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Mosquitoes and sandflies

30 October 2022

On sunny days, they can annoy us because of the very characteristic noise they make when flying (at least for most of them), and especially because of their itchy stings… Did you recognise them? They are of course mosquitoes, and their cousins, the sandflies.

 

What are the differences between sandflies and mosquitoes ?

Although they are both blood-sucking, biting insects in their adult stage, mosquitoes and sandflies are quite different. First of all, their anatomy: sandflies are much smaller than mosquitoes (they are almost invisible to the naked eye), they are hairy and their wings stand up on their backs. Mosquitoes have long antennae and their wings are pressed against their bodies when at rest. Also, sandflies, although they have tended to migrate northwards in recent years, are mainly found around the Mediterranean. Mosquitoes, on the other hand, are present throughout France. Sandflies do not need very wet areas to carry out their cycle, whereas mosquitoes need bodies of water (except the tiger mosquito): they lay their eggs on the surface and the larvae and nymphs develop there. Sandflies and mosquitoes, with the exception of the notorious tiger mosquito which bites during the day, are more nocturnal.

Mosquitoes and sandflies can cause itching, allergies or transmit diseases to our dogs.

 

Leishmaniasis

Sandflies, when they are carriers, can transmit a parasite called Leishmania infantum. This protozoan is responsible for a disease called leishmaniasis, which can also affect humans. Once inoculated, it can be responsible for various symptoms that take between 6 months and 3 to 4 years to appear. These are :

  • general illness: such as fever, severe fatigue and muscle wasting,
  • skin symptoms: loss of hair around the eyes, on the ears, neck, etc. is often noted, as well as deep skin infections or ulcers. A change in the claws is also frequently reported,
  • ocular disease: such as conjunctivitis, keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) or glaucoma,
  • urinary problems with lesions in the kidneys,
  • digestive problems.

Even when they are not carriers, sandflies can be annoying: their bites are painful and the resulting pimples are quite itchy.

 

Heartworm disease

Mosquito bites are much less painful than those of sandflies, and reactions are generally much milder (except in cases of allergy). However, mosquitoes can still annoy our four-legged friends by transmitting various diseases caused by parasites or viruses if they are carriers. In France, the main risk for our dogs is heartworm disease. This disease is caused by a roundworm, Dirofilaria. The best known in dogs is probably D. immitis, also called the “heartworm”.

 

Both diseases have one thing in common: they are difficult to treat. Your veterinarian will be able to suggest ways to prevent them, so talk to him.

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How How could I monitor the progress of osteoarthritis of my dog?

How How could I monitor the progress of osteoarthritis of my dog?

Your dog is less energetic than before, and your vet has told you about osteoarthritis. He will probably have stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, keeping physically active and supplementing your pet's diet with chondroprotectors or essential fatty acids. Your dog may have been having a painful episode at the time of diagnosis, so your vet will almost certainly have prescribed pain relief for a few days. Now you'd like to know how your pet will progress and what to look out for. It's important to remember that osteoarthritis is a non-reversible disease that progresses in painful attacks. The aim of treatment is therefore to slow its progression and maintain your pet's quality of life and comfort, by limiting the consequences of cartilage degeneration. In order to space out the various painful episodes as much as possible, you will need to pay close attention to your dog's behaviour on a daily basis. Is he eating as usual? Does he seem to have difficulty getting up, jumping into the car or climbing the stairs? Does he limp? Does he lick himself in a particular place (check in particular the joint affected by osteoarthritis)? Does he look anxious, sad or fearful? Has he become easily irritated? To keep your pet in good health, we recommend that you take part in moderate daily exercise. Ideally, you should take your pet for 2 x 30-minute walks every day. Don't hesitate to write down the length of your outings and the routes taken in a notebook. Even easier, use your smartphone: there are even applications specifically developed to track your walks! As well as keeping track of the duration and intensity of your walks, it's a good idea to add some additional information, such as :
  • Did you keep the lead on throughout the walk? If so, did he pull or stay on the lead? If not, did he run? This information should be related to the dog's usual behaviour.
  • Who stopped the activity?
  • For the same amount of effort, do you think he had more difficulty recovering after this session?
Check regularly with your vet, even if there is no painful crisis. Low-level inflammation is always present, without necessarily causing discomfort. This is why omega-3 essential
fatty acids can be used continuously: they help to modulate this inflammation and limit inflammatory flare-ups. In the same way, it is always preferable not to let pain take hold, in which case it is more difficult to manage. To this end, the CAPdouleur network has developed an eponymous application, CAPdouleur, CSOM, which enables pet owners and their vets to share pain assessments. If your vet is a member of the CAPdouleur network and considers it necessary, he or she can suggest that you use this tool. You can then work together to devise the most appropriate assessment grid for your 4-legged friend. With this application, you can monitor your pet's pain score on a daily basis and in its familiar environment. The scores are synchronised and sent to your vet so you can adjust the treatment protocol as soon as possible. You can already download the CAPdouleur application and fill in the pain assessment questionnaire, which is freely available. This will give you an initial indication of whether or not your dog is suffering from pain, which you can then present to your vet.
How How could I monitor the progress of osteoarthritis of my dog?

How How could I monitor the progress of osteoarthritis of my dog?

Your dog is less energetic than before, and your vet has told you about osteoarthritis. He will probably have stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, keeping physically active and supplementing your pet's diet with chondroprotectors or essential fatty acids. Your dog may have been having a painful episode at the time of diagnosis, so your vet will almost certainly have prescribed pain relief for a few days. Now you'd like to know how your pet will progress and what to look out for. It's important to remember that osteoarthritis is a non-reversible disease that progresses in painful attacks. The aim of treatment is therefore to slow its progression and maintain your pet's quality of life and comfort, by limiting the consequences of cartilage degeneration. In order to space out the various painful episodes as much as possible, you will need to pay close attention to your dog's behaviour on a daily basis. Is he eating as usual? Does he seem to have difficulty getting up, jumping into the car or climbing the stairs? Does he limp? Does he lick himself in a particular place (check in particular the joint affected by osteoarthritis)? Does he look anxious, sad or fearful? Has he become easily irritated? To keep your pet in good health, we recommend that you take part in moderate daily exercise. Ideally, you should take your pet for 2 x 30-minute walks every day. Don't hesitate to write down the length of your outings and the routes taken in a notebook. Even easier, use your smartphone: there are even applications specifically developed to track your walks! As well as keeping track of the duration and intensity of your walks, it's a good idea to add some additional information, such as :
  • Did you keep the lead on throughout the walk? If so, did he pull or stay on the lead? If not, did he run? This information should be related to the dog's usual behaviour.
  • Who stopped the activity?
  • For the same amount of effort, do you think he had more difficulty recovering after this session?
Check regularly with your vet, even if there is no painful crisis. Low-level inflammation is always present, without necessarily causing discomfort. This is why omega-3 essential
fatty acids can be used continuously: they help to modulate this inflammation and limit inflammatory flare-ups. In the same way, it is always preferable not to let pain take hold, in which case it is more difficult to manage. To this end, the CAPdouleur network has developed an eponymous application, CAPdouleur, CSOM, which enables pet owners and their vets to share pain assessments. If your vet is a member of the CAPdouleur network and considers it necessary, he or she can suggest that you use this tool. You can then work together to devise the most appropriate assessment grid for your 4-legged friend. With this application, you can monitor your pet's pain score on a daily basis and in its familiar environment. The scores are synchronised and sent to your vet so you can adjust the treatment protocol as soon as possible. You can already download the CAPdouleur application and fill in the pain assessment questionnaire, which is freely available. This will give you an initial indication of whether or not your dog is suffering from pain, which you can then present to your vet.
How How could I monitor the progress of osteoarthritis of my dog?

How How could I monitor the progress of osteoarthritis of my dog?

Your dog is less energetic than before, and your vet has told you about osteoarthritis. He will probably have stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, keeping physically active and supplementing your pet's diet with chondroprotectors or essential fatty acids. Your dog may have been having a painful episode at the time of diagnosis, so your vet will almost certainly have prescribed pain relief for a few days. Now you'd like to know how your pet will progress and what to look out for. It's important to remember that osteoarthritis is a non-reversible disease that progresses in painful attacks. The aim of treatment is therefore to slow its progression and maintain your pet's quality of life and comfort, by limiting the consequences of cartilage degeneration. In order to space out the various painful episodes as much as possible, you will need to pay close attention to your dog's behaviour on a daily basis. Is he eating as usual? Does he seem to have difficulty getting up, jumping into the car or climbing the stairs? Does he limp? Does he lick himself in a particular place (check in particular the joint affected by osteoarthritis)? Does he look anxious, sad or fearful? Has he become easily irritated? To keep your pet in good health, we recommend that you take part in moderate daily exercise. Ideally, you should take your pet for 2 x 30-minute walks every day. Don't hesitate to write down the length of your outings and the routes taken in a notebook. Even easier, use your smartphone: there are even applications specifically developed to track your walks! As well as keeping track of the duration and intensity of your walks, it's a good idea to add some additional information, such as :
  • Did you keep the lead on throughout the walk? If so, did he pull or stay on the lead? If not, did he run? This information should be related to the dog's usual behaviour.
  • Who stopped the activity?
  • For the same amount of effort, do you think he had more difficulty recovering after this session?
Check regularly with your vet, even if there is no painful crisis. Low-level inflammation is always present, without necessarily causing discomfort. This is why omega-3 essential
fatty acids can be used continuously: they help to modulate this inflammation and limit inflammatory flare-ups. In the same way, it is always preferable not to let pain take hold, in which case it is more difficult to manage. To this end, the CAPdouleur network has developed an eponymous application, CAPdouleur, CSOM, which enables pet owners and their vets to share pain assessments. If your vet is a member of the CAPdouleur network and considers it necessary, he or she can suggest that you use this tool. You can then work together to devise the most appropriate assessment grid for your 4-legged friend. With this application, you can monitor your pet's pain score on a daily basis and in its familiar environment. The scores are synchronised and sent to your vet so you can adjust the treatment protocol as soon as possible. You can already download the CAPdouleur application and fill in the pain assessment questionnaire, which is freely available. This will give you an initial indication of whether or not your dog is suffering from pain, which you can then present to your vet.

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