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Working Dogs

Working Dogs

Working dogs are an essential part of many farms. For North Coast Veterinary Services it is really important that they are able to keep working in the field as your extra set of paws. We see working dogs on properties rounding up stock, guarding against predators, providing essential companionship, and working as security. We want them to keep healthy while they help you.

Unfortunately, working dogs are often more prone to parasites, accidents, and work associated injuries and misadventure. What are some problems we and other vets see in farm dogs?

Statistically, farm dogs are more like to get severe gastrointestinal disease. Partly due to less regular worming and vaccination than companion animals, and partly from increased scavenging opportunities.

Working dogs are also more likely to experience lameness. This is a function of all the kilometers they put on their paws, and the feats of agility and speed they perform in their work.

Skin disease is another common issue we see on farm dogs. Fleas, grass seeds, allergies, ticks, infected cuts, and sun-associated skin cancers all affect working dogs.

According to one of Australia's leading pet insurers the top claims they see for farm dogs are gastrointestinal disease, cancer, lameness (including cruicate disease) and skin disease (allergic and infected forms).

What top four steps can be taken to make sure your farm dog stays fit and healthy.

  1. Great diet. Feed a balanced diet to your working dogs and making sure they stay in healthy weight range.
  2. Routine parasite control. Decreases gastrointestinal illness and skin diseases caused by worms, fleas and ticks.
  3. Vaccination as puppies and every three years as adults will keep your working dogs immune against the potentially deadly infections of Parvovirus, Distemper and Hepatitis virus.
  4. Check dogs are fit for work daily. Untreated minor injuries increase risk of significant injury, and can fester causing prolonged loss of function in your helper. Early intervention can get them back to fitness soon.

If you need help with your farm dogs health, please contact North Coast Veterinary Services for advice or treatment on (02) 6684 0735.

  • Posted 17 December, 2018

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