Minor Ailments     



It is hardly within the scope of this computer to cover and discuss the many and varied forms of disease and complaints that beset the dog. The vast majority of these are for the veterinary surgeon to deal with and no owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier should be reluctant in seeking professional advice, if only for the animal's sake. Of course it is useful to have some working knowledge of first-aid for dogs, for prompt home action in an emergency has saved many a dog's life; certainly it will allayhis pain until qualified help arrives. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not only very strong physically, but hardily constituted too.





One seldom encounters him in major sickness, and the preventive vaccinations readily available today to ward off virus and bacterial infections keep him reasonable free from these one-time killers. No one should buy a Stafford unless he is prepared to have it immunised against the threat of these diseases and to maintain protection with periodical booster doses. The three serious diseases are Distemper, with is off-shoot Hard Pad, Canine Virus Hepatitis, Rubarth's Disease and Lepospiral Jaundice the last named scourge arising from contact with the urine of contaminated rats.              










These can be competently dealt with by a single-dose injection, followed by booster treatment at intervals. Leptospiral canicola is a less virulent type of bacteria which attacks the dog's kidneys, giving him a fever that he seems soon to get over. However, its effect is believed to contribute to nephritis in later life. The average Staffordshire Bull Terrier owner with just one or two dogs should ensure that kennels and living quarters are kept scrupulously clean and that his dog or dogs are well swabbed round with cotton wool dabbed in a mild solution of TCP or similar antiseptic about their eyes, ears, lips, feet, and anus following attendance at any show or after contact with an unhealthy-loking dog.









Draughts are killers, too; sleeping benches and beds should be raised above floor level and holes and cracks likely to admit draughts must be plugged. A few of the minor complaints likely to be met with are listed  below: Abscess. A localised collection of pus under a swollen area of skin. It can appear on any part of the body and is best brought to a head, like a boil, with hot fomentations until it bursts, and the poison within squeezed away, pressing from the lowest point to expel it netirely. Dress with a solution of antiseptic, keeping an eye on the wound until healed.







If the abscess is stubborn and does not burst, the veterinary surgeon will lance it. Appetite Perverted. Puppies especially are sometimes seen eating their own stools or crunching up coke and coal. Mostly the habit is grown out of, but it is worth while changing the dog's diet and giving more raw meat. Asthma. Usually found in veteran dogs and those carrying too much weight. Reduce food intake to essential meals only and confine to raw meat. Balanitis. A discharge from the penis, although seldom encountered in a dog engaged in stud work. It cab be bathed or syringed away using a TCP solution of 1 in 5 tepid water.







Bites. If the bites are deep , a TCP solution can be dripped into them with a dropper and bathed with warm water. If serious, consult the veterinary surgeon. Keep the dog warm during treatment. CANCER. This is common in older dogs. It is insidious and is usually well- established before treatment can be given. The advisability of operating should be left to a qualified opinion. CANKER. (of Ear). This takes a number of forms, the commonest being a hard, waxy and smelly substance that blocks the ear channel. It is best to consult your veterinary surgeon and treat with the remedy supplied, although there are a number of effective proprietary medicines available.








This is the result of accidents and blows on the head. Keep patient warm untilveterinary surgeon arrives, meanwhile applying  ice-pack to the patient's head. Constipation. Often due to a faulty diet or to much biscuit. Give the dog more exercise and change his diet to include more raw meat; also, a dessertspoonful of olive oil for a short period will be found useful. If the condition persists, seek veterinary advice in case of an obstruction in the bowel.  COUGHING. This is often infectious among dogs, and if more than one is kept the affected one should be isolated. The dog usually goes of his food and should be fed with milky meals with egg and  honey or glucose until better.





( CYSTS. ) Staffords often get cysts between the toes, occasionally on the back. Those on the toes, occasionally on the back. Those on the toes frequentlt become inflamed as the dog licks them, and relief can be given by dipping the feet in a jar of warm water containing a mild antiseptic. A complete change of diet has been found succesful in dispersing cysts and avoiding surgery, which is sometimes necessary in stubborn cases. (DIARRBOEA.) This signifies an internal upset, as it is the body's way of expelling toxic matter such as might be caused by impure food.







Remove meat from the dog 's diet and give warm bread and milk or egg-and-milk feeds for two days, when the condition should be disappear. However, if persistent, consult your veterinary surgeon, as diarrhoea is part of the pattern of virus disease, especially when accompanied by a high temperature. Always isolate the patient until diagnosis has been confirmed. EYES (watery). If it is simple and effectively with an application of Golden Eye ointment or similar, after swabbing round the eyes with damp cotton wool. If chronic, get the veterinary surgeon to examine, for it may be something more serious, like malformation of the eyelids or abnormal eyelash growth.









( FLEAS, LICE, ETC ). Even the cleanest Stafford can pik up a few of these from time to time. They ogten congregate around and under the set-on of tail, and are reasonably easy to pick out. However, a good dusting with dog flea-powder or warm water bath contraining Jeyes will deal with a mild infestation. Make sure that the dog's bedding is either burned or washed and, if a kennel dog, spray a safe insecticide into every nook and cranny. ( HERNIA ). The commonly observed umbilical hernia, usually caused at birth when the dam bites roughly at the cord that joins at its navel, is of small consequence, and as the dog grows it becomes inconspicuous.









If it is a large one, however, it can be treated easily by the veterinary surgeon at around six months of age. It is not considered a fault, although the inguinal hernia ( in the groin ) and the perinial hernia side of the bowel are much more serious, and need surgery. ( INDIGESTION ). Often due to overeating or taking in unsuitable food. All food and drink should be withheld, and the dog given a milk of Magnesia tablet every two hours. In small puppies the cause is often due to worms, in which case a suitable worm eradicator should be used without delay. ( MANGE ). There are two main varieties of mange, both with a somewhat mousey smell.








The least persistent is Sarcoptic Mange, which is nothing more than Scabies ans is transmittable to humans, The parasites burrow into the skin and cause intense irritation. Modern veterinary medicine can deal with it fairly easily. The other form is Follicular or Demodectie Mange, which appears especially in young dogs during the term of dentition. It is rather difficult to treat as the parasite exists in the hair follicles well below the surface of the skin. Irritation is rather less than with Sarcoptic Mange, and it is less contagious. In the old days, whole litters would be destroyed as it was almost impossible to cure. However, a number of cures have been made, although the mange seems to vary in its defence and treatment.












The Staffordshire Bull terrier, in common with some of the other so-called Bull Breeds, seems fairly prone to a patchy skin trouble which besets him mainly during puppyhood between the ages of three and seven monhts. This is the time when he is making his permanent teeth and, like a baby, at such a time his resistance is low. Occasionally, patches will appear on the sideof the face, on the shoulders, the forelegs, and front. It may be an inheritance from the Old English Bulldog, who is said to have suffered from it.Whether this is true or not, if the patches get big and seem persistent, thyriod glandural treatment has been know to restore the coat. However, if only small patches appear, the coat is best left alone, when it usually mends without treatment. Never attempt a cure without qualified advice. Always dispose of an affected dog's bedding before and after treatment.










SPRAINS AND STRAINS. Probably, these are the commonest occupational hazards of an athletic Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Keep the dog warm and reduce his exercise to a minimum. Massage the affected limb with olive oil  several times daily. Embrocation can be used if its smell is weak; strong, purulent lotions tend to upset a dog. A course of tablets strong in calcium, phophorus and Vitamin D will aid recovery.






STINGS. Wasps are the main offenders during summer months; their stings can be dealt with satisfactorrily by soaking a wad of cotton wool in a strong solution of bicarbonate of soda and water, and compressing on the spot. Strong TCP solution is just as effective, but mouth, eye and bare-flesh stings are better referred to the veterinary surgeon without delay.






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