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Vaccination, Worming and Ectoparasites


How do vaccines work?

Vaccines have the objective of producing antibodies to fight a specific antigen (the disease for which it is intended to be immunized). The vaccine causes the organism to create a "memory" in the animal's immune system that accelerates the production of defense cells when the animal is attacked by the agent. Upon receiving the dose of vaccine, the animal's organism undergoes a simulation of attack by that agent. Therefore, the goal is to have this memory of immunity for when the dog suffers a new attack. This memory does not occur overnight, the body can take a few days to develop.

Is vaccinating to immunize?

The act of vaccinating is only to apply the vaccine. Immunizing the animal is different; is to make it develop defenses against the agent. For this to occur, the animal must be prepared to receive this dose. If the animal is not able to receive this vaccine, it will receive the vaccine but will not be immunized, thus not developing the necessary defenses. For example, if the animal has a fever, stress, taking a steroid-based medication, incubating some disease, etc.

The sick animal should not be vaccinated, because in addition to not creating the expected defense, it can present vaccine reactions. Always look for a doctor - veterinarian for the vaccination of your furry, because every vaccination requires an evaluation to know if the animal will respond to this vaccine or not. Generally, the veterinarian evaluates the temperature, nutritional and parasitic status, lymph nodes, eyes, ears, teeth, genitals, performs abdominal palpation, cardiac auscultation, asks how are the feces, urine, appetite, willingness to exercise, if the dog has been going to the beach frequently, etc... The vet must be responsible for the vaccine being applied. Therefore, no one better than him to know if the animal is fit or not to receive that dose. The veterinarian's responsibility is not only that, but he also has to

properly store this vaccine, which requires ideal refrigeration for its correct conservation.

How and when does the immunization process begin?

Initially, by the antibodies contained in the mother's colostrum, about 90% of the antibodies will be transmitted to the pups in the first 24 hours of life. Hence the importance of ingesting colostrum.

From the 45th day of life, the vaccination plan normally begins with the administration of the first dose of the eightfold vaccine, which defends the body against the following diseases: distemper, parvovirus, coronavirus, hepatitis, adenovirus I and II, leptospirosis and parainfluenza . This first dose of vaccine is not always effective as the puppy often still has a very high level of antibodies transmitted by the mother during breastfeeding. Therefore, it is very important to repeat this dose two more times at an interval of 30 days each.

The rabies vaccine should be given from the age of 4 months onwards. Until the entire vaccination schedule is completed, it is very important not to expose the puppy, as we can only consider that he is immunized 15 days after the last dose. In adult animals, annual revaccination against rabies and octuple is usual. For more information, consult your dog's veterinarian.



Combating worms is one of the concerns that we must have with the puppies, as they are often affected by a series of worms that adapt to the host's organism with ease.

We must take into account some factors that act directly on the infestation by worms, for example: geographic situation, climatic conditions, time of year, immunological vulnerability of the host and hygiene conditions. Worm infestations often cause symptoms such as weight loss, stunted growth, gastrointestinal illness, poor absorption and digestion of nutrients, anemia, bad looking coat, etc. That's why it's no use offering the best feed on the market if we don't have the commitment to deworm our animals frequently.

Most of the time the puppies are born with a smaller or larger amount of worms, because the mother, even having been wormed, transmits worms to the babies through the placenta and milk. The first deworming can be done in the second week of life, with the guidance of the veterinarian, and can be repeated after 15 days. Then we must maintain a protocol while the dog is growing and another when it is an adult, always depending on the environment where the animal lives and the recommendation of the veterinarian.

To avoid the transmission of worms from the pregnant bitch to the puppies, we must deworm her on the day of mating (mating) and repeat the dose after 15 days.

Strict hygiene of the environment where the puppy stays is very important. Today there are good quality, low toxicity disinfectants on the market that can be used to kill worm eggs and larvae in the environment. It is also extremely important to collect feces from the garden or yard at least daily, or change the newspaper (if the dog does its business there) whenever it is dirty. The objective is to avoid reinfestation of the dog by the eggs of the worms that are eliminated in the feces.

There are clinical signs that are typical of animals with worm infestation, such as the bulging belly (not to be confused with obesity), the sad look, the animal dragging the anal region on the floor due to intense itching, the fact that the dog eats a good food quality and not growing or gaining weight, the elimination of loose stools with mucus or blood, and, finally, the presence of worms in the stool. By the way, if worms are observed in the stool, it is important to collect them or report to the veterinarian the shape and size for a good diagnosis. There are round and flat worms and worms that release proglottids (pieces) similar to a cucumber seed or a grain of rice.

In this way, for a correct deworming program, the veterinarian will request parasitological exams of feces, in order to find out which is the best dewormer for that worm condition. Currently, there are several active ingredients available, palatable formulas, etc. But we can never forget that the management of the sanitized environment is of fundamental importance for the success of the treatment.



Those who live in large centers may never have had any contact with a berne, as it is known to those who live near woods or in the countryside. It usually attacks animals and humans, causing itching (itching) and pain. Even if you live far from the abundant vegetation, if one day you go for a walk with your dog in a place, farm or a trail in the woods - especially on hot and humid days - it's good to inspect your animal after a few days.

The berne causes a lesion that is usually circular, with red areas, where you can easily see a hole in the center.

He is nothing more than the larva of the fly - Dematobia hominis, a fly that lives in the woods. Its transmission, however, does not depend on this fly. The berneira lays its eggs in full flight on the vector fly, which is hematophagous or licking. These vectors are responsible for transmission. When it lands on the animal, the larvae break through the eggshell and settle on the skin, feeding on the host's tissue. When they reach their growth (L3 stage) they fall and bury themselves in the ground. In about 30 days it leaves the ground, mates, lays eggs again and dies, causing the cycle of Dematobia hominis to perpetuate itself.

As a host, we often have cattle, but dogs and humans are included in this category. The big problem that can occur is that the lesion can serve as an open door for the entry of bacteria causing a secondary infection, not to mention the discomfort caused by the presence of the berne in the animal.

Finding the berneira in the woods is very difficult. Control can be done with egg carriers, as without them there is no transmission.

If you suspect that your dog may have berne, do not remove it without the help of a veterinarian and do not use insecticide sprays that kill berne and bicheira. The herd must be completely removed - if it dies inside the skin or if there is any residue left in the animal, there is a risk of developing cysts, abscesses and infections.


The villain of today! Tick infestation on your animal, in addition to causing great discomfort due to the itching it causes, can cause anemia and transmit diseases such as Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis.

Since we know that the tick feeds on the animal's blood, a large infestation can cause anemia, but a tick that is carrying the infective form of the causes of babesia or ehrlichia is enough for the dog to contract one of these diseases - or even both. .

Therefore, the only means we have is constant control of the tick, and if the animal shows any sign of apathy, lack of appetite, fever, pale mucous membranes... . These diseases are treatable when diagnosed in time. Today, unfortunately, they are routine diseases, regardless of the region where you live. Even large urban centers they are common.

There is no preventive scheme so that the dog does not get ticks. There are forms of control, but we have to remember that the tick does not only live on the animal, it can live for a long time in the environment. Because it is very resistant, it is difficult to fight it.

Generally, in the environment they live in the form of eggs or larvae, invisible to the naked eye. For this reason, you must fight ticks on the animal and in the environment. Generally, vegetation, cracks in walls and floors, and wood are places to which we should pay more attention.

Using ticks in kennels, doghouses, plants, flower beds, cracks in the wall, drains, wood, etc., is essential. Just remember that the animal must not have contact with the product, as ingestion can cause severe poisoning. The animal should only return to the environment after the place is completely dry.

Be especially careful with puppies and pregnant females. They should not be bathed in anti-tick products. So always count on the help of the vet.


Fleas are insects that depend on the host (dog and cat) to feed and protect themselves, remaining all their lives on the animal and those in contact with it. The female flea lays her eggs on the animal but as they do not settle, they fall into the environment where they only depend on temperature and humidity to hatch into larvae. These burrow into carpets, blankets and cracks in the floors, where they feed on organic remains and adult flea feces, forming a cocoon where the pupa form occurs. After 5 days, they turn into adult fleas. But all this only happens if there are animals or people in the environment, otherwise fleas can remain in the cocoon for more than 4 months. Usually the life cycle is completed in 3 to 4 weeks and fleas live on the animal for more than 100 days. From the fourth day, feeding on the animal's blood, each female produces, on average, 20 eggs a day for 21 days. If we do not interrupt the cycle, the infestation in the animal becomes extremely uncomfortable and harmful to its health.

The act of the animal licking itself causes it to ingest the flea. Thus, she transmits parasites, carrying a worm known as Dipylidium caninum to the intestines of dogs. The dog, when parasitized by this worm, loses weight and a lot of hair, has episodes of diarrhea, itching in the anal region (drags the anus on the floor). When looking at the anal region, we can often see the worm eggs around the anus or in the feces - very much like a grain of rice.

In addition to the annoyance that fleas cause and the risk of transmitting worms to dogs, dogs are often allergic to the bite (actually, to flea saliva). If the dog is hypersensitive to flea bites, a single bite is enough for it to be taken by a generalized itching, causing the animal to often hurt itself from scratching so much. Animals allergic to flea bites are stressed, may eat less, may become depressed or aggressive. Your skin may have areas of alopecia (hairless), peeling and unpleasant odors.

As fleas are insects capable of jumping up to 30 cm, we have to offer the animal mechanisms to fight against the flea. There are numerous flea-fighting products on the market today (soaps, shampoos, sprays, collars, top-spots, pour-ons...), for each case there is a more suitable solution, depending on the degree of infestation, the environment, if there are contacts, if the dog is allergic or not...all these factors

should be taken into account for designing an efficient eradication scheme.

Environmental fumigation helps control due to the elimination of intermediate forms, but it is important to be aware that all products are capable of inducing poisoning.

Nutritional measures that help repel fleas and ticks

Some foods are proven to help repel insects such as fleas, ticks and flies, and can be offered to dogs as an aid in controlling these "pests".

Raw garlic, for example, can be given daily, as long as it is in small amounts (maximum 1/3 of a medium clove of garlic for a large dog). Garlic, in addition to discouraging intestinal worms, improves immunity and leaves the skin of dogs with an odor that is imperceptible to us, but unpleasant to ticks and fleas.

Brewer's yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins, known for their mosquito repellent action, as well as contributing to the health of the skin and coat. You can offer up to 1 level teaspoon of one level dessert per day.

Apple cider vinegar also helps to repel fleas and ticks. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog's water bowl daily. If the bowl is very large (capacity over 3 liters), add two tablespoons.

  (veterinarian: Sylvia Angelico)

Golden Calli

Specializing in Golden Retrievers

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