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lost dogIf you find a dog do not automatically phone or take it to a
dog centre or charity.

Most are usually full to capacity and the dog might have an owner?

“This is how you can personally help the animal”

1. Check if it belongs to any of your neighbours.
2. Take it to your local vet and they will check to see if the dog is
Micro chipped. If it is then they will contact the owner.

3. Go to your local Police Station, Dog pound or Vet and ask if
Anyone has lost the dog. Owners usually go there when they loose a dog.

4. Take a look in the lost pages of Animal Charities and the free papers.

5. If you can keep the dog for a few days, then put a poster in the
Veterinaries, Police Station, Shops and also send A photo and details to animal charities...

6. If you cannot keep the dog at all then contact your local Animal Centre/Charity
to see whether the dog can be taken in or if they could suggest as to where the dog
could be placed.



Leishmaniasis Fact Sheet - Although not currently common in the UK, Leishmaniasis is a prevalent disease in podenco with Leishmaniamuch of Europe and warmer areas of the world. Although it may not be cured, veterinary treatment can lead to remission and effective long-term control of the disease with no impairment in quality of life. Leishmaniasisdoes not need to be a death sentence for dogs and it is important to find a vet who has up-to-date knowledge of the disease and its treatment. Leishmaniasis is a serious disease and mismanagement can lead to a decline in health of the animal, but provided owners are aware of the symptoms and treatment protocols, dogs should be able to lead happy, normal lives. We hope that with more education more people will consider adopting dogs with leishmaniasis and give them a chance for a normal happy life.

What is Leishmaniasis? Leishmaniasis is an infection of leishmania protozoa (unicellular organism) that can affect humans and mammals. The disease is found all over the world except in Australia and is transmitted by bites from phlebotomine sandflies only. The infection produces a wide range of symptoms including hair loss around the eyes and muzzle, inappetence, weight loss, nose bleeds and eye problems, weeping lesions, lethargy, anaemia, dermatitis and overgrown claws. Severe infections can also lead to internal problems and kidney failure. If left untreated, severe infections can be fatal. There are several types of Leishmaniasis, each caused by a different species of sandfly. The visceral form of leishmaniasis affects internal organs and cutaneous leishmaniasis causes skin lesions and hair loss. Dogs usually suffer from both visceral and cutaneous symptoms but cutaneous leishmaniasis is the more common infection in humans. How do dogs catch leishmaniasis? Dogs become infected through bites from a blood-sucking insect called a sand fly (Phlebotomine). Female sand flies suck blood for protein to make their eggs. If a fly bites an infected dog, the Leishmania parasite grows in the stomach of the fly and, later, when the fly bites again, infective forms of theparasite are injected into the skin of the animal which may then develop leishmaniasis. There are very rare reports of a healthy dog becoming infected by being in close contact with a dog with leishmaniasis, or puppies of an infected bitch being born with the infection, however the method of infection has never been proven. Where the disease is managed, any risks of spreading the disease are significantly lower and reports of transmission are from severely infected, untreated dogs.

A vector is usually necessary for any transmission of the disease so in countries where there are no sandflies, there is little risk of any spread of the disease. The vector involved in the transmission of Leishmaniasis is not found in the UK. Can Leishmaniasis be transmitted to humans? Although some forms of the disease can be carried by humans, direct dog-to-human transmission has never been reported, even among veterinarians who have handled hundreds of dogs with leishmaniasis. Where the disease is managed at low levels there is a negligible risk of any kind of transmission and the canine strain of the disease is different to the strain that affects humans in other parts of the world. Human patients respond much better to treatment than dogs, and infections are not life-threatening, responding well to the same drugs used to treat dogs, provided they are treated promptly. Where are dogs at risk? Dogs are at risk from the disease anywhere where there are sandflies present. They are most abundant in gardens, around houses in the countryside, parklands and woodland.

The period of activity of all sand fly vectors is from sunset to sunrise.The dangerous times of year are different in different countries. Around the Mediterranean, leishmaniasis is transmitted from May to September, or later if there is an Indian summer, to October. It is endemic in most of Greece, much of Italy, the Balkans, Malta, southern France, many parts of Portugal and Spain (particularly in the south east and the Balearic islands) and in the humid parts of North Africa. Among the safe places are the Scandinavian countries, the UK including the Channel Islands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, northern France, and the mountains of Switzerland. There have also been recent reports of cases in warmer parts of the USA. How can Leishmaniasis be prevented? Currently there is no vaccine or prophylactic treatment available and the only available method of protection is a Deltamethrin-impregnated collars. (Scalibor®ProtectorBand, Intervet International) These collars effective in killing sand flies that feed on dogs and also have a strong anti-feeding effect on the flies. The collars slowly release insecticide onto the skin and retains efficacy for many months. Studies have shown that Scalibor collars are effective in 90% of cases.

How is Leishmaniasis diagnosed? The common clinical signs of canine leishmaniasis may be enough to suggest leishmaniasis to an experienced veterinarian, especially in an endemic area yet it is important to confirm clinical diagnosis with laboratory test. Diagnosis can be made by microscopic examination of a bone marrow or lymph gland sample, serological detection in blood samples, or DNA tests in circulating blood cells or skin. Recent information from Leishmania conferences indicates that for lower level dogs, an annual general health profile should be taken. From these results a veterinarian will be able to detect whether the Leishmaniasis is active. Globulinwill be raised and Albumin will be abnormally low on Biochemistry results and Eosinophils may be flagged on Haematology results. If all results are normal then there is no reason to have a titre test done. If there are abnormalities with the results then a titre test can be taken to determine whether Leishmaniasis is the cause. Titre tests are not necessarily useful in isolation and are usually taken before and after treatment in order to assess the effectiveness of treatment protocols. In addition to the titre test, Electrophoresis tests can be requested from an external laboratory and will help with identifying whether the dog requires treatment. This test accurately maps the protein levels of the blood and will detect any changes caused by Leishmaniasis. For dogs with high levels of infection, electrophoresis, titre and a general health profile should be taken in order to adequately map the status of the disease.

What are the clinical signs of Leishmaniasis? Leishmaniasis will progress slowly in the dog’s body and it can take up to seven years from infection to the point when the dog owner starts to notice Leishmaniasis symptoms in the dog. The symptoms are often vague and the vet might treat the dog for other more common diseases before realising that the cause of the problems is Leishmaniasis. There are also quite a lot of dogs that seem to be naturally resistant to the parasite – they are infected but they never develop any symptoms of Leishmaniasis. Common symptoms of Leishmaniasis in dogs are weakness, listlessness, intolerance to exercise, and loss of appetite (often leading to weight loss). In some dogs, these symptoms are accompanied with hepatosplenomegaly(enlargement of the liver and spleen), local or generalized lymphadenopathy(swollen lymph nodes), and/or a fever. Up to 90% of dogs suffering from symptomatic Leishmaniasis have both visceral and cutaneous lesions. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis lesions are normally dry and the dog will lose its hair. The head is usually the first place for lesions to show, especially on the muzzle and pinna. Lesions originating on the footpads are also quite common. Eventually, the Leishmaniasis lesions can spread to the rest of the dog’s body. Articular involvement is not uncommon when it comes to Leishmaniasis in dogs, and can lead to swollen joints and a stiff gait. Other symptoms of Leishmaniasis in dogs are chronic diarrhoea, deformed and brittle nails, and ocular lesions. If any of these symptoms present then owners should take the dog to see a vet in case they need to be put back on medication or on a higher dose of medication. Although these clinical signs seem severe, the initial stages are easy to spot and there is a good window of opportunity to get treatment and get the disease back to a managed level. What is the treatment for leishmaniasis? Currently there is no cure for leishmaniasis but the disease can be very successfully managed with simple drug therapy and the dogs can go on to lead normal lives.

The earlier the infection is treated, the better the chance of controlling the disease. Once treated, the clinical signs can go in remission but the dog will probably still be infected at a very low level for life, and may relapse. Dogs should be afforded a good diet, regular worming and flea treatments in order to reduce challenges on body systems. The healthier the dog, the lower the chances of a relapse occurring. Initial treatment is with megulamine antimoniate (Glucantime®) injected either into a vein or under the skin every day for 3-4 weeks. This drug is not always well tolerated by leishmanial dogs and they should be under veterinary supervision throughout treatment. Glucantime is often combined with a drug called allopurinol, which is given daily by mouth for many months, sometimes for life in order to keep the disease in remission. After initial stabilisation of the disease, many dogs may never need further treatment, whilst others may need occasional periods of allopurinol treatment in the form of a twice-daily oral tablet/tablets. Allopurinol is not toxic and can be given to thedog by the owner. The dose range for allopurinol tablets is 10-30mg per kg of bodyweight. As low a dose as possible is used with the highest dose reserved for active cases and dogs with high levels of the parasite. Initially doses may be at the higher range with gradual reductions to the lowest effective dose. It is important to note that the lowest effective dose of allopurinol is 10mg per kilogram of bodyweight twice a day. Medications should be given 12 hours apart in order that there is a regular level of the medication in the dog’s system at all times.

Treatment is relatively inexpensive and provided owners are aware of the early signs of a relapse and regular blood tests are carried out, the dog may never show severe symptoms. Regular blood tests can assess the level of leishmania infection and also indicate the health of the animal, therefore helping to reveal the need for allopurinol tablets before clinical signs appear. Your vet will need to use laboratory that tests leishmaniasis levels, such as the University of Bristol and dogs need to be off medication for two months before leishmaniasis levels can be assessed. Some dogs have such low levels that they do not ever need treatment whilst other dogs may need to stay on a low level allopurinol dose for life. In either case it should be possible for the dog to have a normal quality of life.  

Article from SOS Animals UK

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pine processing caterpilarsThe pine processionary caterpillar (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) will, during late winter/early spring, be coming out of pine trees and forming conspicuous snakelike lines.

They will not be far from a pine tree, but that does not mean that you will only see them in large pine woods, they are just as likely to be found in villages and road side plantings in fact wherever pine trees are present. One of the first signs to be aware of is their white silken nests attached to a branch tip, these become most obvious around December to March. (These caterpillars are known as ‘procesionaria del pino’ in Spanish).

As a moth it has no means of causing us harm, it is only during its development as a caterpillar that you need to be cautious of this small creature. The moths seek out pine trees in the warm summer nights, lay clusters of eggs on the pine needles and so the process begins. There are 5 instars or growth stages to these caterpillars, where they gorge on pine needles, shed their skins and double in size. This growth occurs during the winter when they disperse through the tree at night to feed, thereby avoiding predation, and collect in communal nests by day to increase their warmth and ability to digest. Note that the white candyfloss like nests are cleverly positioned for maximum sunshine. By February these nests can be looking a bit dishevelled, this is because a nest may hold around 300 caterpillars and with no single entrance hole they push their way through the layers, the green bits collecting at the base and falling to the ground beneath are excrement.

The time for them to leave the nest in preparation for the next part of their lifecycle varies with temperature, spanning from January in warmer areas to April in the cool of the mountains, with a few even falling from the trees during windy weather. It is as they leave the trees that most people and pets come into contact with the caterpillars, sometimes with very painful consequences. They are the only caterpillar here to form a long chain, touching nose to tail. This snake-like procession is a real giveaway as to their identity. The line may stretch for a metre or two but if disturbed there could be several smaller groups and scattered individuals. (Each being around 3 to 4cm long). They have gone through a long feeding phase and will now search for a suitable place to burrow underground where they will undergo major changes, from caterpillar through to a moth - without nourishment.

The danger that they pose to humans and animals is a very simple defence mechanism designed to stop them from becoming a meal themselves. Each caterpillar is covered with tiny barbed hairs, it is these which do us harm. They are constantly being dropped throughout its time as a caterpillar. They are too tiny to see, but cover the branches of the tree where the creatures have been feasting and of course the nests are loaded with them. They are even in the air around a heavily infested tree.

Direct contact with the Processionary Caterpillar colonies as they disperse can easily be avoided once you are aware of what to look out for. Inquisitive children, adults and pets must not get too close - it is even said that treading on them has lead to a reaction, as the hairs caught on your shoe can come into contact with your skin at a latter hour.

When humans come into contact with these hairs, they can cause reactions ranging from mild inflammation and irritation to severe anaphylactic shock. If the hairs contact your skin a rash soon forms which can be incredibly itchy, painful and lasts for as much as three weeks.
The worst problems occur if you make contact with the caterpillar directly and ingest the hairs.
If you get any reaction from contact with these insects medical advice should be sought.

Veterinary services have many emergency calls at the time when the caterpillars are migrating to the ground as dogs can get too close to the intriguing procession and may pick up the hairs onto their paws, these irritate and so they lick them. Once the hairs are on the lips/tongue it will induce itching, swelling and possibly vomiting. Look out for the symptoms of : small white spots in the mouth and on the tongue, excessive drooling and chomping.  In some cases partial amputation of the tongue is the only course of action.

These pests which eat only pine needles, are found in warmer parts of Southern Europe, North Africa and across to the Near East. Milder winters are allowing these insects to expand into new areas, both into more northern latitudes and higher elevations. Their favored food tree is Black pine (Pinus nigra) followed by Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis), Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Maritime Pine (Pinus pinaster), Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis) and Stone Pine (Pinus pinea).

If you are aware of the presence of processionary caterpillars in your area then contact your local town hall and ask them what their policy is for control and eradication. In large forests this is a complicated problem to solve but in individual and small plantations on urbanisations or in towns there should be an eradication system in place.

Under no circumstances should you try to handle the caterpillars or their nests.


POISON TOAD - If you notice your dog foaming at the mouth after messing with a toad, immediately rinse it out with water. If the dog eats the toad, you should probably get it to a vet or animal hospital right away.

The Giant toad is another toad that is a favorite among pet lovers. It is indeed giant; it can grown up to eight inches long and is very heavy. This toad is greenish-brown and covered with bumps. It has glands that can secrete a very toxic poison. The Giant toad is responsible for the death of many dogs. This toad will come into yards and eat the dogs food. If the dog would grab the toad it would be immediately poisoned.

Pet owners might notice signs of profuse, frothy salivation with vigorous head shaking, pawing at the mouth and continuous efforts to vomit, incoordination and staggering.

If you know of or strongly suspect toad poisoning, immediately rinse out your pet's mouth with water before going to your veterinarian or an emergency clinic for treatment. Most toad poisonings occur in the evening or the night.

Unfortunately, there are no antidotes for toad venom intoxication, but many of these victims may be saved with symptomatic treatment, which reduces the absorption of toxin and controls the clinical signs of illness. Depending upon circumstances, your veterinarian may use a variety of drugs to control heart abnormalities, breathing problems and excitation of the central nervous system.

The key to survival is rapid recognition of signs and prompt veterinary medical care.


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There are a total of 13 snakes present in Spain of which five are venomous. These are:

  1. Seoane’s viper (Vipera seoanei – víbora de Seoane)
  2. Asp viper (Vipera aspis – víbora áspid)
  3. Snub-nosed or Lataste’s viper (Viborade lataste – vibora hocicuda)
  4. False smooth snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus – culebra de cogulla)
  5. Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanus – culebra bastarda or de Montpellier)

Seoane’s viper lives in Galicia, León, the Cantabrian coastal strip (Cornisa Cantábrica) and the Basque Country. Confusingly some authors class Seoane’s viper as a subspecies of the common viper or adder (Vipera berus – víbora europea) and, more confusingly still, some experts believe both exist in northern Spain. However, since 1976, they are considered to separate species, with the latter absent from Spain.

lataste viperBy far the commonest of the vipers, Lataste’s viper, is present throughout the rest of the Peninsula, though nowhere is it common. It is grey, short (around 50cm) and is distinguished by its triangular head and the zigzag pattern on its back. It lives in dry, rocky areas, away from humans and is timid, but don’t go sticking your hands in holes and crevices and be careful when collecting firewood as viper bites can be fatal.

The other two snakes are not so dangerous, but watch out for the 2-metre long Montpellier snake. It is blue with a white underbelly -don’t go picking one up to check- and has prominent ridges over the eyes. However, the position of its venom fangs means that you would be unlucky to have poison injected into you, and if you are, its venom is much weaker then the vipers.

If you are bitten by a snake, remain calm and seek medical attention immediately. Bites only occur in the spring and summer as snakes hibernate. Of the estimated 50 snakebite deaths a year in Europe, only 3-6 occur in Spain, so don’t worry too much. 1-2 are reckoned to occur in Catalonia. More people die from bee and wasp stings. The Canaries are snake-free, and only the milder False smooth snake is found in the Balearics, probably introduced there by the Romans.

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Human Medications
Human medications are once again at the top of the list of pet toxins for 2010. The most common culprits include over-the-counter medications (ibuprofen, acetaminophen), antidepressants and ADHD medications. 

About 20% of the calls to the APCC are about insecticides. Insecticides are commonly used on our pets for flea control and around our houses to control crawling and flying bugs. The most serious poisonings occurred when products not labeled for use in cats were applied to them. Always follow label directions.

Baits used to kill mice and rats are mostly grain based. Not only does this attract rodents, but it attracts dogs and cats. There are several different types of rodenticides that can cause seizures, internal bleeding or kidney failure. Always make sure these items are placed in areas that pets cannot access.

People Food
Xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic are commonly ingested by our pets. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, while onions and garlic can cause anemia if enough is ingested. Xylitol, a sugar alcohol used to sweeten sugar free gums and mints, can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs. 

Veterinary Medications
Many medications made for our pets are flavored for ease of giving. Unfortunately, that means that animals may ingest the entire bottle of medication if they find it tasty. Common chewable medications include arthritis and incontinence medications. Contact your veterinarian if your pet ingests more than his proper dose of medication.

Chocolate contains methylxanthines, which act as stimulants to our pets. The darker the chocolate, the more methylxanthines it contains. Methylxanthines can cause agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and death.

Household Toxins
Cleaning supplies, such as bleach, acids, alkalis and other detergents, can cause corrosive injury to the mouth and stomach. Other household items such as batteries and liquid potpourri can cause similar problems. Always keep these toxins behind securely locked doors.

Both house plants and outdoor plants can be ingested by our pets. Lilies can cause life-threatening kidney failure in cats, while sago palms can cause liver failure in dogs and cats. Keep house plants and bouquets away from your pets.

Many herbicides have a salty taste, and our pets will commonly ingest them. Always follow label directions and keep pets off treated areas until they are dry.

Outdoor Toxins
Antifreeze, fertilizers and ice melts are all substances that animals can find outdoors. Keep these items in securely locked sheds or on high shelves where pets cannot get to them.

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Every year 50,000 dogs are abandoned in Spain. Many of those dogs will have been welcomed into the home as cute Christmas gifts only to be dumped when the holiday season arrives.

However whilst people abandon their pets in large numbers, there seems to have been a change in the past 10 years in just how they dispose of their unwanted pooches.

According to Alberto Díez, spokesman for the Asociación Nacional para la Defensa de los Animales (ANDA), fewer dogs are now abandoned on the streets. Sr Díez says owners prefer to rid themselves of their dogs 'with a clean conscience' and take them to animal rescue societies. Nonetheless Sr Díez stresses that 'the animals suffer'.

Sr Díez points out that the highest figures for abandoning dogs occur in urban areas.
The major crisis is during the summer months when families go on holiday and dump their pets rather than taking them with them or placing them in boarding kennels.
Another peak period is at the end of March when the hunting season ends and many hunters abandon their dogs in rural areas.

ANDA is keen to promote a programme of sterilisation in Spain. Sr Díez pointed out that the majority of abandoned dogs are batches of puppies, which their owners no longer want to keep. He added: "In the rest of Europe they have now solved this problem by massive sterilisation which is much cheaper than here where prices are astronomical".

One of the oldest animal rescue societies in Spain can be found in Cádiz.
The protection society for plants and animals was founded in 1872. It started protecting plants but as the years passed by it also took abandoned animals into its care.

The society now has a 5,000 square metre kennel complex with 20 units equipped with kennels and feeding areas. 

RAISINS & GRAPES – A danger to your pet.
Originally thought to be an urban legend, it is now known that raisins and grapes are indeed toxic to dogs. The type of grape and the type of dog doesn't seem to matter, and the toxic amount may be a small serving to several ounces.

Some dogs naturally love eating raisins and grapes and will seek them out; from the pantry or growing in a vineyard. Pet owners have used raisins as a training treat, and some have used them as a "healthy" snack alternative for their dogs.

A computerized animal toxicity database helped veterinarians see a trend in 1989, noticing that in some cases of acute renal failure (sudden kidney failure) dogs shared a common history: the consumption of raisins or grapes just prior to the kidney failure.
The type of grape or raisin doesn't seem to matter, and the amount consumed may be a single serving of raisins or a pound or more of grapes. (Raisins are much more concentrated.) Researchers are exploring the possibilities: a mycotoxin (fungal toxin), pesticide, herbicide or heavy metals, but thus far the actual toxin is unknown at this time.

Vomiting and jittery (hyperactive) behavior are seen immediately to within the first 24 hours after ingestion. Diarrhea may also be seen, and the vomitus and feces may contain partially digested grapes or raisins. After 24 hours, the dog may be come anorexic, lethargic and depressed. Additionally the abdomen may be painful, the dog may stop drinking and urinating. Ultimately, the kidneys fail, and without aggressive treatment, many dogs will die.

If the raisin or grape ingestion was 2 hours or less, the veterinarian will want to induce vomiting to rid the body of the toxin and then administer activated charcoal to absorb any remaining toxin. Aggressive intravenous (IV) fluid therapy is required to keep the kidneys in good health. Additional kidney medications may be indicated, depending on the patient.

If you suspect that your pet has consumed any amount of grapes or raisins, please contact your veterinarian immediately.