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Worming/flea treatments - skin issues?


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Hi all

We have a two year old pug, who like most pugs seems to be prone to skin issues. We recently discovered that his previous food (despite marketing itself as premium and good for various things such as improving skin and fur, reducing flatulence etc and as such being rather expensive!) was disagreeing with him and he ended up being quite ill. After some research and a trip to the vet we decided to make our own food from meat or fish, rice and veg with just a tiny amount of kibble for his teeth. Cue a much healthier and happier dog all round who is now practically climbing up my legs at meal times as he is so excited to eat!

Anyway back to the reason for this post. Since changing his food and seeing the improvements we have started to wonder what else could be affecting him. We use topical worming and flea treatments on a regular basis (although his previous owner didn't do the flea treatment) so I wondered if they were really necessary? There seems to be conflicting research, some people say both are a must, some say one or the other and some say none. Being a pug he's not a very outdoorsy dog and he doesn't get in close contact with other dogs as he's a bit wary of the bigger dogs.

What is everyone's stance on these treatments and do you do them on a preventative or an as needed basis? Both treatments are due in the next few weeks so I thought I would see what everyone thinks ahead of time!

Thanks for your comments!

Hi Emma.

We have 5 dogs, all raw meat & bone fed, they have exceedingly good shiny coats, no scurf or itches and no bad wind, their teeth are all perfect too !!

I am sure your home made dinners are much better for your your little chap than the modern day kibbles that we are all bombarded with these days and it seems to be proving the point in your case ! If you wonder that you are giving a ballanced enough feed then use some suppliments daily. (Smart Barf) is a fantastic product to use.

A raw chicken wing 2/3 times a week would help tremendously with his teeth, he will have to chew on these whereas the kibble he may crunch once then swallow (doing nothing for his teeth ).

Every day our dogs have good outdoor countryside walks on downland or in woodland.

I sometimes use a topical treatment (Advantix) but mostly only treat when we see ticks or fleas actually on the dogs. I do not like putting a regular chemical on their skin if there is nothing to treat!

I also change the treatment and will use "Effipro" spray.

Winter time we are never bothered with ticks or fleas, so no treatment is required.

Worming treatment, every 3 months by mouth, no permenant chemicals on his skin ! "Drontol" tablets are easy to give, we have never had any problems with this product.

This seems to work well with our lifestyle and dogs too.
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Thanks for your reply, it sounds like a brilliant idea with the chicken wing, we have been wondering about giving him bones but as he has such a small mouth I didn't want to get anything too big or difficult for him! We are used to bigger dogs as have had collies and a Labrador in the past so a pug is quite a learning curve!
The main culprit for fleas are cats. If you don't own a cat and your garden is, relatively, cat free then you should be fine to just treat for fleas and ticks when you see a problem. Ticks are picked up mainly in long grass and woodland where the wildlife have been.

Worming with Drontal is perfectly adequate.
I use Advocate every month for my dog which covers him for fleas and worms (except tape worm so he still gets wormed every 6 months as well with Drontal plus).

Fleas you can treat if they get them, but do you really want to run the risk of this as they can then get into your carpet and lay eggs etc etc....... need I say more?!?!

Worming is vital in dogs! If they pick something up off the floor, you don't know where its been and if they pick up lung worm it can be fatal to dogs. You never know with dogs of any breed! They will eat anything!

My motto is better to be safe than sorry!

I would never go without worming or fleaing my dog on a regular basis.

Sophie x
Chicken wings are really easy and cheap to buy in smallish quantities for little dogs, but if you wanted a bit of variety then either chicken or duck necks would be perfect size for a pug, either whole or cut into two with kitchen shears before they are frozen. The bones break up really well when chewed, so they make excellent natural toothbrushes :)

As for worming and flea treatment, I'd say that if you check effectively and regularly for fleas then you can of course choose not to treat until you see a sign of fleas, but this in itself brings a risk of skin problems. Flea allergy is pretty common in both cats and dogs and it only takes one flea to set that off, so if your dog goes out at all in your garden or anywhere another dog, cat, fox or hedgehog could have been then the risk of picking up a flea or flea egg from the environment is still present.

I go with oral worming purely because I've got a very sweet natured dog who will take tablets very nicely when I ask her, so why would I pay more for something that could potentially flare her skin up? I agree that worming is absolutely essential, every 3 months if you haven't seen any sign of worms just as prophylaxis, but twice at 3 week intervals if you see any sign that they do actually have worms of any sort.

One point when it comes to flea treatments- I've seen a lot of flea products recently which turn out not to contain any treatments at all but tell you in the small print that they're actually meant to be deterrents. Pretty much everything that calls itself a 'herbal' flea treatment is just a deterrent, and a deterrent is no use at all if they already DO have fleas. There's also a very large and growing spread of fleas that aren't killed by the agent in Frontline, so it's quite possible that any product containing fipronil will soon be useless for getting rid of the blighters very soon, and it may be worth changing to Advantage, Advocate or Stronghold.

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