The Howler - Terrible ticks

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DOG TROUBLES: Dog with extensive tick burden.

DOG TROUBLES: Dog with extensive tick burden.

Dog with extensive tick burden

If your dog has a tick burden like the dog in the photo above, apart from feeling very uncomfortable, it would be losing a lot of blood, which the ticks would be sucking out of the dog. This would lead to the dog being anaemic and less able to fight other infections, which may lead to lethargy (weakness) and illness.

The best way to get rid of these ticks (and fleas also) is to come to the APS clinic and get appropriate medication, which needs to be applied regularly to be effective. If you are unable to do this, applying salt water to the badly affected areas may be helpful and reduce the infestation. This can be done by application of salt water at home, or by taking your dog for a swim in the sea and making sure the affected areas remain under the water for a few minutes.

APS has a good supply of flea and tick medication at the moment for your dogs and cats. Please phone the clinic on 22403 between 9am and 3pm, for any enquiries. The after-hours number for emergency calls is 7777277.


How to Care for an Orphan Puppy

If a puppy has been abandoned by its mother, you will need to help it survive by feeding the appropriate food, depending on the age of the puppy.


New-born Puppies

These pups will not be able to drink from a saucer, so will need to be fed from a babies’ bottle. They will need to be fed every few hours. The bottle and teat need to be washed after every feed, just as when you are feeding a human baby by bottle. This is especially so if the pups have not ever had any milk from their mother, as the first milk (or colostrum) provides the pups with immunity to disease and infections.

At the beginning, you will also need to stroke the puppy’s tummy area after feeding, as this is what the mother does to encourage her pups to toilet.

Diluted cow’s milk with a little pinch of sugar, is the best and easiest food for orphaned pups in Samoa. 


3 to 4 week old Puppies

Once the pups have reached this age, they will be able to lap from a saucer. As their tummies grow, they don’t need feeding as often. As they get older, you can start to introduce rice and other soft foods to their diet. Fish mixed with rice provides essential protein and minerals for growing puppies. 


Diarrhoea and Vomiting in Dogs

Many dogs are brought to the APS clinic with diarrhoea and vomiting (tummy upset). The most common causes of tummy upsets in dogs are

• Worms – hookworms, roundworms and threadworms can all cause problems for dogs, including stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea

• Parvovirus – this highly infectious virus affects young puppies and causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting, often with blood. This can be so severe it can lead to death in affected pups

• Diet – as dogs are natural scavengers, they will often eat rotten things that can cause irritation and infection in the stomach and intestines

To minimise the chances of your dog developing diarrhoea and vomiting, here are some simple steps to follow: -

• Treat your dog regularly with a de-wormer. For pups, this is every 2 weeks and for an adult dog, every 3 months. (If you use mebendezol from the pharmacy, you need to treat the animal once a day for 3 to 4 days or the medicine will not be effective.)

• Get any new puppies vaccinated against parvovirus, especially if there have been cases of parvovirus previously on your property. Pups can be vaccinated from 6 to 8 weeks of age and will require a booster vaccination for full protection.

• Feed your dog a good quality diet. If you are making home-made food, ensure that there is some protein (fish/meat/eggs) in the food, not just fat and bones. Adult dogs should be fed once a day, pups more often, depending on their age.

If your dog or puppy develops vomiting and diarrhoea, the most important thing you can do is to keep them well hydrated. Every 1 – 2 hours offer them a small amount of fluid in the form of niu or sugar water. Milk is not a good choice for animals with an upset stomach.

If your dog is very lethargic (sleepy), or if they seem unable to keep anything down, or if they have blood in the vomit or diarrhoea, please call 22403 (7777277 after hours) to make an appointment to have your animal seen by a vet as soon as possible.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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