Page 26

KEY PETS Toxic Animals

By Joanna Fluer Oxley of Compassionate Grooming

In this article I would like to write about some toxic animals that are common here in Spain and that can seriously harm not only your dogs, but other family pets and even cause problems in humans.

one of the most painful bites you or your dog will receive and in dogs, vet treatment is needed to control pain and stop the dog from chewing the area to look for swelling or allergic reaction.

Poisonous Toads Spain has a few poisonous toads but the most common and deadly one is the common Bufo toad which, when threatened, will secrete a poison so toxic that a dog who has bitten one could become seriously ill within minutes. Symptoms in dogs include drooling, pawing at mouth, head shaking, vomiting, foaming at mouth, loss of coordination, difficulty in breathing, fitting. Emergency vet treatment is key and you should always have emergency vet details to hand. Sadly I hear of dogs losing their lives due to owners not knowing their dog has had contact with a toad or didn’t know how toxic they are and who didn’t seek prompt vet treatment.

Processional Pine Caterpillars These pretty caterpillars are in fact, next to mosquito sand fly, the biggest problems to our dogs here in Spain, mainly because dogs lick their paws after a walk and even just a few caterpillar hairs can cause gangrene of the tongue leading to the dog losing large parts of the tongue. You can see the caterpillars’ cocoons in pine trees. They look like white cotton candy. It’s the hairs on the caterpillars that are toxic and these hairs will cause serious itching and swelling which can often lead to skin infections where large sections of the skin will die. These hairs can also be breathed in causing serious complications. Prompt vet treatment is recommended.

Spiders There are many types of spiders in Spain and most will bite/ sting if threatened. There are a few bites that can cause swelling, bruising of skin, pain, allergic reaction or serious wound infection. In fact I see many dogs with pimple-type boils that are most likely caused by a spider bite as the wound can appear to look like a whitehead or boil. Centipedes & Millipedes Spain has many types of centipedes and millipedes but one to watch out for is the Tiger Centipede, a large yellow and black stripped critter that can give a nasty bite. This is



Lastly not to forget the biggest dangers to our dogs being mosquitos, ticks and sandflies (leishmaniasis) and not so common - snakes, scorpions and fire Salamanders. It’s important that you ensure you have access to a vet that is open 24 hours a day and that is able to start fast treatment to your dog if needed. If you live far away from any 24 hour vet, then I advise you speak to your vet concerning keeping an antitoxin medication kit at home. I do and I have had to use it a few times with my own dogs. Lastly, remember do not feed or give your dog a drink - this may cause more of the toxin to be ingested. Prompt vet treatment is key.

KMG - FOR ALL YOUR PRINTING NEEDS - TEL 666 666 998 - 952 934 805

Key to Mijas Costa #117  

Issue 117 of the Key to Mijas Costa magazine - Mijas Costa's Only Local English Language Magazine for the International Community. Issue 117...

Key to Mijas Costa #117  

Issue 117 of the Key to Mijas Costa magazine - Mijas Costa's Only Local English Language Magazine for the International Community. Issue 117...