The Essential Cocker Spaniel

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Owning a Cocker Spaniel is rewarding and fun! Get all you need to know about feeding, training and caring for your dog's health in The Essential Cocker Spaniel. Special features include professional color photos and expert tips on how to make your dog a wonderful addition to the family. Learn how to have a great relationship with your pet with The Essential Cocker Spaniel.
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Overview

Owning a Cocker Spaniel is rewarding and fun! Get all you need to know about feeding, training and caring for your dog's health in The Essential Cocker Spaniel. Special features include professional color photos and expert tips on how to make your dog a wonderful addition to the family. Learn how to have a great relationship with your pet with The Essential Cocker Spaniel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582450681
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Essential Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Getting to Know Your Cocker Spaniel.

Chapter Two: Homecoming.

Chapter Three: To Good Health.

Chapter Four: Positively Nutritious.

Chapter Five: Putting on the Dog.

Chapter Six: Measuring Up.

Chapter Seven: A Matter of Fact.

Chapter Eight: On Good Behavior.

Chapter Nine: Resources.

Index.

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First Chapter

The Essential Cocker Spaniel - CH 3 - To Good Health

[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]

The Essential Cocker Spaniel

- 3 -

To Good Health

First Things First

The Cocker Spaniel is basically a healthy breed with few medical problems. However,it is important that Cocker Spaniel owners are aware of a few disorders specificto the breed.

Cocker Spaniels have been known to have chondrodystrophic disks and disk herniations.The movement needed to perform everyday tasks, such as running up hills and jumpingonto furniture, requires the spine to be flexed at extreme angles, which abnormallyhardened disks do not allow.

Despite the risk of developing back problems, Cocker Spaniels are very athleticdogs.

ATRESIA OF THE PUNCTA CLOSED TEAR DUCTS--Cocker Spaniels are prone toclosed tear ducts, which may or may not need to be opened by a veterinarian. Havethe ducts checked if your dog is tearing a lot.

CHERRY EYE--This is a common ailment in Cockers, as well as other short-nosedbreeds. You may notice a red, cherry-like mass in the corner of the eye. This isnot a medical emergency, but you should take the dog to the veterinarian as soonas possible.

COLITIS--Colitis is an intermittent inflammation of the colon. Some Cockerbloodlines are more s usceptible to this than others. The stool may be bloody or blood-tinged.Colitis could be the result of undiagnosed whipworms or stress. Sometimes it happensfor no explainable reason. Frequently the dog feels fine and is willing to eat. Ifthe condition persists or the dog is acting poorly, you should seek professionalhelp.

CONJUNCTIVITIS--This disease is common in Cockers. The conjunctiva is thepink tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and covers the front portionsof the eyeball, except the clear, transparent cornea. The conjunctiva may becomereddened, swollen and damaged by irritating substances such as bacteria, foreignmatter or chemicals. See your veterinarian.

DRY EYE KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS SICA--Dry eye is a disease in which tearproduction is absent or decreased. The cornea dries out and becomes painful, andcan result in loss of vision. It is a common problem in Cockers.

OTITIS EXTERNA--This is an inflammation of the external ear canal thatbegins at the outside opening of the ear and extends inward to the eardrum. CockerSpaniels are well known for their ear problems, which many people attribute to theirlong, pendulous ears.

If ears are not properly cared for, they may get so infected that surgery maybe required at some time. Have your veterinarian explain proper ear maintenance beforethere is a problem.

EAR MARGIN SEBORRHEA--The ear margins may have small, greasy plugs adheringto the skin. This is common in some dogs with pendulous ears, and may be a permanentproblem. You can remove the accumulated material with your thumbnail and wash theareas with dandruff shampoo twice a week ask your vet which shampoo to use. Usinga sn ood a cloth wrap that acts like a headband to keep a dog's ears from fallinginto its food or water on the dog during feeding decreases the problem.

Interdigital cysts are very common in Cockers. They are small swellings betweenthe toes, usually associated with a staphylococcus bacterial infection. A homeremedy is to soak the affected foot in a couple of quarts of water two times a dayfor two to three days. Make sure you dry the foot after the soak. If the cysts becomea recurring problem, surgery may be required.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTIVE CARE

There are many aspects of preventive care with which Cocker Spaniel owners shouldbe familiar: Vaccinations, regular vet visits and tooth care are just some.

The earlier that illness is detected in the Cocker Spaniel, the easier it is forthe veterinarian to treat the problem. Owners can help ensure their dogs' healthby being on the lookout for medical problems. All this requires is an eye for detailand a willingness to observe. Pay close attention to your Cocker Spaniel, how helooks, how he acts. What is normal behavior? How does his coat usually look? Whatare his eating and sleeping patterns? Subtle changes can indicate a problem. Keepclose tabs on what is normal for your Cocker Span-iel, and if anything out of theordinary develops, call the veterinarian.

Eyes

Cockers have beautiful eyes; therefore, it should be easy to notice anything outof the ordinary in them. Check the cornea the clear part of the eye. Is it brightand shiny? Are the pupils of equal size? Do they constrict in response to light?Are the pupils black, or is there a gray-blue haziness or white cloudiness in them?Many old dogs h ave a blue haziness in their pupils, which may be a normal aging change,though you should confirm any changes with your veterinarian.

Is the third eyelid nictitans partially protruding over the eye? Is there dischargeor evidence of tearing? Is the white of the eye sclera reddened or discolored?The white of the eye should never appear yellowish. Are the pink mucous membranesthat surround the eye conjunctiva pale, normal or irritated? A conjunctivitis ordry, dull-looking cornea could be the result of dry eye, which needs professionalcare.

Frequently checking your Cocker's eyes will help you keep track of any changes.

Ears

Every Cocker owner should routinely check their dog's ears--every week for normaldogs, more frequently if there's a problem. Do the ears have an odor? Are they cleanor filled with gunk? If there's gunk in them, is it wet, dry, dark, creamy or bloody?Check for swelling. Your dog can have swollen, reddened ears but no infection; regardless,this condition needs to be checked by your veterinarian. Is your dog shaking hishead or scratching his ears a lot? Are the ears painful to the dog? Can your doghear? Some older dogs lose their hearing. Unfortunately, there is no cure for deafness.

The easiest way to avoid ear infections is to use a snood wrap to prevent waterfrom getting in your Cocker's ears while she's drinking.

Mouth

Check your dog's mouth and get him used to your handling of it. Is there brownor yellow buildup calculus around the teeth? Calculus can cause the gums to recede,which results in premature loosening of the teeth periodontal disease. Inflammationand redness around the gum gingivit is are usually secondary to the presence ofcalculus. Are there any tumors inside or outside the mouth? Check the lip folds forinfection.

Skin and Coat

Is the coat shiny or dry and brittle? Are there areas of thinning hair or hairloss? Does your dog have an itching problem? Can you see skin lesions or red, inflamedareas? How about fleas and ticks: Does your dog have any of those? Is there an abnormalodor to the skin; any irritations or swellings between the toes? These are all conditionsto look for and, if detected, to treat as soon as possible with veterinary assistance.

Nose

A healthy dog's nose is usually cool and moist. However, the temperature or wetnessof the dog's nose is not necessarily an indication of the dog's health. A sick dogmay have a warm, dry nose, or a cool, wet one. Look for other signs if you suspecta health problem.

Any secretion from the nose should be clear and watery, not thick, cloudy or colored.Most dogs have noses that are black, brown or liver-colored. There are Cockers thatmay have pink spots on their noses. These may or may not fill in as the dog ages.Redness or irritation could be indicative of an injury or sensitivity to sunlight.Some senior dogs have dry-looking noses.

Spaying and Neutering

Spaying or neutering--surgically altering the Cocker Spaniel so she or he cannotreproduce--should be at the top of every owner's "To Do" list. Why?

First, every day thousands of puppies are born in the United States as a resultof uncontrolled breeding. For every pet living in a happy home today, there are fourpets on the street or in abusive homes suffering from starvation, exposure, negl ector mistreatment. In six years, a single female dog and her offspring can be the sourceof 67,000 new dogs.

A second reason to spay or neuter your Cocker Spaniel is to create a healthier,more well-adjusted pet that, in most cases, will live longer than an intact animal.A spayed female is no longer susceptible to pyometra infection of uterus, and isless prone to mammary cancers. The procedure eliminates the behavior that accompaniesthe female's heat cycle. A neutered male is less likely to develop prostate or analcancer and is less apt to roam. Marking behavior is also reduced by altering.

When should your Cocker Spaniel be spayed or neutered? Recommendations vary amongvets, but 6 months of age is commonly suggested. Ask your vet what age is best foryour Cocker Spaniel.


ADVANTAGES OF SPAY/NEUTER

The greatest advantage of spaying for females or neutering for males your dog is that you are guaranteed your dog will not produce puppies. There are too many puppies already available for too few homes. There are other advantages as well.

Advantages of Spaying

No messy heats.

No "suitors" howling at your windows or waiting in your yard.

No risk of pyometra disease of the uterus and decreased incidences of mammary cancer.

Advantages of Neutering

Decreased incidences of fighting, but does not affect the dog's personality.

Decreased roaming in search of bitches in season.

Decreased incidences of many urogenital diseases.


Vaccina tions

Another priority on a Cocker Spaniel owner's list of preventive care is vaccinations.Vaccinations protect the dog against a host of infectious diseases, preventing anillness itself and the misery that accompanies it.

Vaccines should be a part of every young puppy's health care, since youngstersare so susceptible to disease. To remain effective, vaccinations must be kept current.


YOUR PUPPY'S VACCINES

Vaccines are given to prevent your dog from getting infectious diseases like canine distemper or rabies. Vaccines are the ultimate preventive medicine: They're given before your dog ever gets the disease so as to protect him from the disease. That's why it is necessary for your dog to be vaccinated routinely. Puppy vaccines start at 8 weeks of age for the five-in-one DHLPP vaccine and are given every three to four weeks until the puppy is 16 months old. Your veterinarian will put your puppy on a proper schedule and will re-mind you when to bring in your dog for shots.


Good Nutrition

Dogs that receive the appropriate nutrients daily will be healthier and strongerthan those that do not. The proper balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins,minerals and sufficient water enables the dog to remain healthy by fighting off illness.

Routine Checkups

Regular visits to the veterinary clinic should begin when your Cocker Spanielis a young pup and continue throughout his life. Make this a habit and it will certainlycontribute to your Cocker Spaniel's good health. Even if your Cocker Spaniel seemsperfectly healthy, a checkup once or twice a year is in order. Even if your dog seemsfine to you, he could have an ongoing problem. Your veterinarian is trained to noticesubtle changes or hints of illness.

If you believe your Cocker is suffering from an ailment, do not hesitate tohave him checked by your veterinarian.

This veterinarian is making sure the Cocker's ears are free from infection.

Well-Being

Aside from the dog's physical needs-- a proper and safe shelter, nutritious diet,health care and regular exercise-- the Cocker Spaniel needs plenty of plain, old-fashionedlove. The dog is happiest when he is part of a family, enjoying the social interactions,nurturing and play. Bringing the Cocker Spaniel into the family provides him witha sense of security.

Take good care of your Cocker Spaniel today and he will be healthy tomorrow.

Whether you're simply relaxing or simply relaxing or running errands, your Cockerwill want to be by your side.simply relaxing or running errands, your Cocker willwant to be by your side.

COMMON DISEASES

Unfortunately, even with the best preventive care, the Cocker Spaniel can fallill. Infectious diseases, which are commonly spread from dog to dog via infectedurine, feces or other body secretions, can wreak havoc. Following are a few of thediseases that can affect your pet.

Rabies

Probably one of the most well-known diseases that can affect dogs, rabies canstrike any warm-blooded animal including humans--and is fatal. The rabies virus,which is present in an affected animal's saliva, is usually spread through a biteor open wound. The signs of the disease can be subtle at first. Norma lly friendlypets can become irritable and withdrawn. Shy pets may be-come overly friendly. Eventually,the dog becomes withdrawn and avoids light, which hurts the eyes of a rabid dog.Fever, vomiting and diarrhea are common.

Once these symptoms develop, the animal will die; there is no treatment or cure.

Since rabid animals may have a tendency to be aggressive and bite, animals suspectedof having rabies should only be handled by animal control handlers or veterinarians.

Rabies is preventable with routine vaccines, and such vaccinations are requiredby law for domestic animals in all states in this country.

Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious and devastating illness. The hardy virusis usually transmitted through contaminated feces, but it can be carried on an infecteddog's feet or skin. It strikes dogs of all ages and is most serious in young puppies.

There are two main types of parvovirus. The first signs of the diarrhea-syndrometype are usually depression and lack of appetite, followed by vomiting and the characteristicbloody diarrhea. The dog appears to be in great pain, and he usually has a high fever.

The cardiac-syndrome type affects the heart muscle and is most common in youngpuppies. Puppies with this condition will stop nursing, whine and gasp for air. Deathmay occur suddenly or in a few days. Youngsters that recover can have lingering heartfailure that eventually takes their life.

Veterinarians can treat dogs with parvovirus, but the outcome varies. It dependson the age of the animal and severity of the disease. Treatment may include fluidtherapy, medication to stop the severe diarrhea and antibiotics to prevent or sto psecondary infection.

Young puppies receive some anti-body protection against the disease from theirmother, but they lose it quickly and must be vaccinated to prevent the disease. Inmost cases, vaccinated puppies are protected against the disease.

Coronavirus

Canine coronavirus is especially devastating to young puppies, causing depression,lack of appetite, vomiting that may contain blood, and characteristically yellow-orangediarrhea. The virus is transmitted through feces, urine and saliva, and the onsetof symptoms is usually rapid.

Dogs suffering from coronavirus are treated similarly to those suffering fromparvovirus: fluid therapy, medication to stop diarrhea and vomiting and antibioticsif necessary.

Vaccinations are available to protect puppies and dogs against the virus and arerecommended especially for those dogs in frequent contact with other dogs.

Distemper

Caused by a virus, distemper is highly contagious and is most common in unvaccinatedpuppies aged 3 to 8 months, but older dogs are susceptible as well. Fortunately,due to modern-day vaccines, distemper is no longer the killer it was fifty yearsago.

It is especially important to vaccinate bitches before breeding to ensure maternalantibodies in the pups.

Hepatitis

Infectious canine hepatitis can affect dogs of every age, but it is most severein puppies. It primarily affects the dog's liver, kidneys and lining of the bloodvessels. Highly contagious, it is transmitted through urine, feces and saliva.

This disease has several forms. In the fatal fulminating form, the dog becomesill very suddenly, develops bloody diarrhea and dies. In the acut e form, the dogdevelops a fever, has bloody diarrhea, vomits blood and refuses to eat. Jaundicemay be present; the whites of the dog's eyes appear yellow. Dogs with a mild caseare lethargic or depressed and often refuse to eat.

Infectious canine hepatitis must be diagnosed and confirmed with a blood test.Ill dogs require hospitalization. Hepatitis is preventable in dogs by keeping vaccinationscurrent.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease has received a lot of press recently, with its increased incidencethroughout the United States. The illness, caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi,is carried by ticks. It is passed along when the tick bites a victim, canine or human.The dog cannot pass the disease to people, though. It is only transmitted via thetick. It is most common during the tick season in May through August.

In dogs, the disease manifests itself in sudden lameness, caused by swollen joints,similar to arthritis. The dog is weak and may run a fever. The lameness can lasta few days or several months, and some dogs have recurring difficulties.

Antibiotics are very effective in treating Lyme disease, and the sooner it isdiagnosed and treated, the better. A vaccine is available; ask your veterinarianif your dog would benefit from it.

Kennel Cough

"Kennel cough," or the more politically correct "canine cough,"shows itself as a harsh, dry cough. This contagious disease has been termed "kennelcough," much to the dismay of kennel owners, because of its often rapid spreadthrough kennels. The cough may persist for weeks and is often followed by a boutof chronic bronchitis.

Many kennels require proof o f bordatella vaccination before boarding. If yourdog is in and out of kennels frequently, vaccination certainly is not a bad idea.

FIRST AID

First aid is not a substitute for professional care, though it can help save adog's life.

It is important to know the first-aid basics--just in case.

Bleeding

Bleeding from a severe cut or wound must be stopped right away. There are twobasic techniques--direct pressure and the tourniquet.

Try to control bleeding first by using direct pressure. Ask an assistant to holdthe injured Cocker Spaniel and place several pads of sterile gauze over the wound.Press. Do not wipe the wound or apply any cleansers or ointments. Apply firm, evenpressure. If blood soaks through the pad, do not remove it as this could disruptclotting. Simply place another pad on top and continue to apply pressure.

If bleeding on a leg or the tail does not stop by applying pressure, try usinga tourniquet. Use this only as a last resort. A tourniquet that is left on too longcan result in limb loss.

If the dog is bleeding from his mouth or anus, or vomits or defecates blood, hemay be suffering from internal injuries. Do not at-tempt to stop the bleeding. Callthe veterinarian right away for emergency treatment.

Shock

Whenever a dog is injured or is seriously ill, the odds are good that he willgo into a state of shock. A decreased supply of oxygen to the tissues usually resultsin unconsciousness; pale gums; weak, rapid pulse; and labored, rapid breathing. Ifnot treated, a dog will die from shock. The conditions of the dog should continueto be treated, but the dog should be as comfortable as possible. A blanket can helpkeep a dog warm. A dog in shock needs immediate veterinary care.

Poisoning

A dog's curiosity will often lead him to eat or lick things he shouldn't. Unfortunately,many substances are poisonous to dogs, including household products, plants or chemicals.Owners must learn to act quickly if poisoning is suspected because the results canbe deadly.

If your dog appears to be poisoned:

  • Call your veterinarian and follow his or her directions.

  • Try to identify the poison source-- this is really important. Take the container or plant to the clinic.


POISON ALERT

If your dog has ingested a potentially poisonous substance, waste no time. Call the National Animal Poison Control Center hot line:

800 548-2423 $30 per case or

900 680-0000 $20 first five minutes; $2.95 each additional minute


Heatstroke

Heatstroke can be deadly and must be treated immediately to save the dog. Signsinclude rapid panting, darker-than-usual gums and tongue, salivating, exhaustionor vomiting. The dog's body temperature is elevated, sometimes as high as 106°F.If the dog is not treated, coma and death can follow.

If heatstroke is suspected, cool down your overheated dog as quickly as possibleand call your veterinarian. Mildly affected dogs can be moved to a cooler environment,into an air-conditioned home, for example, or wrapped in moistened towels.

Insect Bites/Stings

Just like people, dogs can suffer bee stings and insect bites. Bees, wasps andyellow jackets leave a nas ty, painful sting, and if your dog is stung repeatedlyshock can occur.

If an insect bite is suspected, try to identify the culprit. Remove the stingerif it is a bee sting, and apply a mixture of baking soda and water to the sting.It is also a good idea to apply ice packs to re-duce inflammation and ease pain.Call your veterinarian, especially if your dog seems ill or goes into shock.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he is susceptible to bee stings,heat exhaustion and poison ivy.


What's Wrong with My Dog?

W e've listed some common symptoms of health problems and their possible causes.If any of the following symptoms appear serious or persist for more than 24 hours,make an appointment to see your veterinarian immediately.

SYMPTOMS/POSSIBLE CAUSES

DIARRHEA   Intestinal upset, typically caused by eating something bador over-eating. Can also be a viral infection, a bad case of nerves or anxiety ora parasite infection. If you see blood in the feces, get to the vet right away.

VOMITING/RETCHING   Dogs regurgitate fairly regularly bitches for theiryoung, when-ever something upsets their stomachs, or even out of excitement or anxiety.Often dogs eat grass, which, because it's indigestible in its pure form, irritatestheir stomachs and causes them to vomit. Getting a good look at what yourdog vomited can better indicate what's causing it.

COUGHING   Obstruction in the throat; virus kennel cough; roundworminfestation; congestive heart failure.

RUNNY NOSE   Because dogs don't catch colds like people, a runny noseis a sign of congestion or irritation.

LOSS OF APPETITE &# 160; Because most dogs are hearty and regular eaters,a loss of appetite can be your first and most accurate sign of a serious problem.

LOSS OF ENERGY LETHARGY   Any number of things could be slowing downyour dog, from an infection to internal tumors to overexercise--even overeating.

STINKY BREATH   Imagine if you never brushed your teeth! Foul-smellingbreath indicates plaque and tartar buildup that could possibly have caused infection.Start brushing your dog's teeth.

LIMPING   This could be caused by something as simple as a hurt or bruisedpad, to something as complicated as hip dysplasia, torn ligaments or broken bones.

CONSTANT ITCHING   Probably due to fleas, mites or an allergic reactionto food or environment your vet will need to help you determine what your dog'sallergic to.

RED, INFLAMED, ITCHY SPOTS   Often referred to as "hot spots,"these are particularly common on coated breeds. They're caused by a bacterial infectionthat gets aggravated as the dog licks and bites at the spot.

BALD SPOTS   These are the result of excessive itching or biting atthe skin so that the hair follicles are damaged; excessively dry skin; mange; calluses;and even infections. You need to determine what the underlying cause is.

STINKY EARS/HEAD SHAKING   Take a look under your dog's ear flap. Doyou see brown, waxy build-up? Clean the ears with something soft and a special cleaner,and don't use cotton swabs or go too deep into the ear canal.

UNUSUAL LUMPS   Could be fatty tissue, could be something seriousinfection, trauma, tumor. Don't wait to find out.



WHEN TO CALL THE VETERINARIAN

In any emergency situation, you should call your veterinarian immediately. Try to stay calm when you call, and give the vet or the assistant as much information as possible before you leave for the clinic. That way, the staff will be able to take immediate, specific action when you arrive. Emergencies include:

Bleeding or deep wounds

Hyperthermia overheating

Shock

Dehydration

Abdominal pain

Burns

Fits

Unconsciousness

Broken bones

Paralysis

Call your veterinarian if you suspect any health troubles.


Maintaining your Cocker Spaniel's health means making regular veterinary visits.

INTERNAL PARASITES

Dogs are susceptible to several internal parasites. Keeping your Cocker Spanielfree of internal parasites is another important aspect of health care.

Watch for general signs of poor condition: a dull coat, weight loss, lethargy,coughing, weakness and diarrhea.

For proper diagnosis and treatment of internal parasites, consult a veterinarian.

Roundworms

Roundworms, or ascarids, are probably the most common worms that affect dogs.Most puppies are born with these organisms in their intestines, which is why youngstersare treated for these parasites as soon as it is safe to do so.

Animals contract roundworms by ingesting infected soil and feces. A roundworminfestation can rob vital nutrients from young puppies and cause diarrhea, vomitingand digestive upset. Roundworms can also harm a youn g animal's liver and lungs, sotreatment is imperative.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are commonly transmitted by fleas to dogs. Tapeworm eggs enter the bodyof a canine host when the animal accidentally ingests a carrier flea. The parasitesettles in the intestines, where it sinks its head into the intestinal wall and feedsoff material the host is digesting. The worm grows a body of egg packets, which breakoff periodically and are expelled from the body in the feces. Fleas then ingest theeggs from the feces and the parasite's life cycle begins all over again.

Hookworms

Hookworms are so named because they hook onto an animal's small intestine andsuck the host's blood. Like roundworms, hookworms are contracted when a dog ingestscontaminated soil or feces.

Hookworms can be especially devastating to dogs. They will become thin and sick;puppies can die. An affected dog will suffer from bloody diarrhea and, if the parasitesmigrate to the lungs, the dog may contract bronchitis or pneumonia.

Hookworms commonly strike puppies 2 to 8 weeks of age and are less common in adultdogs.

Whipworms

Known for their thread-like appearance, whipworms attach into the wall of thelarge intestine to feed. Thick-shelled eggs are passed in the feces and in abouttwo to four weeks are mature and able to reinfect a host that ingests the eggs.

Mild whipworm infestation is often without signs, but as the worms grow, weightloss, bloody diarrhea and anemia follow. In areas where the soil is heavily contaminated,frequent checks are advised to prevent severe infestation.

Heartworms

Heartworm larvae are transmitted by the ordinary mosqu ito, but the effects arefar from ordinary. In three to four months, the larvae microfilaria become smallworms and make their way to a vein, where they are transported to the heart, wherethey grow and reproduce.

At first, a dog with heartworms is free of symptoms. The signs vary, but the mostcommon is a deep cough and shortness of breath. The dog tires easily, is weak andloses weight. Eventually, the dog may suffer from congestive heart failure.


PREVENTIVE CARE PAYS

Using common sense, paying attention to your dog and working with your veterinarian, you can minimize health risks and problems. Use vet-recommended flea, tick and heartworm preventive medications; feed a nutritious diet appropriate for your dog's size, age and activity level; give your dog sufficient exercise and regular grooming; train and socialize your dog; keep current on your dog's shots; and enjoy all the years you have with your friend.


By monitoring your pet, you will notice signs of ill health.

EXTERNAL PARASITES

FLEAS--Besides carrying tapeworm larvae, fleas bite and suck the host'sblood. Their bites itch and are extremely annoying to dogs, especially if the dogis hypersensitive to the bite. Fleas must be eliminated on the dog with special shampoosand dips. Fleas also infest the dog's bedding and the owner's home and yard.

TICKS--Several varieties of ticks attach themselves to dogs, where theyburrow into the skin and suck blood. Ticks can be carriers of several diseases, includingLyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.


FLEAS AND TICKS

There are so many safe, effective products available now to combat fleas and ticks that--thankfully--they are less of a problem. Prevention is key, however. Ask your veterinarian There are so many safe, effective products available now to combat fleas and ticks that--thankfully--they are less of a problem. Prevention is key, however. Ask your veterinarian about starting your puppy on a flea/tick repellent right away. With this, regular grooming and environmental controls, your dog and your home should stay pest-free. Without this attention, you risk infesting your dog and your home, and you're in for an ugly and costly battle to clear up the problem.


Three types of ticks l-r: the wood tick, brown dog tick and deer tick anddeer tick.

LICE--Lice are not common in dogs, but when they are present they causeintense irritation and itching. There are two types: biting and sucking. Biting licefeed on skin scales, and sucking lice feed on blood.

MITES--There are several types of mites that cause several kinds of mange,including sarcoptic, demodectic and cheyletiella. These microscopic mites cause intenseitching and misery to the dog.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2000

    Must have for beginning cocker or experienced dog owner

    I enjoyed the information included in this handy book. It is a must have for any person considering a new puppy or adoption of an older cocker as well. The photograpy is most excellent. Those cockers are ADORABLE!

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