With the weather feeling very spring like, its the time of year to think about protecting your dogs against fleas and ticks.
Lots of people coming to France are not aware that many of the French ticks carry a parasite known as Piroplasmosa Canis, which causes a potentially fatal canine disease called piroplasmosis or ‘piro’. These ticks are more active in warmer, wetter weather, so spring and autumn tend to be the danger periods.
So, what are the symtoms of Piro?
Different dogs react to the infection in different ways, and symptoms will differ according to the individual dog and the stage of the disease, but the most common signs are:
- lethargy and loss of appetite
- fever, shivering and elevated temperature
- dark urine
- anaemia (to test for this, press a finger against your dog’s gum. When you release the pressure, the blood should return immediately. If the spot stays pale for a few seconds, it can indicate a problem).
Dogs bitten by an infected tick typically start to show symptoms within 24 – 48 hours, and the disease can be rapidly fatal. The dog’s kidneys try to filter out the infected blood cells, and are themselves damaged in the process. It’s important to catch the disease as quickly as possible to limit the possibility of kidney damage, so play it safe and take your dog to the vet.
How can you prevent Piro?
- If your dog is long-haired, keep him trimmed and well-groomed. The best prevention is to find and remove the ticks before they can bite. All French vets and pharmacies sell a tick removal tool.
- Wait several days after bathing your dog before applying the anti-tick treatment, and don’t bath him for a couple of days after application.
- Make sure the treatment is applied directly to the skin, not the hair.
- Keep a close eye on your pet.
In addition to applying the anti-tick treatment, we also advise ia Scalibor anti-tick collar. This is impregnated with an active ingredient that gives six months of protection, and can be used with the Advantix without fear of overdosing to give maximum protection.
If you catch the infection very early, there should be no long-term consequences. In 80 or 90 percent of cases, dogs develop a degree of natural immunity after being bitten. This means that most dogs have the disease once, then never again.
So prevention with Advantix, a Scalbor collar and quick action should you notice the symptoms, keeps your dog safe and sound.
Check regularly for ticks