Friday, 15 April 2011

Lurking In The Undergrowth


When you are walking out with your dogs, you never know what might happen next. Recently our dogs took off to chase an unseen enemy of the pack (they never did discover one) but their track took them through a patch of stinging nettles (not native to the US but common in the UK). These nettles had no effect on the German Shepherd (with a long coat) however, a small Jack Russell terrier (with a very thin coat) came off very badly and needed cooling lotion and nursing for a few hours.

It reminded me that there are a lot of hazards out there including several parasites that can make life difficult for dogs. In fact many of these parasites are more common in the countryside than in the town.

Fox mites are one that can get into dogs ears and cause irritation. The dreaded ticks are another. Some types of ticks can cause serious illness in dogs (and humans). These are often found on fern/bracken fronds, where they lie in wait for a passing victim, usually a sheep, but a passing dog will do nicely thank you.

Certain types of worm infestations can be caused by your dog coming into contact with slugs and snails including recent “slime” trails.

Actually, I'm probably depressing you so let me state that these hazards will not occur every day or probably ever. But, it is worthwhile keeping a watchful eye on where your dog plays, when off the lead.

Check over your dogs skin when you groom it and take your dog to the vet if you are concerned about anything.

As is usually the case, most problems will be solved if you get advice early.


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