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Life-threatening parasites

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 24 May, 2006  (Company News)
Dog owners know them well: blood-sucking ticks and mosquitoes. Various species of these insects can be found almost everywhere around the world. The stress experienced by the animal as a result of tick bites and painful mosquito bites is the same regardless of the location. In some areas, however, they are accompanied by a considerable health risk. This factor should always be taken into consideration when planning and preparing journeys with a dog.
For example, dogs are exposed to a considerable health risk in the Mediterranean countries, in North African and many eastern European states. In these regions, ticks and mosquitoes are heavily infected with disease pathogens. These infections are then transmitted when the insect sucks blood, in many cases right from the first bite. The main diseases transmitted by ticks are babesiosis (also known as biliary fever) and ehrlichiosis, both of which can taken a fatal course. Two other diseases that can be life-threatening for dogs are leishmaniosis, which is transmitted by sandflies, and heartworm disease, which is spread by mosquitoes.

Those who do not wish to expose their four-legged friends to this risk should employ effective protection against parasites before the vacation. Spot-on antiparasite products are now available for this purpose. The ideal products are those, that not only kill ticks and mosquitoes but also repel them before they can bite and suck blood. Preventing them from biting reduces the level of stress for the dog and the risk of disease transmission. Spot-on products that can be used monthly are ideal for repelling mosquitoes. To protect against heartworm infection, dogs should receive prophylactic treatment with a spot-on product for one month before travelling to an endemic region and for one more month after the end of the journey. For more information, consult a veterinarian or go to:

Information box: Where are the high-risk areas in Europe?

Disease Ectoparasite/vector Prevalence
Babesiosis (also known as biliary fever of dogs) Ticks, particularly of the species Dermacentor reticulatus Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Hungary
Ehrlichiosis Brown dog tick (rhipicephalus sanguineu) Italy, Canary Islands, Corsica, Portugal, Sardinia, Spain, Southern France
Borreliosis (Lyme disease) Ticks, particularly the castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus) Bulgaria, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, Czech Republic
All countries: widely varying regional risk potential
Leishmaniosis Sandflies (including mothflies) (Phlebotomus spp.) (Southern) France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, all Mediterranean islands
Dirofilariosis (heartworm disease) Mosquitoes (Aedes, Culex, Anopheles spp.) France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain; Mediterranean islands

The company combines the global activities of the divisions Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals. Since January 1, 2006 the new Pharmaceutical Division consists of the former Biological Products and Pharmaceutical Division and now comprises three business units: Hematology/Cardiology, Oncology and Primary Care.

Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. The products enhance well-being and quality of life by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.
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