I decided to go up to the country to see my family for 5 days, it’s a quiet time of year for dog trainers, with everyone gearing up for christmas they have other things to be spending their money on and very little spare time.
After I arrived I realised that there is a important topic that needs to be discussed relevant to this time of year when many of us are travelling.
What dangers could your dog possibly come into contact with where you’re going?
I have in my care 2 fully trained detection dogs, Belgian Malinois valued at $10,000 each, if anything were to happen to these dogs that was preventable, I would be expected to foot the bill. So I am incredibly dilligent and make sure I’ve covered all the bases whenever I have to take them anywhere. This makes me realise just how easy it is for peoples’ pets to get in to serious trouble when they go away.
The first thing to consider would be has any rat sack or snail bait been laid out where I’m going. It may never enter the average owners mind but these products are relatively common and are deadly to dogs, the scary thing is that dogs are drawn to it and will hunt it out and consume it straight away, sometimes in large quantities. Your dog may also consume a mouse or rat that has been poisoned.
Snail Bait works relatively quickly and you will notice the symptoms within an hour, the dog will become shaky and somewhat disoriented and begin to vomit and have diarrhea. If you notice this you need to get to the vet as soon as possible.
Rat Sack is more sinister because it works by causing internal haemorrhaging and the symptoms may not be apparent for days after the dog has consumed the bait, and sometimes by then it is too late for the vet to do anything. Very scary stuff.
Another thing to consider is the liklihood of snakes in the area, and be aware of appropriate places for the dog to be off lead, a solid reliable recall is very important should your dog come in contact with a snake, but this only helps if you see the snake first. Somthing else that helps is snake avoidance training, this teaches your dog to stay away from snakes whether you are around or not. Victorian Dog Training academy provides this service and it is a fraction of the cost of what you will be up for should your dog be bitten.
If you are from Victoria you have the luxury of not worrying about paralysis ticks because they dont exist that far south, but if you are heading up to NSW then you need to be careful. There are flea and tick treatments that prevent ticks and they should definitly be applied in advance before you leave. Paralysis ticks will kill your dog if undetected, and they are small and very hard to see. Here is a list of symtoms…
A change in voice; the bark becomes softer and/or changes pitch.
Weakness in the back legs; walking along then sitting down suddenly is a common early sign.
Vomiting, especially if it happens several times in a day and you see froth.
Wobbliness in the back legs.Excessive salivation and vomiting is not uncommon.
Panting, progressing to loud breathing, even grunting noises.
Many dogs will exhibit a moist cough and breathing problems before other signs. (Particularly common in King Charles spaniels, schnauzers and other short-nosed dogs, this is a dangerous sign because it may lead to pneumonia.)
As signs of poisoning progress, the animals become unable to stand.Breathing becomes exaggerated and difficult.
As breathing becomes more difficult, the gums become cold and blue-tinged. Death follows quite quickly.
Check your dog over daily if you are in an area known to have ticks.
We all know how devasted we would be should we lose our dog to something preventable like the things listed above, a little forward thinking however can ensure this doesn’t happen.