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No warning notices given

You will see that at the end of each article I have included an Important Notes section. As the CBN is the most popular read paper here on the Costa Blanca, it is important that those who have pets read these items. You cannot rely on anyone actually warning you about potential problems that can affect your pet until it is too late.

I am very keen to pass on my experiences to others so they can avoid making the same mistakes as I and other people have made before. I found that working with professional dogs and handlers there was always a freedom of information passed from one handler to another in order to save each of us having to keep reinventing the wheel.

Sadly, I have met people here who actually feel that those who follow them should have to find out the problems the same way they did because no one told them. That is not progress and unfair on our pets.

In the UK, I worked closely with the Vets, as the majority of my behavioural clients were referrals from them. This way we attempted to keep the Witch Doctors under control. Dogs are entitled to have the best care, as behaviourism needs proper treatment that is acceptable to both the owner and their vet.

This system is now slowly being adopted here in Spain so the vets I associate with and their knowledge of my work they now contact me to solve their clients doggy problems.

Such association with them and their awareness of the Power of the CBN to reach people it is their hope readers become aware of the items contained in this section. This is the Vets continuing policy of prevention is better than cure. If more people will read their advice then fewer dogs will turn up at the surgery with problems so easily avoided. It is upsetting for the vets to see dogs that have contracted Leishmaniasis and the owners only ever read the warning signs when you first visit the surgery. This is why these items exist every week to prevent such occurrences ever happening but we know they will continue because we are unable to reach everybody.

I made the same mistake and I had never heard of feline leukaemia. Our first Spanish vets never even mentioned it when our cats started having problems. It was only when we eventually changed vets that he tested them and found they were both positive.

Since lasts week’s article highlighting this problem I have had many emails asking how our cat is doing. I can report that our vet Alfredo Arriaga gave our young cat a hormone that has totally cleared the anaemia problem. This together with vitamin enriched foods, antibiotics internally, as well as for the gums, she went from 4 kgs down to 3.2 up to 3.5, and now as she is eating and drinking again she is now 3.75 kgs and rising. It is now up to us to keep her gums healthy because if this particular problem returns and she stops eating and drinking cats deteriorate rapidly.

As humans, we are use to the Health service ensuring that wherever we go in the world we are properly immunised by reading the checklist of the problems associated with any particular area. Sadly, this is not the case for dogs especially for dogs from the UK.

Until recently, dogs rarely ventured from the shore because of the 6 months quarantine requirements needed on their return. Now pets are regularly going on family holidays and immigrating to places as Spain we assume our vet when they complete the Pets Passport would make us aware of any other potential problems. Currently there is no fact sheet available for vets to check the immunisations that your pet requires to protect it from the disease prevalent in any particularly country. It is therefore necessary for you to ask your vet but even then, some may not even be aware of the problems.

When you do come out to Spain looking for your dream property if you do have pets then go to a recommended Vet and give them details about your pets and what precautions they consider necessary here in Spain to keep them healthy.

Why do I mention this now? I recived a letter yesterday forwarded to me by the CBN where an owner queried why their own UK vets had never warned them the need for dogs to wear the Scalibor collar. They had advised Rabies immunising, the use of Front line and flea collars for their dogs and cats but no mention of this one. The other part of the letter was to ask me to enlighten them and other Visitors to Spain to the reason for the collar as there are more bringing pets here during the winter months.

The first reason UK vets do not mention this collar is that in the winter months the sand fly is normally dormant. I do though keep a collar on Winston even during this period as I still see mosquitoes in the middle of our very mild winter. They may not be the sand fly but I feel it is better to be safe than sorry. Winston also has a flea collar as well as drops at the back of his neck to keep fleas and ticks at bay.

Even with all these precautions, we still had an incidence of flea infestation. To cure this quickly I used a flea comb along with an anti-parasite spray that kills them on contact. I also spray this regularly into his coat with the spray can pointing from the tail towards his head to ensure penetrating his coat. After all this, it is then necessary to spray the house with insecticide to be sure that there are no fleas left alive.

It is also very important that working with me on dog behavioural problems it is possible for Winston to pick up all sorts of parasites so taking such precautions I must ensure he will not to pass anything on to other dogs we meet.

The other reason UK vets might not mention this collar is because at the moment the sand fly has not officially reached the UK though I have received a few reports that they do exist on the warmer areas on the south coast. I have not though had any reports that there are any cases of Leishmaniosis. This could be that no dogs currently have the diseases in the UK as the sand fly only distributes this between infected animals into other non-infected ones.

After I wrote the article relating to Leishmaniosis I recived many calls asking where owners could obtain these collars. In many cases, their UK vets had never even heard of the Scalibor collars or what they are for because there is currently no incidence of this disease. This may change, as one major problem is this disease does not become apparent for some time. I do expect that in future some infected dogs will return to the UK. This will make regular blood testing as common as it is here in Spain.

An owner who had asked for information about bringing her dogs to Spain telephoned me the other day and said she had registered her dogs microchips with the Spanish vet, had the blood tests and they were immunised against everything including Kennel cough as well as wearing the Scalibor collars. She told me that whilst on her walks she met another owner who had been resident here for some time and they asked why her dogs wore a white collar. After the owner informed them, they replied that this was the first time they had ever heard of the problem and they would immediately purchase one from their vets.

If you are going to bring your dogs over to live in Spain even if only a short time then if you cannot obtain a Scalibor collar in the UK then do go to your local Spanish vets and purchase one to take back with you. The Vets wish to emphasis that your dog must wear it for at least 15 days for the chemicals in the collar to completely cover the dog’s body. It is not 100% effective but until a vaccine comes onto the market from my investigations this is the best we have for the time being.

Please do read this section and do pass the information onto other people who may not have even considered the problems their pets may face. Leishmaniosis and Feline Leukaemia are a problem here but please immunise your pets with best currently available medications.

There is progress in combating both of these dreadful diseases but if we can at least give our pets the best protection then cures are unnecessary. For the sake of all our pets, let’s be careful out there.

I will be writing an article about the incidence of Hip Dysplasia here in Spain. If you have had this problem with your dogs then please contact me with details. My first working dog had this crippling disease so I know how it affects the dogs and the owners.

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