AT THE BEST OF TIMES BRINGING A RESCUE DOG INTO YOUR HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME IS A HUGE UPHEAVAL FOR THE DOG. WHAT IS OFTEN FORGOTTEN IS THE UPHEAVAL TO THE EXISTING PETS AND FAMILY TOO! DON’T MAKE THE MISTAKE OF NEGLECTING THEM!
Please note that items published on this page are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice or instruction. If you have any concerns about the health and welfare of your dog or other pets, please consult your veterinarian
This has to be the saddest picture I have ever seen
TRY USING A LINT ROLLER IMMEDIATELY ON RETURN FROM YOUR WALK
Often if a dog from a Mediterranean country is sick, it is presumed to be caused by leishmania; but the animal should always be checked for for tick disease. It is not a life long disease such as leishmania but it can be more life threatening.
There have been isolated cases in the UK
Babesia is a small parasite (protozoe) which affects the red blood cells of its host. Babesia is transmitted by ticks (Rhipicephalus, Dermacentor – brown female ticks). Ticks acquire Babesia whilst sucking blood from infected animals. Later, the tick sucks blood from a healthy animal and transmits Babesia.
Babesia infections are reported in horses, dogs, foxes and other wild animals, also in man, but in the Mediterranean area it is mainly dogs who become infected because of the prevalence of Babesia Canis species. Direct infection between dogs and humans is not possible, it is always the tick which infects the mammals.
After the bite of a tick infected with Babesia, the dog starts a period of incubation which lasts between 10 days and 3 weeks. During this time, Babesias start to penetrate the red blood cells and to multiplicate (“to breed”).
After the incubation period, the dog will start with clinical symptoms, whose degree depends on the dogs own defence system:
– dogs with a weak defence suffer an acute shock and die
– dogs with a normal defence show high fever, loss of appetite, general weakness, pale mucous membranes and often a dark brown urine
– in advanced cases, rheumatic like pain, muscle stiffness and serious problems with blood coagulation, spleen swelling and jaundice add to the symptoms mentioned above.
Clinical symptoms and the demonstration of Babesia in the peripheral blood (ear vein) leads to a safe diagnosis. In chronic cases, a blood test (antibodies) for Babesia is recommended.
A special drug, administered twice by injection eliminates Babesia. In severe cases intensive treatment and blood transfusions are required.
Tick prevention! Protect your dog during the main tick season (March until November) with special tick collars or liquids (ask your vet). If you find a tick on your dog, remove it immediately (with turning clockwise movements). The tick needs 3 days of bloodsucking on the dog to transmit Babesia. The earlier you remove it, the less is the risk of this infection.
Spanish dogs and Leishmaniasis
Leishmaniasis is a controllable disease that affects some Mediterranean dogs, it is transmitted by the Sandfly Mosquito.
Some dogs which are bitten could get this condition that will then lie dormant in them for their life. As we do not have the Sandfly Mosquito in the UK it is not possible for a dog to transmit the disease to other dogs or people. Most of the dogs that test positive are treated and live long and happy lives with no symptoms at all once they have moved to the UK, once they have been treated first to ensure the blood count is very low.
For a dog to catch Leishmaniasis it has to be bitten a Sandfly that has recently bitten an infected dog. THE SANDFLY TRANSMITS THE DISEASE NOT THE DOG. The Sandfly has to bite and take the blood of an infected dog and then fly onwards to bite another dog. When the Sandfly bites another dog, it can then transmit infected blood from the previous dog.
We work with rescuers in Spain, who have over 20 years experience of helping dogs, working hand in hand with vets to gain an understanding of Leishmaniasis. They have learnt that the one significant contributing factor which stands out above all others is STRESS. A dog who has been living under the stress of abandonment, cruelty, parasitic infestation, near starvation, giving birth every 6 months in the street etc. will most certainly test positive. But once that same dog is in a safe and secure environment, free from stress and treated for parasites, the drop in the leish count can be dramatic. They also site examples where dogs have become negative. So in many cases, remove the stress, take the dog out of “Sandfly” country – problem solved!
There is also confusion between the Leishmaniasis which exists in the Mediterranean and the Leishmaniosis spread by the mosquito in the African Continent, where it is known to spread to humans.
Some English Vets do not have very much knowledge of the condition which can lead to them giving over cautious advice.
Some Spanish dogs arrive in the UK with Leishmaniasis medication which is not necessary, some rescues believe medication should be issued as a precaution.
Common symptoms of Leishmaniasis in dogs are:
Whilst leishmaniasis is not curable, it is controllable in most cases. All the dogs that come from PAWS are tested and if positive then the count is reduced until near negative before they come to the UK .
Many dogs receiving treatment will live happily until they are old, just by being treated with allopurinol (Human Gout tablets that can be purchased over the counter at the chemist), Prevention in the form of a annual test for leishmaniasis.
A one off testing is recommended if the dog is living in an area where the Sandfly is not indigenous; to ensure that there is no latent disease.
Dogs with negative counts do not need Allopurinol.
All dogs coming to the UK from Spain are prepared under the strict rules of the Pet Passport Scheme.
I pinched this article from Adam Bailey, who
runs a “Brother” Rescue in Gillingham. I
hope you don’t mind Adam -
appropriate for this time of year……….
I used to love Christmas. Time for really bad
music, lots of laughter, family, friends,
presents and the food. So much food you
want to sleep for a week but a quick power
nap and back on the cold meat buffet and
tins of chocolates.
Ever since running a rescue I absolutely dread
it and I'm sure other rescuers feel the exact
same way. Last year I had about 3 hours with
family before going home to sort out the dogs
dumped by poor excuses of human beings to
make way for Christmas puppies. On average
250.000 dogs are put to sleep via the major
rescue organisations and council pounds. All
of those dogs had homes and families. Over
500.000 puppies are born each year. If they
are bull breeds 3 out of every 5 bull breed
puppies will never see their second birthday.
Christmas is the worst time for puppies being bought as a whim and older dogs being kicked out to make room. At Christmas and the school summer holidays are the two worst times for dogs being dumped in such vast numbers that most rescues have to close their doors and it results in thousands of dogs being put to sleep. Our aim that we are working ridiculously hard to achieve is to have a sanctuary by Christmas. We will then be able to help more dogs but we need more donations of food , lead , collars, bowls , money for vets bills and most importantly foster homes. My challenge to you all is to save a life and foster a dog this Christmas, don't buy a puppy, become part of the solution not the problem.
A personal message from me. If you buy a dog from a breeder you are the cause for a large proportion of this. You may argue that someone had to own the dog and what would of happened to the dog had you not bought it. Well if you and no one else bought the puppies eventually the whole litter would end up in a rescue. They would all be neutered. The mum would be spayed or at least not bred from again. Problem solved. I know it involves a lot more than this but that is the basis , stop buying , stop the problem , adopt a rescue dog