Vientiane can be a tropical paradise for your pet. Long swims in the Mekong, sunbathing on the patio and early morning strolls in the park all help to keep our loved pets in good health and mentally stimulated.
It can be a worry to know how best to deal with the myriad risks out there in this tropical paradise. From ticks to fleas, mosquitos to snakes here’s a rundown on what to watch out for and what you can do to reduce the worry.
Once they’ve arrived it’s a real nightmare to get rid of these pesky critters. It’s not just the itching and drinking blood to worry about – fleas spread tapeworm too! With the number of street dogs and cats around it’s unfortunately only a matter of time before they jump to their next home…
There are a range of natural remedies – from tea tree washes through to putting vinegar in your pets drinking water; with varying degrees of success… Medications such as Frontline PLUS, Advantage and Comfortis are an easy and effective prevention and come in many different shapes and sizes.
If your dog heads outside, especially in areas of long grass they’re going to come into contact with both hard and soft-bodied ticks. These voracious blood-suckers tend to congregate in and around the ears, between toes and deep in long hair. There’s a lot of confusion over how best to deal with these unwanted arrivals.
It’s important to note that they carry often deadly diseases like Tick Fever, Lyme Disease and Tick Paralysis. The good news is they have to attach for more than 24 hours to really transmit the infection – so it’s important that you check your dogs and cats on a daily basis. As the risk is so real it’s worth keeping Tick Collars on your pets to prevent the ticks biting in the first place and removing any ticks you do find.
It’s not just humans that are at risk from Mosquitos. Although Malaria tends not to affect our pets, mosquitos spread deadly heartworm – one of the most deadly diseases around. The good news is that it’s easily preventable by monthly tablets. The bad news is that there are too many cases every year in Vientiane that end with poor outcomes. All dogs should start preventatives from 3 months of age for as long as they’re in an at-risk country. Adults dogs need to be tested (one drop of blood and 10 minutes is all it takes) prior to starting prevention to ensure no current infection.
Of course everybody is aware of Rabies. The image of a vicious dog foaming at the mouth is the first thing we think of… Not everybody is aware that almost 60% of rabies cases are the ‘dumb’ form, whereby the animal becomes lethargic, looks sleepy and then suddenly bites when approached. Last year there were at least 2 fatal cases of Rabies in Vientiane alone. Simple vaccination will completely remove the risk to both our pets and ourselves.
Fortunately the vast majority of diseases and parasites are easy to prevent and your pets can live a full, healthy and happy life while enjoying all that Laos has to offer.
Good veterinary clinics offer yearly packages to take the best care of your pet – from vaccines to heartworm prevention, regular checks with our international vets and regular reminders to ensure you never forget.
Contact your veterinarian for full details and to discuss the perfect solution for your dog or cat.
This article has been provided by Animal Doctors International, a veterinary clinic which provides world-class veterinary care and preventative medicine in a modern environment in Vientiane, Lao PDR.