Internal and external parasites in dogs.


Internal parasites

Helminths (colloquially worms) are internal parasites that affect the dog's digestive system, brain, lungs, liver, and even the heart muscle. Parasites (from the Greek "freeloader") are organisms that settle inside or outside the body of their host (the dog) and use it as a food source and habitat.

When a dog is heavily infested with helminths, it loses weight, its coat becomes dull, looks frizzy, and constantly falls out. Digestive disorders, poor appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea are observed. Helminths are especially dangerous for young dogs: they are retarded, their immune system is weak and they are more susceptible to infectious diseases.

Helminths are your Jack's constant wayfarers, especially if you live outside the city and your pet spends most of his time outdoors.

How do you give a pill to a dog? You can wrap the pill in a treat, but savvy Jackies often eat the treat and then spit it out. Open your dog's mouth and take the pill and try to put it as far down the mouth as possible, between the root of the tongue and the cheekbone. If you put it on the root of the tongue, dogs often regurgitate the pill. Close your dog's mouth and hold it closed for a few seconds until you are sure the pill has been swallowed. You don't need to hold your dog's head up. You may pour some water into the mouth from a syringe or syringe without a needle.

There are helminth larvae almost everywhere: in the water, in the ground, in the grass, in dog feces, carried by flea larvae, etc. Your Jack has plenty of opportunities to "pick up" a parasite. The most common among them are roundworms and tapeworms. To avoid severe parasite infestation, deworm 2-4 times a year prophylactically. The most common anthelmintics are Drontal, Pirantel, Droid, etc.

Before using any drug, read the instructions for use carefully to determine the correct dosage. An overdose can lead to serious consequences, up to and including the death of the dog. And an insufficient amount of the drug will not have the desired effect.

External parasites

Fleas are outdoor parasites, wingless insects that usually live on dogs. Fleas are thought to live where the dog is, and only 10% of them live directly in the dog's coat; fleas are quite difficult to detect in the coat, as they are very small and move very fast. However, it is easy to find flea excrement on Jack's white coat - little black crumbs that are an indicator of the presence of fleas. Not only do flea bites make your dog sick, but they can also cause allergies in your pet (flea allergy dermatitis), and their larvae can transmit helminth eggs.

The danger of fleas lies in their elimination. No effective and simple methods of combating fleas have been invented yet. The speed at which fleas multiply is truly fantastic: a flea can reproduce up to 25,000 individuals within 30 days. So make sure your Jack doesn't bring fleas into the house. They will instantly invade carpets, furniture, and curtains, and it will be very hard to get them out. As always, it's easier to prevent a pest infestation than to deal with the consequences. In the spring, summer and fall, wear a flea collar or use anti-flea products (sprays or drops).

If your pet does catch fleas, buy a flea-fighting shampoo or spray at a pet store. Treat Jack and don't forget to treat his bedding as well.

Ticks are wingless arthropod parasitic insects.

They live all over the territory, attack both animals and humans and carry many dangerous diseases. 

They live in forests, swamps, pastures, steppes, and, lately, even in city parks. This is the largest representative of mites, 5-7 mm in length. With its proboscis, it attaches to the body of its victim and uses it to feed on the host's blood.

Jacks are ideal targets for ticks: they love walks in the woods, like climbing over bushes to take an interest in their inhabitants, running around in meadows, and lying in the grass. Especially if you have a working dog who regularly goes hunting.

Ticks are active from early spring to late fall. A tick can suck on any part of a dog's body, but still, its favorite areas are the thin skin areas - muzzle, ears, eyelids, groin area, elbow area. Typically, the mite adds to the dog's discomfort, itching, and you will immediately notice your pet's nervous behavior, licking or scratching where the mite is attached. On smooth-haired Jacks, the mite is fairly easy to spot. The sooner you spot the parasite and remove it, the less likely your pet will get piroplasmosis (a dangerous blood-borne parasitic disease). The fact is that the tick secretes saliva during bloodsucking that interferes with blood clotting. If the tick is a vector of piroplasmosis, its saliva and the piroplasms that cause the disease will enter the dog's bloodstream. The more phytoplasmas get into the blood, the higher the risk of the disease. Therefore, the first thing to do is to remove the tick.

How do I remove a tick? Lubricate the tick with oil or petroleum jelly, then use tweezers to grip the body of the tick as close to your dog's skin as possible. Gently pull the tick out with a slow twisting motion, as if twisting it. Once removed, check to see if the tick's trunk is still under the skin, as this can cause an inflammation. Apply any antiseptic to the wound.

To be sure that the removed tick was not a carrier of piroplasmosis, it would be ideal to take it to a clinic for analysis. But if you don't have this option, monitor your pet's condition very closely after the bite. The incubation period for piroplasmosis is 5-10 days.
Here are the main symptoms of piroplasmosis: fever up to 40-42°C; lethargy, refusal to eat; blood in the urine, darkening of its color; yellowing of visible mucous membranes.

The disease piroplasmosis is well studied, and there are effective specific drugs, but because of the late treatment, the mortality rate in dogs is quite high. Therefore, the most important thing is to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Now many preparations repel insects, and the tick will not suck to your pet if you treated it with repellent.

The most active ticks are in early spring, starving over the winter, they literally pounce on animals in search of food. Note that in early March, when there is still snow, ticks are already waking up. Don't miss the moment, treat your Jack before going to the woods in early spring, without waiting for the snow to melt.