General First Aid Tips for Dog
Below is first aid for a dog and their owners. It is important that this is a general first aid topic cover and will not cover every situation. It is always very important to seek veterinary advice. Fleas This parasite is a major cause of skin disease such as eczema and acts as the intermediate host for the dog tapeworm (Dipylidium). Brownish in colour, they infest the skin rapidly. They are very common in summer, and they will spread easily from one dog to another. The after effects of having fleas must be carefully treated. These are eczema (because even after the fleas are gone the dog still itches) and tapeworms, an internal parasite transmitted by fleas. This external parasite is a small, wingless insect. These parasites torment the dog, irritate the skin and spread diseases. They are most often observed as they crawl or hop very rapidly through the dog's coat of hair. There are 1,600 species of fleas; some of the most common ones that infest dogs are stick tight flea, dog flea and human flea. The flea spends much of their adult life on the host. The life cycle usually takes 30 days. The female usually lays her eggs on the host and they drop to the ground or she lays them directly on the ground. The eggs hatch into a segmented, worm-like larvae which feed-on organic matter (blood, hair, faeces) in the bedding of the host or in the cracks and crevices in the floor. When mature the larvae spins a cocoon that is attached to bits of debris. After approximately five days the adult emerges and seeks a host to continue the life cycle. Fleas usually feed every day but can exist without food for several months. Because most fleas change hosts often, they are important disease carriers and also transmit other parasites such as the tapeworm. The fleas constant biting combined with the allergenic reaction from their saliva causes the dog to become restless i.e. bites and scratches to relieve the irritation. By scratching, the animal produces acute 'hot spots' (which is a loss of hair in a particular area) which will then become infected. Therefore, it is very important to completely remove the flea from the animal and surrounding area. Many insecticides will remove fleas from the dog's body, but fleas can return unless both adult and larvae forms are killed in the dogs environment. Before treatment is started the veterinarian must be contacted for the proper treatment.
Symptoms: The dog scratches himself to relieve the discomfort. The fleas excrement is the strongest evidence of flea infestation. Check for tiny black dots at the base of the tail. Treatment: Anti flea rinses such as Asuntol, Malathions, Nucidol and Pyrethrin (good idea to chop and change). Regular grooming will also keep the flea population low. For more details visit http://www.dogobedience.com.au/