Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pets Magazine


Club Pets Magazine (Dec 2010) 
click to enlarge

Zeus Communications set up Singapore's first canine blood donor database and was featured in Club Pets' Magazine, December 2010 issue! Blood donations are essential and life-saving because not only do they give life to a fellow canine, it also give dogs a second chance at life. Do grab a copy of Club Pets' December 2010 and read about why we should let our dogs be blood donors and how Venus, a stray dog, despite having gone through so much hardship, donated blood to save a little Chihuahua who was suffering from tick fever.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Venus - Dare To Live

Every once in a while, an animal touches our lives and shows us what they are really made of – true courage, strength, love, compassion and determination. It has been said many times that animals enter our lives for a reason. We may not see the reason at that particular moment but some time down life's journey, when we sit and reflect, we often realize why they came into our lives. Nothing in life is coincidental, everything happens for a reason. Often, a very valid reason, that makes us better humans.


Strong and determined. Venus gave us many lessons in life.

For Venus, she taught us many lessons. She showed us how strong she was, fighting to live, getting out of her pain and depression from having lost her babies in a miscarriage and living in pain with a broken hipbone. Enduring surgery after surgery to rectify her broken hip, to be sterilized and then having to go through sessions upon sessions of massage and walks with Cary or Dawn (staff at the Vet) to build up her leg muscles again. The physical and emotional pain. She taught us to never give up, no matter how life gets us down. 

Bigger and stronger, Venus is slowly using her injured leg again.

For those who have been faithfully following Venus’ route to recovery, silently cheering her on, you would know that she has been at the Vet for more than two months – this would, of course mean that her bills have amounted to no small amount too. A whopping $3000+ to be exact. However, the thought of the escalating bills never discouraged us from helping her; never once did we think of releasing her back to the streets when she had not fully recovered. Just like Venus’ faith in us that we would care for her and see it through, our faith in all our friends and fellow animal lovers have not waned – we know that somehow, some way, friends will continue to contribute and help us out with her vet bills. We never doubted that, just as Venus had entrusted her life in our hands. She taught us Faith.

Venus also taught us to use our skills as Animal Communicators, to understand her fears, her pain, and her gratitude. Yes, despite the fact that she tries to snap at us when we pat her, we know she is grateful to us for helping her.

If you had for one moment thought that dogs are far more superior beings than humans, well – you thought right. Despite the hard life that Venus had gone through, she helped save a life! She was resting in her “Redhill Suite” when a Chihuahua, owned by Mr Vernon Cornelius, needed a blood transfusion. An An had not been eating for a few days and had been diagnosed with tick fever. He needed blood to live. Immediately Drs thought of Venus, who was lazing in her suite waiting for volunteer, Lynette, to bring her her daily ration of beef, eggs and rice. Dr Ang called Lynda for her consent and Lynda immediately agreed to let Venus donate blood and Mr Vernon was absolutely relieved. On a separate note, a doggy blood donor should be at least 25 kg in weight. Venus is lighter than 25 kg, but she was donating blood to a Chihuahua, and An An only required 75ml of blood from Venus, instead of the usual full bag of 450ml.


Blood is drawn from the jugular vein.



Drawing blood.



It's in their blood to save lives.



An An receiving blood.

We visited Venus the following day and what we saw absolutely amazed us – she was glowing with pride. Yes, she knew she had done a good deed, she knew she had saved a life and she was extremely proud of herself for doing that!

We are still hoping that someone would write in to offer to adopt Venus. Like we often say, even if it means living in the patio or garden for the rest of her life, it is still paradise compared to where she came from. Venus has been to hell and back. She never gave up, neither will we. Everyday we continue to hope and pray that someone will want to take her to their home and give her a life that this black beauty truly deserves.
 

A HERO in every sense of the word.

We would like to thank Lynette for faithfully bringing food to Venus everyday, rain or shine, for the past two months of Venus’ stay at the Redhill Suite and Dr Ang for the use of her photographs.

Do stay tuned for Venus’ next update, as she goes for her very first swim. Venus will be discharged this Sunday.

We salute Venus with this song, Dare To Live.

Written by Fiona.

A note from Mr Vernon Cornelius.

In certain emergencies Pet Animals DO need Blood Donations!

After my dog, An An, was diagnosed with 'Tick Fever' by Veterinarian Dr Ang Yilin, he was found to have a drop in blood count, and platelet count. A very dangerous situation, and he urgently needed emergency 'Blood Transfusion'! So the panic was on to find a suitable match and donor!


An An feeling down

It was to our blessed good fortune that a big, once badly injured dog named Venus, recovered by Ms Lynda Goh, was being treated at Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Center (Redhill). Venus' blood was a perfect match, and so began the process of her blood extraction to help An An survive!

St Venus' Blood Donation saved An An's life! It is with deepest gratitude and many thanks to the very generous heart of Ms Lynda Goh, but it was St Venus' 'gift of life' that saved An An!


Mr Vernon Cornelius with An An.

I must shamefully admit I never really gave much thought to Blood Donations for Animals, but having experienced this life or death encounter for my beloved pet, it made me realize the seriousness for such a need, and the urgent necessity for an Animal Blood Bank!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Doggie Dental Care - It's A Must!

We ensure that our dogs are fed nutritious food and given warm beds to sleep on, but unfortunately, often tend to overlook their dental hygiene. Many people seem to just expect dogs to have bad breath, and few owners brush their dogs’ teeth frequently enough. Dental hygiene is important to a dog’s overall health, and should be part and parcel of grooming. 

The Problems

Catching teeth problems early will help prevent severe dental disease in the long run. When plaque builds up on teeth, it turns into tartar, or calculus. These areas grow bacteria and eat away at the teeth and gums. Halitosis (bad breath), periodontal disease, oral pain and tooth loss will then occur. What is more alarming is that these bacteria not only cause disease in the mouth, but they can also affect other parts of the body, like your dog’s heart, kidneys and even the brain. The most important thing to do is address dental disease as soon as it is detected, no matter how minor. Better yet, work hard to prevent it early.

This is Lady Emerald. 8 yrs old, deaf and blind, used by unscrupulous humans for breeding. 

The Signs

Warning signs of dental problems:

Halitosis (bad breath) 
Reluctance to chew / crying out when chewing 
Increased salivation 
Red and/or puffy gums 
Bleeding gums 
Tartar/calculus (hard coating on teeth that is usually brown or yellow; results from plaque build-up) 
Missing and/or loose teeth 

Look at what was removed from her teeth

A nice set of pearly whites!

The Solutions

The simplest way to keep track of your dog’s dental health is to inspect its teeth on a regular basis, and watch out for signs that may indicate a problem. To inspect your dog’s teeth, lift the lips all around the mouth, and look at the front and back teeth as closely as possible. You should start a dental care routine as early as possible in your dog’s life, so it grows used to the feeling of having his teeth brushed and inspected. When brushing your dog’s teeth:

DO…

Use doggie toothpaste, and either a toothbrush, a nubby-surfaced rubber cap or a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.

Position yourself and your dog so that you can access its teeth comfortably. 

Lift your dog’s upper lips and begin to brush in a circular motion, much like you would brush your own teeth. 

Brush where the tooth meets the gum-line, and remember to reach the very back teeth, since this is where your dog is most likely to develop problems. 

Brush your dog’s teeth at least two times a week, and have its teeth checked every six to twelve months by your vet, together with its usual wellness check-ups.

Feed your dog hard biscuits or dental treats, or provide a hard toy or bone for your dog to chew on.  

DON’T…

Use human toothpaste, because dogs do not spit and will most likely swallow what is used to brush its teeth.

Be demanding or forceful. If you make this a miserable experience early on, it will be so for life.

Put off brushing your dog’s teeth, as plaque begins to turn into tartar within 24 to 48 hours, so regular brushing is recommended.

While brushing prevents some tooth decay, a thorough scaling may be required if there is a serious plaque problem. Depending on the individual dog, professional tooth-cleaning by the vet is recommended every one to three years. This cleaning, which takes place under general anesthesia, consists of scaling to remove tartar above and below the gum line; polishing to smooth the surface of the teeth; and flushing, to dislodge tartar and bacteria.


Dental Promotion for your pets are available at all Mount Pleasant branches from now till 31 December 2010.

Enjoy *20% off Dental Prophylaxis now!
Book your pet in for a Dental Prophylaxis (Dental Scaling and Polish) now and enjoy 20% off listed price.
Our trained staff would also be at hand to recommend the best care to look after your pet’s pearly whites.
Contact our clinic for an appointment today!
*for a limited period only *20% off applies to Dental Prophy- laxis (Dental Scaling & Polish) only *offer not valid for all other services    

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Singapore's First Canine Blood Donor Database Launch on World Animal Day

PRESS RELEASE

30 September 2010

SINGAPORE’S FIRST CANINE BLOOD DONOR DATABASE LAUNCH
ON WORLD ANIMAL DAY

Zeus Communications is pleased to announce, on the occasion of World Animal Day 2010, the launch of Singapore’s first canine blood donor database, maintained by Zeus Communications in collaboration with Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre. It is also organizing the first drive for canine blood donation towards this new databank.

Dogs, like humans, may need blood for a wide variety of reasons, whether as a result of traumatic injuries from accidents, bone marrow problems, surgical blood loss or tick fever. While blood transfusions are most commonly used to staunch blood loss, it is also used for the treatment of canine illnesses.
Lynda Goh of Zeus Communications explains that “too often, owners are faced with the situation of not being able to locate a suitable donor candidate when their dog requires a blood transfusion urgently. Currently, appeals for canine blood are circulated by email or posted on social networking platforms, and it may take days to locate a suitable donor.” Volunteers with Zeus Communications believe a database of potential canine blood donors can help to alleviate this problem and enable critically ill dogs to be treated sooner. The blood bank is targeted to be accessible by late next month (October 2010).
Pet owners need not be afraid that donating blood will either weaken their pets or be a painful exercise, Zeus Communications says that canine blood donation is similar to that of humans both in terms of process and preparation. Blood donation is relatively painless, and judging from past experience, most dogs do not mind giving blood at all.


The process is fairly straight forward. It starts with a physical check-up for the dog before any actual collection of blood begins. The potential donor has to satisfy a few conditions, such as:
-           Weighing at least 25 kilograms
-           Be between the ages of 1 year and 7 years old
-           Be up-to-date on vaccinations
-           Be on heart-worm prevention
-           Should not have previously received a blood transfusion or be on long-term
            medication.

After the donation, the dog donor may wish to take it easy, but many will get on with their normal routine.

Zeus Communications welcomes all dog owners to take part in its canine blood donation drive.  They can register their canine dog donor via an email to dogstalk@starhub.net.sg, stating their particulars and those of their pet’s.  Alternatively, they can visit Zeus Communications’ blog at http://zeusdoggybloodbank.blogspot.com.


Source: My Paper, 11 October 2010

Source: TODAY, 1 October 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rex's Gift of Life


Labradors are known to be loyal and affectionate dogs and Rex is no different. The only thing that's extra-special about Rex is that he has saved a life through donating blood. When Little Joe, a young mongrel who was rescued from the industrial sites, was diagnosed with tick fever and needed a blood transfusion, Rex became an instant hero. Rex's blood type matched that of Little Joe's and it was heartwarming to see Rex being so calm and composed as blood was drawn from him. He somehow knew that the sacrifice of a small amount of blood would help his little friend who needed that essence of life.



Proud Mommy, Stephanie (left), with Rex. Renowned Animal Communicator, Rosina Arquati, presenting
Rex with his award
For that generous act of kindness, Zeus Communications presented Rex with a Blood Donor Award. This award is to thank Rex for his blood donation which saved Little Joe. We hope to see more dog owners stepping forward to allow their pets to share the gift of life with ill and injured dogs who need blood.

Rex's award for his heroic deed

Little Joe, saved by Rex's blood donation
Rex's blood donation was life-giving. Almost all healthy dogs can donate blood. Not only is blood donation a simple and painless procedure, it also saves a precious life. Blood can be replenished by the body's natural system, but once a life is lost, it cannot be restored. A life, be it that of a human or animal, is still a life that needs to be saved. 

Written by our young volunteer, Jo-Ann, 16 yrs old.   

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Often Can My Dog Donate Blood? Does It Hurt?

Animals can safely donate blood every 6 weeks.

A standard blood donation for a dog is 450ml (‘one canine unit’) and this can safely be obtained from a dog that weighs at least 25kg. It is safe for a 25kg dog to donate this amount of blood because it holds this volume of blood in reserve in the spleen. After about 4 weeks, all that blood has been replaced back into the body. After 6 weeks, it is safe for the dog to donate again because the reserve volume has been replaced in the spleen. Smaller amounts may be obtained from smaller dogs.

Donating blood is almost painless, and most dogs don’t seem to mind giving blood at all. In fact, most dogs don't even realise that they are donating blood!

Do Dogs Have Different Blood Types?

Yes. Dogs have blood groups and can be blood-typed, just like humans.

A dog’s blood type is referred to as ‘dog erythrocyte antigens’ (DEA), with a number reference. So far, the recognized blood types in dogs are DEA 1.1, 1.2, 3 through 8. Transfusion from a donor who has never been typed or pregnant or transfused to a recipient, independent of their blood types is generally safe.

Basic blood types include DEA 1:1 negative and DEA 1:1 positive. DEA 1.1 negative dogs are considered universal donors, and their blood can be safely transfused into any other dog (similar to type O in humans). The ideal blood donor is negative to DEA 1:1, 1.2 and 7. But both positive and negative dogs are still eligible to donate. 

Studies have shown that some breeds such as Greyhounds, Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and American Pitbull Terriers are more likely to be universal donors.

What Does Doggie Blood Donation Involve?

For dogs, the blood donation process takes about 5-10 minutes, but you should plan on spending up to 30-40 minutes at a blood drive. This is what happens during the process:

 
Dogs will first receive a physical examination and health history will be taken.

A large accessible vein is needed. This is typically a vein in the neck or, sometimes, the cephalic vein on the front of the foreleg.

The area is clipped and aseptically prepared before insertion of the needle.








The donor is either gently held sitting or lying on his/her side. The needle is gently inserted into the vein until a free flow of blood is obtained.

Collection time is usually about 10 minutes for a full bag and varies from donor to donor.







A small meal is offered (like tea and biscuits for us!) after a donation, as a reward.

After donation, an area of swelling and bruising may be seen where the needle was inserted. This should fade over a few days.

Ideally, you should be present to provide comfort to your dog and keep it calm while it donates. However, most dogs become used to the procedure after a few donations and can be quite calm and relaxed even without their owners around!

After the donation, your dog may want to take it easy, but many are comfortable to get on with their normal routine.

We recommend that you do not engage your dog in strenuous activity for the next two days following blood donation.

Most dogs are able to sit still for the 10-minute donation with no problem, especially after they donate a few times and become used to the procedure. You should be present at every donation to help keep your dog calm and still while it donates. Once at home, your dog may want to take it easy, but many will get on with their normal routine.

Why Should My Dog Donate Blood?

Human blood donors probably save millions of lives each year. They give life-saving blood anonymously to people they will probably never know. Dogs can do the same thing.

All too often, just like people, injured or sick animals require blood transfusions as part of their treatment. In many cases, blood transfusions can save a pet's life. The most common use of transfusions is for blood loss, but the amount used for the treatment of critical illnesses such as cancer treatments has also increased. Without the participation of canine blood donors, animals in need might not be able to receive critical transfusions in time, and veterinary surgeons cannot perform important and lifesaving operations.

Reasons why dogs may need blood include:

·       Traumatic injuries
·       Exposure to rat poison which causes excessive bleeding
·       Surgical blood loss
·       Bone marrow problems
·       Immune-mediated blood problems
·       Congenital clotting disorders, including von Willebrand's disease

As dogs become more and more a part of the family, there is an increasing and growing demand for transfusion therapy to treat many diseases and injuries. With this comes the demand for blood products. Before the current rise in blood banks around the world, veterinarians utilized their own pups and client family pups to help with the need. This is the need that is now being filled by canine blood banks.

Owners should take their dogs to donate blood so that their blood will help other dogs in need. One donation can help as many as four dogs! Owners should realise that animals need transfusions for the same reasons that humans do. Healthy donors are needed to give blood to the many pets that need transfusions.

Many owners may not be willing to donate their dogs’ blood, due to a lack of education on what the donation process involves. Dog blood donation is actually a very special program and is also a wonderful way for you and your companion to help others in their time of need. Besides the pride and personal knowledge that you have made it possible for your dog to save the lives of other dogs, another perk will be knowing that blood will always be available for your dog, should he or she ever need a transfusion. Read on, and find out how easy it is for your canine companion to save a fellow dog’s life today!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Canine Distemper

What it is Canine Distemper?

Canine distemper is one of the most significant and contagious viral diseases in dogs. It targets multiple organ systems at once, and the result could be fatal.

Symptoms

Canine distemper may sometimes be confused with other diseases, as its symptoms are quite common.

Fever and sudden spikes in temperature may occur 3 to 6 days after infection. Other symptoms start showing 14 to 18 days after infection. Physical symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, and difficulty in breathing. Behavioural changes include lethargy, weakness, and depression. Brain dysfunction could also manifest as muscle twitch, especially around the mouth and legs. Severe cases could also result in seizures and paralysis. An easy to spot symptom of canine distemper, especially in older dogs, would be the hardening of the skin on the footpads and the nose. This disease could also result in sudden death.

How it spreads?

The virus is extremely contagious, and spreads through contact with bodily fluids. This includes airborne droplets, such as sprays of saliva from a sneeze or cough. Other bodily fluids responsible for spreading this virus include mucus from the nose and eyes, feces and urine. Infected bodily fluids can also contaminate food and water, and spread the virus in this way.

Who it affects?

Dogs of all ages can be affected by canine distemper, but puppies between 3 to 6 months old are the most susceptible to this disease, as their immune systems are not fully developed.

Vaccination and Prevention

Vaccinations against canine distemper may be given to puppies as young as 6 weeks. Re-vaccinations may also be given occasionally, sometimes yearly. To prevent the virus spreading, infected dogs should be quarantined. There is no direct treatment for canine distemper, so this is definitely a case of prevention being better than cure!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Scabies in Dogs

Scabies in Dogs   [Sarcoptic mange; “the itch”]

Scabies is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabei, which burrows superficially in the skin.  It causes intense itching, inflammation of the skin, progressive hair loss and secondary infections of the skin.

Photo of scabies mite Sarcoptes scabei seen under a microscope

Scabies is contagious, and can be spread, for example, when a dog comes into direct contact with an affected dog, or by contaminated things such as clothes, bedding etc.
Scabies under a microscope




Historically, treatments mainly consisted of repeated dips and/or other topical treatments containing chemicals such as sulphur or insecticides/acaricides which kill the mites,  used at concentrations which do not poison the dog if used correctly.  In the past few decades, ivermection has been available to veterinary surgeons and a course of subcutaneous injections of ivermectin is sometimes used to treat scabies in dogs. In most countries, ivermectin injection is not licensed for use in dogs, and in general cannot be used in collies or certain other breeds or individuals.  More recently, a topical spot-on formulation of selamectin for use on dogs has become available to veterinary surgeons; this is sold under the registered trade name of Revolution and must be applied according to the instructions.

Puppy with scabies

Summary Notes:  Scabies in Dogs
 
Clinical signs in affected dogs: Intense itching, rash, reddened, crusty skin, and hair loss typically affecting the ear flaps, elbows, ventral abdomen and chest, and legs. If left untreated it can affect the whole dog.


Diagnosis is by demonstration of mites on skin scraping. However, negative scrapings are common in dogs with scabies. Multiple scrapings may be needed, and scabies may be suspected in any dog with characteristic clinical signs even in the absence of a positive scraping. 


Transmission between dogs: Close contact with affected  animals or environment. 


Stray puppy with mange
 Transmission to humans: Close contact with infected dogs.

Clinical signs in humans: Itchy, raised rash (papules, pustules or
 crusts) in pet-contact areas of skin, usually arms, legs, abdomen or chest. Skin scrapings in humans are frequently negative, so it is important to tell heath care providers about suggestive history. Usually self-limiting.


Prevention of sarcoptic mange: Affected animals and  same-species animals that have been in direct contact may be given appropriate treatment.  Current treatments include a course of ivermectin injections [ivermectin injection is not licensed for use in dogs and cannot be used in all breeds],  or topical spot-on selamectin (Revolution®), at appropriate doses. Other treatments include various dips, sprays, etc to kill mites.  The mites do not usually survive for more than a few days under normal indoor conditions, but survival may be increased in cool and humid conditions. In cases involving multiple affected animals or where scabies recurs, treatment of contaminated areas with an environmental flea control product may be considered.

This article gives general information only, and any suspected or affected animal should be examined and treated by a veterinary surgeon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Parvovirus

What is it

Parvovirus is an often-fatal viral disease. If not treated immediately, it will almost always lead to death. There are two main types of infections – cardiac (heart-related) and intestinal. It is possible for a dog to contract both infections at once. Cardiac infections cause breathing problems and heart failure, while intestinal infections attack the lining of the digestive system. This makes the dog unable to absorb nutrients or liquids. If not treated immediately, parvovirus will lead to dehydration, shock, and death.

Symptoms

Generally, dogs start displaying symptoms 7 to 10 days after infection.
Cardiac infection symptoms are breathing difficulties, followed by heart failure.
Early symptoms of intestinal infection are:
·       high fever
·       lethargy
·       depression
·       loss of appetite
Advanced symptoms are:
·         vomiting
·         severe, bloody diarrhoea. The diarrhoea is foul-smelling and may be yellowish in colour.

How it spreads

Parvovirus is highly contagious, and spreads through direct or indirect contact of feces. This includes oral contact with infected soil, or even infected objects such as rags and toys. It is also possible for other animals (such as birds or even humans) to come into contact with infected objects and pass the virus on. Pregnant dogs may also spread the infection to unborn puppies, even if they do not display the symptoms themselves.

Who it affects

Dogs of all ages can contract parvovirus, but puppies are especially susceptible. Dogs that have contracted parvovirus in the past are more likely to contract the disease again.

Vaccinations and prevention

Colostrum (milk produced by the mother immediately after giving birth) carries antibodies that help nursing puppies fight off diseases. However, puppies may not take in enough antibodies to be able to effectively ward off parvovirus. Therefore, it is important to vaccinate your dog against this disease.

It is important to note that it can be difficult to successfully vaccinate a puppy, since lingering antibodies from the colostrum could prevent an effective response against the vaccine. You will therefore need to give your puppy a series of vaccinations over a period of time, usually every 3 to 4 weeks when your puppy is between 6 to 20 weeks of age, or as recommended by your veterinarian.

Bleach is effective in killing parvovirus. A mixture of chlorine bleach and water (1 part bleach, 30 parts water) may be used to disinfect areas and objects that may be contaminated.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The ABCs of Tick Fever in Dogs

Tick fever, or tracker dog disease, is the common name for the disease, erhlichiosis. Tick fever affects dogs and in rare instances, humans. German shepherds and Doberman pinschers tend to be affected more severely by the disease. 

Tick fever is caused by bacteria carried by the brown dog tick, which passes the ehrlichia organism into a dog’s bloodstream when it bites. 


Red dog ticks

What are the Symptoms?

There are three stages of tick fever, each varying in severity:

1. The first (or acute) stage can lead to fever and blood disorders, which involve sudden nosebleeds or blood in the stool. An infected dog may also have trouble breathing, noticeably swollen lymph glands and coordination problems. Watch out for trembling and shivering, as well as dark-coloured urine and pale gums. Depending on the severity of infection, the dog will refuse food and be reluctant to leave his bed. This stage can happen anywhere from eight to 20 days after the tick has bitten the dog, and could last for up to a month. It is possible for a dog to be cured during this phase.

2. The second stage (or the subclinical phase) can last anything from two weeks up to five years if the tick fever eventually progresses to the chronic stage. This stage has no outward signs. Only blood tests can tell that the dog is still infected, as these blood tests will show if the bacteria are lingering in the dog's bloodstream. 

3. Unfortunately, the infected dog's immune system may be unable to eliminate the bacteria. The third and most serious stage of infection, the chronic phase, will then commence. The signs are similar to the initial symptoms, but come on far more severely. As compared to a nosebleed, the dog may bleed out of the nose or eyes. There is a danger of bleeding in the kidneys or bowels as well. The infected dog could also suffer from lameness, anaemia, and neurological disorders. Additional symptoms include ocular pain (uveitis), corneal oedema ("blue" eyes), retinal haemorrhages and detachment with blindness. Tick fever at this stage can be fatal, and a dog can die in a matter of days when chronic symptoms start.

What are the Remedies?

A definite diagnosis of tick fever can be difficult, since blood smears (taken from the ear or a toe) may not always show the parasite. As rapid treatment is the key to success, subject to the vets’ assessment, they may treat regardless of whether the parasite is found.

Treatment consists of antibiotics to kill the parasite. Vets may prescribe supportive therapy such as a drip or anti-vomiting drugs to supplement the treatment. There may also be other problems that need to be corrected such as anaemia or low platelet count (treated via blood or plasma transfusions) and breathing difficulties (treated via oxygen therapy). Other than that, lots of tender loving care to persuade your dog to recover is the most valuable medicine.

How to Prevent Tick Fever?

The only way to prevent tick fever is to ensure that your dog does not get bitten in the first place. This is accomplished by using anti-tick products that will repel or kill ticks. Such products include spot-on applications and anti-tick collars. Do also conduct rigorous checks on your dog after it has frolicked in the woods or high grass to be sure that ticks are not on its coat or body, and use anti-tick washes or shampoos as well. Focus on the armpits, groin, belly and in between toes.