Get rid of tapeworms in a dog by visiting the veterinarian in order to get a good worming medication that will kill the parasite. Identify dog tapeworms by looking for small, white pieces of rice wiggling in the dog’s stool with tips from a dog trainer in this free video on dog care. Expert: Nancy Frensley Contact: www.berkeleyhumane.org/ Bio: Nancy Frensley is a certified pet dog trainer. Filmmaker: Sam Lee
Dog health care is such a vast domain that you would need really specific problems to focus on in order to cover the issues you’re interested in. Among the main dog health care problems we may say that the most frequent ones are fleas, worms and poisons. If these are not professionally taken care of, other very serious troubles may be expected. Worms and external parasites waste the dog’s body of nutrients and energy; plus dog health care providers insist that neglected dogs are full of toxins because of the parasite overgrowth.
Here are some dog health care tips to be used when dealing with worms, fleas or various poisons the dog comes into contact. Puppies need de-worming as early as two or three weeks with the procedure repeated at four or six weeks of age. Dog health care specialists claim that worm immunity in puppies doesn’t appear sooner than six months of age, and the worm larvae pass from mother to puppies. In order to meet the dog health care requirements you need to remove all stools from your garden, keep the lawn cut short and make sure you feed your dog on thoroughly cooked meat.
Fleas are the next dog health care problem under discussion here, and to a certain extent they are responsible for the possible tapeworms they may carry. Fleas and lice are easy to deal with; thanks to the many shampoos, collars or special drops, this dog health care issue has become piece of cake. Do not use human shampoo to wash your dog as it will completely degrease the fur and afterwards the dog’s skin would have to secret even more oil to compensate for the deficit. Anti-flea sprays, powders, collars or any other products can be purchased from any dog health care store. However, it’s good to ask the vet in the first place too.
Make sure that you keep your dog away from any potentially harmful substances that may lead to poisoning. Dog health care specialists point out that rapid intervention in the poisoning cases is crucial for saving the animal’s life. If you think your dog may have ingested some toxic chemical, try to give it some fresh milk as a first aid measure and call your vet immediately. For more dog health care tips you can visit dog-training-expert, a professional and resourceful site for dog owners and breeders.
For more please visit: www.DogExplorer.com – comments are moderated! Follow us on Twitter http – Every month, lots of dog owners, and a few cat owners, give their pets some form of heartworm prevention. But recent studies are showing increasing numbers of heartworm positive pets across the country. Some people believe the worms now have the upper hand. Has our trusted protection failed us? Dog owners, and a growing number of cat owners understand that once-a-month heartworm preventives keep their pets safe from a very serious cardiovascular parasitic disease. Despite consistent use of preventive medications, a significant number of dogs are testing positive for heartworms, especially in the mosquito heavy Southeastern US. Are we seeing the beginnings of a resistance movement? In some cases, careful questioning of clients reveals some monthly doses of medication were not given, opening the door for potential infection. In other cases, medical records and client compliance appear to be complete, yet the pet is positive on the annual heartworm blood test. Heartworm preventive works by killing immature heartworm larvae that are spread by mosquitoes. In theory, a pet who receives medication each month should be protected and never have a positive heartworm test. Why then, do some dogs test positive? Many owners are quick to blame the heartworm preventives. They believe continued use of the drugs will create resistant worms and that will lead to an increase in positive cases …
for great dog training tips and advice
A tick is a small parasite related to spiders. They are most normally found in wooded areas and those fields of high grass and like mosquitoes and fleas pose a health hazard to your dog and to people as well as they carry the Lyme disease, Rocky mountain spotted fever and other illnesses that can affect your dogs health and even his life. While many people know that ticks can be detrimental to their dogs health they simply aren’t sure what to do to protect their dog from these parasites. Here are a few tips that may help you to protect your dogs from ticks and keep him healthy.
Since ticks are found in wooded areas and high grass and especially prevalent during the spring and summer it is a good idea to keep the grass in your yard mowed and short. Ticks are far less likely to inhabit areas where there is no tall grass.
You will also want to keep your yard free of spilled bird seed and other things which might attract mice and squirrels because ticks often use these animals as a host and food source.
Don’t allow your dog to roam. The best way to protect him from ticks is to limit his access to areas where there is not a high concentrations of these parasites.
If you take your dog camping with you check him/her every three hours for signs of ticks. Make sure you check him thoroughly including the inside of his ears and around the genital area. Ticks do not attach immediately to a new host and usually don’t start feeding until after they are on the host for about 4 hours. (It is also wise to thoroughly check all humans who are camping in wooded areas for ticks as well.)
If you find a tick use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the body as possible and pull the tick straight out. Never remove a tick with your bare hands. Ticks have teeth designed to latch onto a host and remain fixed and twisting and turning the tick may result in leaving the head with the disease carrying fluids attached.
Once the tick is removed then clean the area with soap and water and apply antiseptic.
Using protectants such as Advantix and Frontline Plus may prevent ticks from using your dog as a host. Ask your Veterinarian about these and other products that may help to protect your dogs from ticks.
If your dog has had access to any area where ticks may live and suddenly appears lame, feverish and has a loss of appetite and appears lethargic then take him to your Veterinarian immediately for treatment. Be sure to tell your Vet of the places your dog has been so that he can be tested for tick spreading diseases.
Your dog is your trusted companion and your friend. You want to be able to share those outside adventures, picnics, hiking and camping trips with him but, you also want to keep him safe. Following these few tips will help protect your dog from ticks and the associated health problems they cause while still enabling him to enjoy all those out of door adventures.
Every year, veterinarians brace for a disease that has seriously affected our pets for many years. However this affliction is easily preventable using affordable and safe medications. Occurrences of Heartworms both in dogs and cats continue to escalate and the fee for treatment of (when recognized soon enough) is much more that the expense to prevent. So, how will you offer protection to your furry friend from the dangerous repercussions of this now widespread parasite?
Flash back to 150 years ago when a researcher very first detected the heartworm parasite in a dog. Then the parasite evolved and was then recognized in our cats 80 years ago. Even though heartworm prevention is available for both cats and dogs you would believe that we would experience a decrease in the number of cases, nonetheless every year hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are diagnosed and frequently die too soon from this dreaded parasite. A number of authorities estimate that in North America alone, cases of heartworms in our pets may possibly be in the millions.
The disease attributed to this heartworm residing inside of your pet’s heart is disastrous. Your pet could be infected with the solitary bite of only one mosquito. The worm can then migrate through your pet’s body finally taking up residence in your pet’s heart chamber and the blood vessels leading to the lungs. This leads to your pet’s heart being forced to pump harder to circulate the blood through his tiny body. The consequences to the lungs is even more severe with many pets gasping for breath as the lungs fill with fluid and tiny blood clots clog the vessels. Early warning signs can include coughing and exercise intolerance that some owners just attribute to the dog being lazy. Frequently, warning signs usually do not surface until the disease is well advanced and the dog is struggling with heart failure, fluid accumulation in the lungs and abdomen which could eventually lead to death.
In cats, it only takes one heartworm to cause harm. The first signs are asthma like symptoms and oftentimes vomiting that the owners will attribute to hairballs. Once that heartworm lodges in the lungs, it can result in the sudden death of the cat.
Treatment for heartworms is costly ranging from $500 for the smaller sized dogs, to well over $1500 for the larger breeds. Complicated heartworm disease with cardiac failure is even more expensive and oftentimes there is only a 10% chance of recovery in the severely affected dogs. As of yet, there is no remedy for cat heartworm disease, just supportive care.
Amazingly, veterinarians do have a remedy to this problem. Safe, effective heartworm preventatives are available in a variety of easy to use applications. What is even more amazing is that the cost of a lifetime of prevention for most pets is significantly less that a one-time treatment for the disease. So, why do pets continue to suffer and die from such a avoidable malady?
With all internet myths, two major hypotheses think that either the heartworm medications are failing or that the parasites are developing a resistance to the medications. While conspiracy theorists love these ideas, scientific evidence for either explanation is absent. Heartworm preventives possess a failure rate of less than 1 in 1 million doses. In addition, the complex life cycle of the heartworm does not lend itself to creating a natural resistance to the medications. The truth very likely lies in the memory of the owner to dispense the dose in a monthly manner and the warmer climate.
Rising temperatures in our climate has resulted in a prolonged mosquito season and a greater chance of transmission to our pets. Here in Houston, our mosquito season is all year round. Some places are currently experiencing more mosquitoes in previously mosquito-free locations. Irrigation of dry areas and expanded plantings of trees in certain locations might actually increase mosquito population. With a bigger number of mosquitoes, there is a greater risk of transmission of heartworm disease.
When all of the facts are reviewed, the simplest reason behind our failure to manage this dangerous parasite falls on the humans themselves. We simply do not give the preventive as we really should. Perhaps it is due to forgetfulness, or maybe one partner thought the other one administered it or even it might be because of the economic conditions as well as monetary limitations imposed on the family. Regardless of the cause might be, it can bring about serious repercussions for the health of our pets.
Thankfully, as pet owners, you do have powerful allies to help fight the war against heartworms. With the help of your veterinarian, you are able to find the ideal heartworm medication for your pet and your spending budget. Oral prescription drugs, like Heartgard, Sentinel, and Iverhart can be purchased. Additionally, there are topical medications for instance Advantage-Multi and Revolution that are formulated to also provide protection to your pet from both heartworms and fleas. Proheart 6 is additionally available as a long lasting injection. The prevention of this illness rests entirely on the pet’s owners to make sure the pet receives the prevention prior to the pet is actually exposed to the parasite. That means that this prevention should get started in puppy-hood and be administered each month, all year long.
Trifexis is now available and is a chewable tablet that covers heartworms, fleas, and intestinal parasites. I now use Trifexis on my own dog.
You should not waste time looking for “natural” or organic ways to defend against heartworms; they simply just do not exist. Some people believe they can formulate ivermectin to give to their pets, but improper dilution and storage can cause overdosing or underdosing. Adhere to recommendations by your veterinarian and the American Heartworm Society (www.heartwormsociety.org). Your pet is counting on you and prevention is far better and less expensive ın comparison to the treatment.
Ticks are a parasite related to the spider family more that the insect family. They feed on the blood of their host and are efficient carriers of disease. Once they are attached, they inject a chemical that numbs the skin, then they slowly feed over several days. Many of the diseases that are spread by the ticks are not transferred until 48 hours after attachment, so if ticks are removed early, the chance of disease transmission is reduced.
There are several species of ticks and 4 species most commonly are encountered on our pets.
- American dog tick
- Lone star tick
- Deer or Blacklegged tick
- Brown dog tick
Ticks have for life stages similar to insects but varies just a little bit.
- Six-legged larvae
- Eight-legged nymph
The female tick lays between 200 and 6,000 eggs on the ground after having engorged herself from a blood meal on the host animal and mated. The female tick dies soon after laying her eggs and the male ticks usuually die after mating with a few females, but some can live for a few months. The entire life cycle requires as little as 2 months to 2 years, depending on the species of the tick.
Once the egg hatches, tiny six-legged larvae commonly referred to as a “seed tick” find a host animal and feed on it. The larvae the molt into the larger nymph and they now have 8 legs. The newly emerged nymph now finds another host to feed again. After ingesting another blood meal, the nymph molts again and now becomes an adult tick. The male and female find another host to feed on, mate and start the cycle once more.
Dogs, people and other animals pick up ticks when walking through the grass or woods. The ticks crawl up the to the tips of grasses and shrubs with their legs extended and wait for a host animal to walk by. The vibration of the host animal tells the tick to let go of the vegetation and they quickly crawl up the host. Hundreds of ticks can crawl on the host at one time. In people, you can usually find ticks at the hair line. In some dogs, I have had so many ticks feeding on a dog that they actually became anemic and needed blood transfusions and I have had some that died from the acute blood loss.
How can ticks be prevented?
There are many types of tick preventatives available. Some products are available over the counter, but care must be taken because some products contain permethrins which are very toxic if applied to cats of if the product is given by mouth when it should be applied on the skin. Several products are applied directly to the skin of the dog and repeated every month. In especially heavy tick infestations, these products may not be enough and consulting with your veterinarian will be beneficial in finding a better remedy. Some of the tick preventions are also combined with the flea and heartworm prevention. Frontline, Advantix, Revolution, Kiltix, Promeris and the Preventic collar are a few products that are labeled for ticks. Check with your veterinarian to see which products are working well in your area and are safe to use on your pet.
What should I do if I find a tick on me or my dog?
Use a pair of blunt tweezers of a disposable glove to handle the tick. Yhe new Tick Key is great for pulling out ticks. Try not to handle the tick with your bare skin because infections agents in the body fluids of a tick may penetrate breaks in the skin or through mucous membranes. Diseases such as Lyme disease or ehrlichiosis are capable of infecting humans.
Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. This will grasp the head of the tick and reduce the possibility of the head detaching from the body when it is removed. Pull the tick straight out with a steady even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick because this may leave some mouth parts embedded in the skin. Also, try not to squeeze the body of the tick because this will increase the chances of infections. It may take a a minute or two of gentle pulling to get the tick to release from the skin.
After removing the tick, disinfect the bite area and wash your hands with soap and water. Avoid home remedies such as applying petroleum jelly or grease, and do not try touching the tick with a hot match. These methods do not work and may actually make the tick salivate and increase the risk of disease transmission.
You may want to preserve the tick in rubbing alcohol and take it to your veterinarian for identification. Certain ticks transmit different diseases and it will help your veterinarian know which tick your pet had in order to effectively treat your pet. If the tick has been on your pet longer than 48 hours, check with your veterinarian to see if they might prescribe antibiotics.
Stay tuned for the rest of the series.
Debra Garrison, DVM
Every month, lots of dog owners, and a few cat owners, give their pets some form of heartworm prevention. But recent studies are showing increasing numbers of heartworm positive pets across the country. Some people believe the worms now have the upper hand. Has our trusted protection failed us?
Dog owners, and a growing number of cat owners understand that once -a-month heartworm preventives keep their pets safe from a very serious cardiovascular parasitic disease. Despite consistent use of preventive medications, a significant number of dogs are testing positive for heartworms, especially in the mosquito heavy Southeastern US. Are we seeing the beginnings of a resistance movement?
In some cases, careful questioning of the clients reveals some monthly doses of medication were not given, opening the door for potential infection. In other cases, medical records and client compliance appear to be complete, yet the pet is positive on the annual heartworm blood test.
Heartworm preventive works by killing immature heartworm larvae that are spread by mosquitoes. In theory, a pet who receives medication each month should be protected and never have a positive heartworm test. Why then, do some dogs test positive?
Many owners are quick to blame the heartworm preventives. They believe continued use of the drugs will create resistant worms and that will lead to an increase in positive cases. On the surface, this theory appears to have merit. After all, we know that improper and excessive use of antibiotics can create resistant bacteria.
But according to an article in Veterinary Parasitology, heartworm resistance should not occur. The authors looked at the life cycle of the heartworm, genetic mechanisms of resistance as well as the timing and dose of the heartworm medications. Their conclusion shows the current medications are unlikely to select for any sort of genetic resistance among the heartworm parasite. In other words, it is doubtful current heartworm preventive practices are causing any resistance. So, what is happening with these heartworm positive dogs?
As unpopular as it sounds, pet owners and veterinarians may have to share the blame. A pet owner who fails to purchase enough preventative medication is putting their pet at risk. Also, research shows that nearly 50% of dog owners who buy heartworm prevention do not give the medication as directed.
Likewise, a veterinary clinic that fails to remind their clients about the importance of year-round prevention is doing a disservice to the pet as well. In order to avoid conflict with pet owners, some veterinary staff might overlook the fact that the owner has not been consistently purchasing heartworm prevention.
Even our pets are not entirely blameless. Pets that take oral medication and “bury” it or spit it out won’t benefit from its protection. Also, if your pet has an upset stomach the day you give the medication, the complete dose could be lost in a bout of vomiting or diarrhea.
In all of this negativity, there is good news. Experts state that the heartworm preventive failure rate is less than 1 in a million; meaning that if your dog takes his medication routinely, the chances of developing heartworm disease is almost non-existent.
Additionally, veterinarians have multiple options available to clients for providing protection to their pets. Monthly chewable tablets, like HeartGard Plus, are available along with topical formulations such as Revolution and Advantage Multi, for more finicky pets. The new Trifexis is now my preferred heartworm prevention here in Texas because in includes flea control, intestinal parasite control and flea prevention in a chewable tablet that my dog loves. There is even an injection, called ProHeart 6, that can provide six months of protection from heartworms, but it does not have any protection against fleas.
Finally, all of the manufacturers of heartworm preventive medication guarantee their products. They will pay for heartworm disease treatments if your dog tests positive.
Sometimes, it’s easier for people to blame the product rather than admit to a very common mistake, but the fact is pet owner compliance problems may be the biggest reason for more pets with what appears to be heartworm preventive failure.
Regardless of the reason, follow your veterinarian’s advice about heartworm prevention. As always, your family veterinarian will have the best advice. Beware of Internet sites circulating unfounded rumors and opinions from dubious sources.
With over 250,000 known cases across the United States, canine heartworm disease continues to plague our pets, causing emotional distress to the owners and financial worries to their pocketbooks. The saddest part of all: this disease is completely preventable.
By: Debra Garrison, DVM
We know what causes heartworm disease, we know how to treat it, and we even have safe, effective medications to prevent the disease. So, why are more than a quarter of a million dogs and cats still getting this terrible disease?
According to a survey recently released by the American Heartworm Society over 250,000 dogs and cats tested positive for heartworm infection nationwide in 2004. Since these cases only included dogs that routinely see the veterinarian, some estimates of the true incidence of heartworms in dogs range as high as 11 million canines infected with the parasite. Throw in coyotes and foxes and one can easily see the huge reservoir of potential cases.
Heartworms are a parasite that reside in the vessels leading from the heart to the lungs of many different mammals, but are primarily suited for life in a canine. The immature larva of the adult heartworms are taken in during feeding by mosquitoes and then spread from mosquito back to dogs after a short, 2 week maturation period in the mosquito’s stomach and salivary glands. After returning to their natural host, the heartworm larva migrate through the dog’s body over the next four to six months, growing in length until they reach the heart. Upon reaching the heart, the foot long parasite becomes sexually active, producing large numbers of larva, which, in turn, wait to be picked up by a feeding mosquito, continuing the disease cycle. Infected dogs might have as few as 5 or 6 adult worms or as many as 250!
Adult heartworms absorb nutrients from the blood stream of the dog. In an attempt to rid the body of the parasite, the dog’s immune system fights the invader, often causing collateral damage to the blood vessels and lungs. In severe cases, large numbers of heartworms can block the major vessels entering and leaving the right side of the heart, causing high blood pressure, bleeding into the lungs, kidney and liver problems, and even death. Treatment of the disease itself involves the use of an arsenic compound. Although deadly side effects with the medication have been extremely rare, many dogs succumb to blood clots in the lungs as the adult heartworms die. And the cost of treatment is also a concern. Appropriate diagnostics, medications, and re-testing of the heartworm positive dog might run as high as $500 to $1,000, depending on the size of the pet.
“Many people are just not aware of how deadly heartworms can be, especially to active pets.” says Dr. Tom Nelson, President of the American Heartworm Society. “Heartworms can live 5-7 years and the owner may not see of any of the symptoms. Many of our pets might be considered less active and these pets will not show the signs of heartworm disease until it becomes severe.”
On a more positive note, veterinary medicine has a wide variety of options available to the pet owner for prevention of this disease. Easy to give monthly chewables are the most convenient way to prevent infection. The most commonly prescribed monthly chewable is called Heartgard. Administration of these preventives at the appropriate time intervals can virtually guarantee protection for your pet. In fact, manufacturers of heartworm preventive will stand behind their product and reimburse any medical treatments necessary should a dog develop heartworms while on their product.
It is vitally important to test your dog prior to starting heartworm preventive or extreme allergic reactions could develop. Your veterinarian will draw a small amount of blood from your pet and, in many instances, you might know the test results prior to leaving the veterinarian’s office. Due to the extreme prevalence of this disease, the American Heartworm Society strongly encourages annual re-testing of all dogs.
According to Nelson, pet owners seem to be likely to switch products, with or without the knowledge of their veterinarian. This product and brand switching has the FDA concerned about a perceived lack of protection, or even potential product failure. “We need to make sure we catch this disease as early as possible, thus the strong recommendation for annual testing.” says Nelson.
Also to be considered is how society has changed in the last 20 years. As people and their pets move from the wetter regions of the Midwest and Southeast to the sunshine of southern California and Arizona, they often bring along these unwelcome parasites. Nelson says “If you have mosquitoes where you live, heartworms, even if they aren’t native to the area, will be there as well.”
Hurricane Katrina caused many heartworm positive dogs to move into all parts of the country thus accelerating the spread.
As spring time approaches, we all welcome the return of the bright sunshine, the longer days, and the blooming of nature. Just remember, the return of warmer days will mean the return of mosquitoes and the potential for heartworm disease spreading. Make sure your best friend protected! Call your veterinarian today and schedule a heartworm test. For more information, visit the American Heartworm Society at www.heartwormsociety.org.
Dr. Debra Garrison is a veterinarian at the Treaschwig Veterinary Clinic