HEALTH POINTERS

GASTROENTERITIS

Increased reports at the start of the year. Symptoms are vomiting and diarrhoea. If your fluff one is not retaining food for more than a day, go to your vet as fluids might be needed and maybe some investigation. Dehydration is a common problem so watch how much water is being taken. Alex recommends a spoon of natural plain yoghurt for digestive disorders; our vet practice recommends VetPro Natural Digestive Function as it contains kaolin that helps to bind toxins and remove them from the gut as well as absorb water, whilst increasing the good bacteria via prebiotics and probiotics to neutralise the digestive system.

‍EAR ‍INFECTIONS ‍& ‍IRRITATIONS

‍These ‍are ‍fairly ‍common ‍and ‍are ‍usually ‍treated ‍with ‍eardrops, ‍but ‍ask ‍your ‍vet ‍if ‍they ‍could ‍be ‍caused ‍by ‍allergies ‍if ‍they ‍keep ‍recurring. ‍Check ‍to ‍see ‍if ‍there ‍might ‍be ‍specific ‍irritants ‍that ‍are ‍causing ‍a ‍reaction. ‍Otherwise, ‍keep ‍up ‍routine ‍ear ‍cleans ‍and ‍inspections.

‍ALABAMA ‍ROT ‍DISEASE

‍There ‍were ‍46 ‍confirmed ‍cases ‍of ‍Alabama ‍Rot ‍in ‍dogs ‍in ‍2018 ‍compared ‍to ‍19 ‍cases ‍in ‍2016. ‍It ‍is ‍spreading ‍and ‍there ‍have ‍been ‍cases ‍in ‍Scotland ‍as ‍well ‍as ‍Northern ‍Ireland ‍and ‍Ireland.

The environment most likely to harbour Alabama Rot disease affecting dogs in the UK

The New Forest Dog Owners’ Group have set up a Research Fund in association with veterinary specialists to undertake research into this disease and you can make a donation on their page:

https://www.newforestdog.org.uk/nfdog-research-fund


There is research into a possible link between the disease and the Aeromonas Hydrophila bacteria affecting fish. This is why it is recommended to keep dogs out of muddy water or to hose them down with clean water if they have been.


https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=pxQm1Peou6O3YSgNNFIzbxIgy2NppfgbZvJSnQ3Tp17VY-wrATJdumn24RN-uE_Us_MUMW&country.x=GB&locale.x=GB


Countryfile have a good summary with links to other sites.

https://www.countryfile.com/news/guide-to-alabama-rot-dog-disease-how-to-spot-the-signs-and-protect-your-dog/

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/for-owners/alabama-rot/

https://www.directline.com/pet-cover/what-is-alabama-rot

https://www.ed.ac.uk/vet/services/small-animals/services/the-dermatology-service/cgrv

TICKS

A tick removed from Sephie last May 2018

Please become familiar with tick risks and how to minimise them. The Big Tick Project has useful information as does the Tick Surveillance Scheme:


http://www.bigtickproject.co.uk/about/


https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tick-surveillance-scheme


THE TICK SURVEILLANCE SCHEME


There is a Recording Form here for you to send off information about any ticks you find, and you can even send the tick itself for identification. This all helps research.


NOTES FROM PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND:


Please note that we can only include your record if the tick(s) is included for identification.


If ticks are collected from different hosts or locations, please place these in separate containers and fill out a recording form for each container posted. If you are submitting many records, you can group them in envelopes to save postage, providing that each sample is placed in a separate container with separate recording forms as specified above.


Please post ticks as soon as possible to prevent deterioration, which makes identification difficult.


How to send your ticks to PHE


Please carefully package ticks so that the package does not become damaged during transit. We accept both live and dead ticks for identification.


When posting ticks, please make sure that you:

• use a small plastic container that is securely fastened with tape; alternatively, a screw-top plastic vial can be supplied on request - email: tick@phe.gov.uk

• post the container in a padded envelope with a visible return address

• mark the package as ‘urgent - live creatures’ (not necessary for dead ticks)

• include a completed recording form


Send to:


Tick surveillance scheme

Public Health England
Porton Down
Wiltshire
Salisbury
SP4 0JG


Email: tick@phe.gov.uk


PHE provide identification of ticks via email within 2 weeks of receipt (during exceptionally busy times, this may be longer).


Postage costs

It should cost less than £1 to send a tick into the TSS if you use the right shipping materials.


Depending on how many ticks you are sending or the size of the tubes you are sending them in, the cost of postage may vary. Below is a guide, correct in Dec 2019.

• large letter (max thickness 2.5cm, max 100g): our usual vials in small padded envelope will fit this category. 1st class 106p, 2nd class 83p

• small parcel (max thickness 16cm): larger containers, for example, universal tubes used by vets, will need to go in these - 1st class £3.55, 2nd class £3.00

OAK PROCESSIONARY MOTH (OPM) CATERPILLARS

© Forestry Commission

© ALAMY

OPMs can be nasty for dogs with symptoms including excessive drooling, swollen tongue, conjunctivitis, gagging, vomiting, difficulty breathing or an inflamed or swollen mouth. Generally symptoms are no more serious than irritation. 


London is battling this problem with hot sites including Hampstead Heath, Queens Park, Highgate Woods, Richmond Park; but there are reports that they are spreading out well beyond Greater London. Report any sightings to the Forestry Commission:


https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/pest-and-disease-resources/oak-processionary-moth-thaumetopoea-processionea/


People can have severe allergic reactions and have breathing difficulties so do not touch or pick up these caterpillars; if you need to remove one from your dog, then use rubber gloves or a thick wad of tissues. 


OPMs are not native to Britain and you should look out for them around oak trees and oakland areas.


They are brown caterpillars with thousands of white hairs containing thaumetopoein that scatter in the wind. There is no remedy but you should contact your Vet if you suspect contact and also report the location. The worst time is generally May to July but be watchful all the time – even drying laundry outside! 


The Blue Cross website has more advice and a useful map:

https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/dogs-and-oak-processionary-moth-caterpillars

BROWN TAIL CATERPILLARS

© Suffolk Free Press

Brown Tail Caterpillars are a native species that can cause an itchy rash, eye irritation, and asthma attacks. They are recognised by two white seams down either side of their back with two distinctive orange wart-like circles at one end. They have toxic white hairs also and should not be touched. Since these hairs can be carried on the wind, they can stick to dog hair and to clothing and can even be ingested. They tend to be more common along the coastline but reports show that they are moving inland up estuaries.


https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/17661775.warning-after-reports-of-toxic-brown-tail-moth-caterpillars-in-the-new-forest/


http://www.wildlifeinsight.com/british-moths/brown-tail-moth-caterpillar-euproctis-chrysorrhoea/

SUPERSLUGS

Spanish slugs continue to invade indigenous species across the UK. Slugs and snails can carry lungworm parasites so it is important to keep an eye on your fluffpet for symptoms if s/he has been in the vicinity of these slimy fellows: coughing, breathlessness, weight loss, reduced appetite, diarrhoea and, in more severe cases, fits, impaired blood clotting and haemorrhage. It is treatable via the Vet and should be considered with your anti-parasite regime (like Drontal or Milbemax but check with your vet). Young dogs and puppies are at most risk. 


Placing homebrew beer outside seems to be the recommended method for managing slugs, although salt and copper are other options.


Do NOT leave water/food bowls or toys or bedding outside overnight; wash pet water bowls regularly; pick up poos; and worm routinely.


https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/for-owners/lungworm/

https://www.lungworm.co.uk/learn-about-lungworm/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/23/spanish-cannibal-slugs-invading-britain-creating-superslugs/

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