Cambridge Canine Education Group




Emerging Canine Diseases from Abroad by Dr Virginia Richardson


In the last few years, it has become much easier to travel abroad with your dogs, and there has also been a steep rise in the number of dogs coming from abroad. These may be dogs being imported to expand the gene pool of certain breeds in this country, they may be from rescue centres (especially from Eastern Europe) or it may be puppies coming from Europe for sale in this country. Most of us will know someone who has travelled abroad with their dog, or someone who has rescued a dog from abroad. Some of these dogs may be attending your training classes. This freedom of travel means we are now seeing porcsites and diseases in dogs in this country that were only previously recognised abroad.

In 2015 over 164 thousand dogs were recorded entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme. Excluding those travelling on holiday, a total of 65,000 dogs were imported from 128 different countries. This level of pet movement has increased the risk of novel pcrosites and novel parasite- borne diseases entering the UK. As the climate in the UK becomes more temperate there is a potential for some of these pcrcsites to survive and potentially harbour diseases previously only considered to exist abroad.

Ticks The biggest threat comes from exotic ticks that travel into this country on dogs from abroad. Unfortunately since January 2015 it is no longer mandatory on the Pet Travel Scheme to treat your pets with a tick product before entering the UK, and higher numbers of exotic ticks are now being identified in this country. The tick Dermacentor reticulatus is responsible for carrying the parasite Babesia canis canis in its saliva. This porcslte causes the disease babesiosis, which is endemic in Northern Spain, Portugal and Italy - all popular holiday destinations.There are now endemic foci in Essex and Wales, and in 2016 four dogs were identified with bcbesiosis, none of whom had travelled, and one case was fatal. The tick needs to attach for 48-72 hours before the parasite is spread in the saliva, and this is one of the main reasons it is important to check your dogs for ticks on a daily basis, as well as using a product that repels and kills the ticks. linical signs associated with babesiosis are fever, anaemia, collapse, and an inflammatory response that can lead to multi-organ failure.

Ehrlichiosis is a serious parasitic infection transmitted by ticks in warm and tropical areas, mainly America, Asia, Southern Europe and also Finland. Like babesia the parasite enters the blood stream via tick saliva, but once in the body it can hide away from the doq's immune system for a long period of time. The most serious form of the disease has a long course of many months to years, and often the connection is not initially made between the disease and the fact that the dog has previously been abroad. Clinical signs are variable - a lack of energy, fever, reduced appetite, prolonged bleeding, also vomiting, lameness, breathing problems and a lack of co-ordination.

Leishmaniosis is another potentially fatal disease that can also affect humans. It is endemicin countries around the Mediterranean - France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey andthe Middle East. It is spread by sandflies, and although the san fly has not yet been identified in the UK, leishmaniosis is not uncommon in the UK due to the number of dogs that have travelled to these areas.Symptoms may develop weeks or years after a bite from an infected sandfly, and include skin lesions (hair loss on ear tips, scaly dry skin), lameness, lethargy, poor appetite, nose bleeds, tongue and mouth ulcers.

Lungworm (Angiostrongylus Vasorum) originally came over from France, but is now well established in most areas of the UK. The worm larvae are present in slugs and snails.

If a dog eats the slug or snail they become infected and then the adult worms migrate into the heart blood vessels and lungs. As well as causing coughing they can cause a bleeding disorder, and occasionally the first sign will be excessive bleeding after routine surgery. Not all dog wormers, especially those that can be purchased without prescription will be effective against lungworm.


Tongue worm (Linguatula serrata) is the newest parasite to be aware of from abroad. So called because it is tongue- shaped, it has been identified in dogs imported from abroad, particularly Romania. The worm lives in the nasal passages of dogs, and may cause sneezing, coughing a nasal discharge and nose bleeds.

Take home messages

   If you intend to go abroad, please protect your
og with effective tick and sandfly products

    Check your dog for ticks every day and remove
hem with a tick hook. Ticks removed in the first
24 hours wil
l not have had time to spread disease.
Do not kill the tick first with spirit or Vaseline as it
will rel
ease a gluey secretion from its mouth parts
and make it more likely to break and l
eave its
head embedded

   Make sure the wormer you use is effective
st lungworm

   If your dog is unwell remember to tell your vet if they
ever travelled abroad or originated from abroad,
however many years ago that may have been


Companion Dog Training by Di Morgan


A report published by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association states that there are 8.5 million dogs in the UK and that 37 % of people choose a dog as their first pet. The majority acquire their dog at under one year old, 45% being purchased from a breeder and others from a rescue or rehoming source.

In view of these statistics, it would be reasonable to assume a large demand for dog training. However, the Dogs Trust report' states that only 24 % of owners take or intend to take their dogs to training classes. This may of course be a factor in statistics showing that the most common age for relinquishing dogs is seven months to three years and the most common reasons mostly relate to aggression and other behavioural issues'.

Unfortunately, many owners think that one course of puppy classes will set the dog up for life and don't recognise the continuing need for socialisation and training.This is encouraged by instructors who only offer training for 'puppies. Adolescent youngsters bring additional challenges and without further training and support owners may struggle to maintain control.

Knowledgeable instructors will recognise different stages of development and advise owners accordingly and by attending further classes owners keep in the habit of training and maintain a positive relationship with their dogs.

Some rehomed adult dogs may have behavioural issues and instructors must be able to advise on everyday problems and prevent more serious issues occurring. They will also be able to refer clients for additional help when necessary.

These are reasons why the criteria for the KCAI Scheme Companion Dog Training discipline requires instructors to teach the full range of companion dog training levels from puppy/starter through to fully mature adult. 'Basic' level training can give the impression that standards of control and performance are low, but this is far from the truth - 'basic' refers to a firm basis or foundation of training from which owner and dog can progress into a more specialised activity. A good standard of foundation level training is necessary for most dog sports and will aid progress if taught correctly. How much easier will it be to start agility, for example, if a dog already pays attention to its handler, is reliable off lead and has a good wait and prompt recall

It is disappointing that so many owners dismiss training classes so readily.


Alabama Rot,   From Richard (with Baxter)

Dogs owners have been warned to keep their pets away from mud as deadly Alabama Rot sweeps the UK. There are fears dogs could contract the devastating disease from mud picked up on their paws and legs during walks.

Owners should wash any mud off their dogs when they return home and watch out for signs of the illness known as CRGV. 

The cause of Alabama Rot, or 'dog's black death', is unknown and it affects all breeds. If it's not spotted early enough it could lead to potentially fatal kidney failure, with 80 per cent of all cases leading to death as it's often too late by the time it's diagnosed. A number of deaths have been reported in the UK and dog owners have been urged to keep a close watch over their pets. More than 135 cases have been reported since 2012, but there are fears that 2018 could see a surge in cases due to recent bad weather. There have been at least 29 deaths this year after a record 37 were reported in 2017. Alamaba Rot is believed to thrive in cold, wet soil.The Dogs Trust said: "Where possible, stick to dry paths and keep dogs out of muddy or wet areas. "Wash off any mud after your walk so you can check for any lesions or wounds and if you spot any, go to your vet."

The first sign of Alabama Rot is usually a skin sore or lesion not caused by any known injury, said Vets4Pets. It said: "Most commonly, these sores are found below the elbow or knee and appear as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin, or are open and ulcer-like. "Within approximately two to seven days, the affected dogs develop outward signs of sudden kidney failure which can include vomiting, reduced hunger, and an unusual tiredness.

"Skin sores and sudden kidney failure are not unique to this disease alone, and are actually more likely to be caused by some other disease. Your vet will run a number of tests to determine the underlying cause."



This scheme follows the success of adding ICE (In Case of Emergency) to the phone book of your mobile (cell) phone, launched in the UK by East Anglian ambulance service paramedic Bob Brotchie. The idea being you store the word ICE in your mobile (cell) phone with the number of the person you would want contacted in a crisis situation.

We would like to adapt Bob's idea to help our dogs (or other pets) in the case of an accident out or in the home where the owner is incapacitated and/or where the owner is unable to make their wishes known. The person called would be a person able to care and take responsibility for the animal's welfare.

Our choice is to adopt and encourage others to add to their mobile (cell) phone book PET# followed by the number of the person who would take care and responsibility etc for our dog or other pet animal.

PET# standing for

Pet Emergency Telephone Number (#).

Bloat & GDV

While most people have probably heard of 'bloat', you may not know the symptoms and signs.

The ASPCA state that "bloat refers to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care known as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion and twisted stomach. This condition can cause rapid clinical signs and death in several hours." Causes vary greatly, but some factors can include rapid eating, overeating, heavy exercise after eating, fearful temperament and stress. Bloat also mainly affects large, deep-chested breeds.

Symptoms include:

  • distended abdomen
  • unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit
  • retching without producing anything
  • weakness
  • excessive salivation
  • shortness of breath
  • cold body temperature
  • pale gums
  • rapid heartbeat
  • collapse

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