Care of The Dog
No Advice given here can or should take the place of your Own Vets Advice and Care. Always consult your Vet for the best option.
Your dog needs all the energy he can to get to get through long hours of work and still be sharp and responsive to you.
Internal parasites can cause that most of the nutrients (that you are paying for) are not available for the dog.
This can show in a dull coat, a black dog with a reddish tinge to the hair or dandruff on the skin. Red coated dogs that have yellow harsh coats that look like the sun has bleached them have internal parasites. That's where you hear the expression RED dogs are hard to keep. They show up parasite infestations in their coats quicker than their black counter parts. Sometimes the coat looks shiny and the dog does not show external signs of parasites and you are in a comfort zone, but your dog fades quickly when working.
Parasites are there for your dog to pick up all the time. It might be on the grass he eats or just sniffing around or through his pads. Fleas carry the larvae of the tapeworm. Often you don't even see the fleas.
Being a stock farmer the last thing you want is for your dog to leave tapeworm cysts for your sheep to pick up. If fleas are a problem then you need more regular de-worming. Farm dogs need to be treated every six weeks (if exposed to tapeworm) to prevent the tapeworm maturing to a stage, infectious to sheep.
Roundworms are hazardous to people especially young children.
Whipworms need special dosing programme to get rid of.
An easy programme to follow once you have an adult dog would be to dose in the beginning of the Year eg. January and then again in June. Having started in January you don't have to remember when you dosed. Unless there are infestation in between. The latest recommendation from Vets is to dose every three months. If you are exposed to other people's dogs (trialling) you might even need to de-worm monthly.
Have your Vet take faeces samples and identify what you should be de-worming for. This will give you peace of mind that you have everything covered.
There are excellent products on the market specifically for dogs. DO NOT USE SOME SHEEP REMEDY JUST BECAUSE YOUR NEIGHBOUR HAS.
On Border Collies or Collie type dogs a product like Ivermectin cannot be used. YOU WILL KILL YOUR DOG.
(A short description of the action of Ivermectin on Border Collies) In the parasite, Ivermectin increases binding of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors which leads to the opening of the chloride ion channels and decreased cell function. This leads to paralysis and eventually death of the parasite. Normally mammalian chloride ion channel are unaffected but in Collie type dogs the drug is able to cross the blood-brain barrier which usually prevents drugs entering the brain tissue. It is not known how or why this happens, but one of the breeds affected is the Border Collie or Collie types. This includes the Kelpie.
Pour-on dips not registered for dogs can burn your dogs' skin or make your dog ill or kill it. What sometimes works on one dog does not work on another.
Inoculation: Your dog's inoculations need to be up to date. Doesn't matter how remote your farm you will at some stage be caught off guard and loose a good working dog to one of the preventable diseases like Distemper or Parvo (being the most common ones). The vaccines give you excellent protection against these diseases. So don’t buy puppies that are not vaccinated. Be sure to follow up with booster vaccinations. Puppies are the most vulnerable when the bitches maternal protection starts to fall away at six weeks. Dogs under two years are also more vulnerable. The older dogs need their follow up vaccination so as to keep them safe. Bitches that are being bred from need their follow ups to give good protection to the pups. Rabies being important as well with dogs having constant contact with Meercats, Skunk or Mongoose when working or on the yard.
Biliary: Although there is no vaccine to prevent biliary (there is a vaccine which can save your dog if he contracts biliary.) visit the website http:// www.intervet.co.za/Whats New/Informative Articles/995.asp. to learn more about the vaccine.
Here prevention is the best by controlling the ticks. A further back up would be to consult your Vet and keep on hand medication that can help you till you can get professional help. There are various ways Biliary can affect your dog and time is of the essence to treat the animal as soon as possible. Within hours of your dog showing symptoms. A thermometer is absolutely necessary if you have a dog. A word of warning there is a medication sold at Co-ops for Biliary. In the words of a veterinarian. “In the name of science it was used, it is not a medication but a poison.” Please consult your vet for the best medication for your dog.
Kennelling needs to be a dry and warm in Winter and a cool in the Summer shelter for your dog to rest in.
Food. The way to select your dog food would be to buy what has the highest digestible protein in the pellet. Low quality food will just past through your dog and you pay for bulk unable to be used by your dog.
Teeth. Make sure your dogs teeth do not get a large build up of plaque which harbours bacteria and rots the teeth. If removed early it is easier than when there is a huge build up. The bacteria which is constantly swallowed can also make you dog sick.
Grooming. Brush your dogs coat to get rid of Winter Hair. Clip the knots behind the ears and britches. Remember the way your dog looks is also a reflection on you. Tip : for knotted hair. Bathing with conditioner and silicone spray helps soften the knots.
Poisoning. This is a whole article in itself. All we will say here is start to think differently when you own a dog. Some poisons have no antidote. Even the dog that is pulled through after poisoning is never ever the same again. Tip : to make a dog vomit. A big spoonful of Mustard powder mix with milk and dosed with a syringe. If your dose was correct, what was in the stomach should come out within a minute. Please consult your vet what you should keep on hand for emergencies. I keep a paper bag with the necessary medication clearly marked. It has saved a couple of my neighbours dogs.
Farm Accidents: Here again think differently when you own a dog. After working with sheep the dog usually lies in the shade of the bakkie and this is when people ride over their dog. Falling off vehicles or out of canopies. Jumping over the rails. Puppies squeezing through the rails. These are the most widely reported type of accidents. In the summer months remember dogs jump into reservoirs to cool off and then can’t get out.
ALWAYS BE AWARE OF WHERE YOUR DOG IS.
WHEN YOU OWN A DOG YOU OWN A CHILD.
These Heavy Duty workers need all the maintenance and Care you can give them. The rewards are enormous.