no exception is allowed.

With the word "valid vaccination", instead, it is meant a vaccination carried out at least 21 days before the pets arrival to the destination country, or with an outstanding recall.

Since diseases do not have boundaries and in certain areas some of them, including rabies, have been eradicated or do not exist, it is important to know that there may be stricter rules to respect. Some countries as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Malta require additional measures for pets entering from some countries where the disease has a non-negligible risk, like a certificate on antibody titration, which guarantees 100% vaccination coverage and the quarantine. Titration has to be performed on a blood sample taken at least 30 days after vaccination and analyzed in a laboratory which is recognized by the European Commission in accordance with Article 3 of the Act 2000/258/CE. 
(Ref: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie : titer rabies antibody )

Sometimes this certificate takes a long time to be issued and, if you are planning a particular trip to foreign countries, I suggest you to collect some information even 5 months before the leaving in order to avoid unpleasant surprises, like leaving your beloved friend at home or giving the desired trip up.


Necessary documents

If your trip is to a EU country, your pet will need:

  •  European passport
  •  Certificate of good health issued by a veterinarian
  •  Valid anti-rabies vaccination. 

If your trip is to an EXTRA EU country, in addition to the documents listed above, you may be asked for specific health requirements and additional documents depending on the destination and specific conditions, so it is always better to consult the embassy of the country of destination in Italy, the veterinary agency of the Local Health Centres or the Ministry of Health website.

An example is the preventive antiparasitic treatment for the Echinococcus Multilocularis, which is required for trips to Finland, Malta, United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway. This treatment must be administered by a veterinarian between 24 and 120 hours before departure and certified on the passport.


Two other important tips concern: 

• INSURANCE, in case you do not have it yet, consider to underwrite a policy for your dog, which covers civil liability and veterinary expenses, as in some countries they could be rather onerous

• the obligation to have an IDENTIFICATION TAG as provided, for example, in public places in the United Kingdom and in other countries, showing the address and telephone details of the pet's owner.

Some countries have very strict laws, which may even include quarantine periods, which can separate you from your dog for long periods of time. Information is essential!

And remember that the maximum number of animals that you can carry is 5!


Which means of transport?

You will also need to evaluate the vehicle you will travel on.

• If you choose the plane, it will be necessary to contact the airline, some low cost airlines, for example, provide only the transport of guide animals following the owner. The general rule is that medium and large size dogs are placed in appropriate, waterproof and comfortable doghouses, placed in the pressurized hold. Since these seats are limited, it is important to book well in advance.
Small size dogs (weighing up to 10 kg) will be able to travel close to the owner, even if inside their homologated carrier.
If the flight includes a stopover, take some information on eventual rule to respect.

• If you choose the train, there is instead a handbook of good behavioral standards to follow, but in general dogs can travel with their owners, inside a carrier, equipped with a document, microchip, valid vaccinations and antiparasitic treatments.

 • If you choose the ferry, you have to follow the same rules as the plane, where the animal can travel in the common carrier if it has the allowed characteristics which protect the animal. But getting information from the line is always the best solution to avoid unpleasant surprises.

• If you travel by car, you have to be in compliance with Art. 169 of the new Traffic Code "Transport of people, animals and objects on motor vehicles" that, at point 6, prohibits the transport of pets that constitute obstacle or danger to driving. It allows the transport of pets, even more than 1, only if kept in a special cage, container or in the rear compartment, provided that it is specially divided by a network or other similar suitable means that, if installed permanently, must be authorized by the competent provincial office of the General Directorate of the MCTC. In case the trip is long, it will be necessary to plan very well the stages, to let your four-legged friend drink, eat and do his business. I strongly reccomend to pay attention to heat!

Guide dogs can always travel near the owner, provided that they have a leash and a muzzle. Based on the selected transport means, please ascertain well in advance that your friend does not suffer from car, airplane, ferry sickness...in this case you can ask vet for some pharmacological advice or some precaution to take (such as pausing, giving food at the right times) which will make the travelling more comfortable.

At last but not least, remember any drug your pet usually uses, it could be difficult to find them, especially in certain countries.

I hope you found this information clear and useful ... see you next time and enjoy your holiday!

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine

 

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GO ON HOLIDAY ABROAD WITH YOUR DOG

Are you planning a holiday abroad with your dog? I wrote this article to provide you a guide with some essential information to plan your holiday. I hope this can help. First of all, your pet, like every citizen of the European Union, must have a passport.


The passport
The European passport for pets is issued by the Veterinary agency of the Local Health Centres when:

  • the animal has a microchip or a readable tattoo done before 2011;
  • has been registered in the Canine Registry;
  • the dog was given an anti-rabies vaccination (not before the application of the microchip) or it has a valid vaccination. 

The passport will contain all data relating to the animal and his owner as well as information about the pet's health (vaccinations, any carried out pesticide treatments, etc.).


Rabies vaccination

Rabies is a viral disease affecting wild and domestic animals which can be trasmitted to human (zoonoses) and to other animals throught infected saliva, bites, scratches and wounds.

From an epidemiological point of view, the dog, in the urban cycle, and the fox, in the sylvan cycle, are the animals who are the most affected by rabies. This disease causes acute encephalitis and, when the symptoms are manifest, the outcome is always fatal both for animals and humans. Rabies is throughout the world, but 95% of deaths occurs in Asia and Africa. In Italy, between 1997 and 2008, the rabies was considered eradicated but in 2008 some cases were identified again in the north-east of the country, referable to the sylvan form, occuring in the nearby Slovenia.

Prevention in pets is carried out by vaccination, which consists of an injection giving one year immunity and perfomed by a veterinarian. Rabies vaccination cannot be carried out on pets younger than 12 weeks old. So, depending on the travel situation, it is advisable to check the rules to follow. 
For the ones travelling to Italy, for example, no exception is allowed.

With the word "valid vaccination", instead, it is meant a vaccination carried out at least 21 days before the pets arrival to the destination country, or with an outstanding recall.

Since diseases do not have boundaries and in certain areas some of them, including rabies, have been eradicated or do not exist, it is important to know that there may be stricter rules to respect. Some countries as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Malta require additional measures for pets entering from some countries where the disease has a non-negligible risk, like a certificate on antibody titration, which guarantees 100% vaccination coverage and the quarantine. Titration has to be performed on a blood sample taken at least 30 days after vaccination and analyzed in a laboratory which is recognized by the European Commission in accordance with Article 3 of the Act 2000/258/CE. 
(Ref: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie : titer rabies antibody )

Sometimes this certificate takes a long time to be issued and, if you are planning a particular trip to foreign countries, I suggest you to collect some information even 5 months before the leaving in order to avoid unpleasant surprises, like leaving your beloved friend at home or giving the desired trip up.


Necessary documents

If your trip is to a EU country, your pet will need:

  •  European passport
  •  Certificate of good health issued by a veterinarian
  •  Valid anti-rabies vaccination. 

If your trip is to an EXTRA EU country, in addition to the documents listed above, you may be asked for specific health requirements and additional documents depending on the destination and specific conditions, so it is always better to consult the embassy of the country of destination in Italy, the veterinary agency of the Local Health Centres or the Ministry of Health website.

An example is the preventive antiparasitic treatment for the Echinococcus Multilocularis, which is required for trips to Finland, Malta, United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway. This treatment must be administered by a veterinarian between 24 and 120 hours before departure and certified on the passport.


Two other important tips concern: 

• INSURANCE, in case you do not have it yet, consider to underwrite a policy for your dog, which covers civil liability and veterinary expenses, as in some countries they could be rather onerous

• the obligation to have an IDENTIFICATION TAG as provided, for example, in public places in the United Kingdom and in other countries, showing the address and telephone details of the pet's owner.

Some countries have very strict laws, which may even include quarantine periods, which can separate you from your dog for long periods of time. Information is essential!

And remember that the maximum number of animals that you can carry is 5!


Which means of transport?

You will also need to evaluate the vehicle you will travel on.

• If you choose the plane, it will be necessary to contact the airline, some low cost airlines, for example, provide only the transport of guide animals following the owner. The general rule is that medium and large size dogs are placed in appropriate, waterproof and comfortable doghouses, placed in the pressurized hold. Since these seats are limited, it is important to book well in advance.
Small size dogs (weighing up to 10 kg) will be able to travel close to the owner, even if inside their homologated carrier.
If the flight includes a stopover, take some information on eventual rule to respect.

• If you choose the train, there is instead a handbook of good behavioral standards to follow, but in general dogs can travel with their owners, inside a carrier, equipped with a document, microchip, valid vaccinations and antiparasitic treatments.

 • If you choose the ferry, you have to follow the same rules as the plane, where the animal can travel in the common carrier if it has the allowed characteristics which protect the animal. But getting information from the line is always the best solution to avoid unpleasant surprises.

• If you travel by car, you have to be in compliance with Art. 169 of the new Traffic Code "Transport of people, animals and objects on motor vehicles" that, at point 6, prohibits the transport of pets that constitute obstacle or danger to driving. It allows the transport of pets, even more than 1, only if kept in a special cage, container or in the rear compartment, provided that it is specially divided by a network or other similar suitable means that, if installed permanently, must be authorized by the competent provincial office of the General Directorate of the MCTC. In case the trip is long, it will be necessary to plan very well the stages, to let your four-legged friend drink, eat and do his business. I strongly reccomend to pay attention to heat!

Guide dogs can always travel near the owner, provided that they have a leash and a muzzle. Based on the selected transport means, please ascertain well in advance that your friend does not suffer from car, airplane, ferry sickness...in this case you can ask vet for some pharmacological advice or some precaution to take (such as pausing, giving food at the right times) which will make the travelling more comfortable.

At last but not least, remember any drug your pet usually uses, it could be difficult to find them, especially in certain countries.

I hope you found this information clear and useful ... see you next time and enjoy your holiday!

 

Eleonora Bosoni

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine