Woods Nadadouro / Foz do Arelho

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GPS – 39°25’42.9″N 9°11’45.9″W   or   39.428588, -9.196069

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walk map

Coming from Salir do Porto / São Martinho do Porto area.

Take the road Rua da Espinheira, through Granja, Serra do Bouro that runs parallel to the Estrada Atlantica from Salir do Porto. When you come to the crossroads in Granja go straight over and continue along this road. Then come to a roundabout go straight over / 2nd exit to Nadadouro Rua Eng. Luis Paiva e Sousa. Next roundabout you will see pink cafe Tropicana ahead of you, go straight over / 2nd exit. Take the second right turn onto the Rua Casais de Vale de Egua, follow the road till you come to crossroad / T junction (see photos below),

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go straight over onto the track ahead of you. Park on your right along this track. (See photo below)

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Coming from Caldas da Rainha area.

Take the old road out of Caldas to Foz do Arelho the N360. Keep going along this road till you come to the roundabout with the pink cafe Tropicana on it, at this roundabout take the 3rd exit going past the cafe onto Rua Eng. Luis Paiva e Sousa. Take the second right turn onto the Rua Casais de Vale de Egua, follow the road till you come to crossroad / T junction (See photos above), go straight over onto the track ahead of you. Park on your right along this track.

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Processionary Pine Caterpillars (Thaumetopoea Pityocampa)

End of the summer when the weather is cooler through to spring is generally the time when we tend to see these caterpillars (larva of the silk moth) Whilst they are on the move they can cause problems for us and our dogs. Having said that they can be seen moving in their processions at any time during the year here in Portugal and the Veterinary Surgeons do see reactions to these caterpillars all year round, therefore it is wise to be aware of what they look like and the potential problems they can cause.

The Processionary Caterpillars are found in certain Pine Trees.

  • Black pine (Pinus Nigra) – their favourite
  • Canary Island Pine (Pinus Canariensis)
  • Scots Pine (Pinus Sylvestris)
  • Maritime Pine (Pinus Pinaster)
  • Aleppo Pine (Pinus Halepensis)
  • Stone Pine (Pinus Pinea)

The caterpillars can be found in city parks where there are infested Pine trees as well as in the countryside Pine forests.

The Life Cycle of the Processionary Pine Caterpillar.

There are several stages to the life cycle, however they are only dangerous during the caterpillar stage, not during the adult moth stage.

The adult a short lived moth, emerges from the soil during the summer (around August) and flies at night. After mating they seek out Pine trees to lay their eggs.

A single female moth can lay up to 300 tiny eggs which she attaches to the pine needles in a moss type mass.

Approxiamtely one month later these eggs hatch into minute caterpillars which go through 5 growth stages where they grow quickly and moult their skin ready for the next stage.

Between December and April the caterpillars come down from the nests looking for food.

They eat the pine needles at night by pushing their way through the nest at sunset avoiding their predators e.g. birds and wasps. There is a scent trail left as they move around so they can find their way back to the nest before morning light.

Up to the 3rd stage of growth they sleep in small temporary silk nests during the day. By the time of the 3rd moult they have built a permanent white silky nest on the tip of a pine branch which looks like white cotton candyfloss structures.

A single tree can have many nests which are positioned to take advantage of the suns heat, providing warmth to help them with digestion of the previous nights meal.

By the 5th stage of growth the nest looks darker, about February/March (sometimes January depending on the temperature), and the caterpillars will now leave the nest in preparation for the next part of their lifecycle.

They follow a leader in a procession which can vary in length of up 60+ caterpillars with each one being about 4cm long.

They can travel 30+ metres to find suitable soft soil to burrow into where they change into pupae, covered in a tubular brown protective casing. It is here they will lay dormant during the warmer summer months until they are ready to emerge as a moth and start their life cycle again.

If the weather is not favourable for them to emerge they will remain underground till the next year.

They are active during colder temperatures but it needs temperatures of -16° C to kill them.

It is usually during this 5th stage of growth when people and pets are likely to come into contact with them.

Why are these caterpillars dangerous?

They are covered in tiny barbed hairs which they use as their defense mechanism. During the 5th stage of growth they are able to eject these hairs when they feel threatened or stressed.

These hairs have harpoons that penetrate and irritate the skin with an urticating protein known as thaumetopoein which can cause a very rapid pronounced allergic reaction in humans and animals.

Our dogs and cats can pick up these hairs in their paws, which will then irritate causing them to lick their paws.

If they actually eat the caterpillars it is almost likely to be fatal.

Signs that your pet has come into contact with these caterpillars:

  • Within 5 minutes the lip, tongue and nose can swell to a huge size and eventually the whole head and their airway may swell.
  • Once the hairs reach the lip/tongue itching, swelling and possible vomiting occur.
  • If the tongue becomes large and swollen it may need amputating due to the swollen area of the tongue dying.
  • You may also see small white spots in their mouth or on their tongue.
  • Excessive drooling and chomping is seen due to the horrible taste of the protein produced by the caterpillars.
  • Their eyes can become irritated, with the risk of blindness from the hairs the caterpillars eject getting into the eyes.
  • Hyperthermia – an increase in body temperature.
  • Tachypnoea – an increase in rate of breathing.
  • Respiratory distress – where your pet will be struggling to breathe.
  • Cyanosis – tongue and mucus membranes turning a blue/grey colour.
  • Very bad smell – from the destruction the hairs/protein cause to your pets tongue.
  • Death can occur if not treated very early, it only requires 3-4 caterpillars to have fatal consequences for a medium sized dog.

Why are dogs interested in the caterpillars?

They produce a bittersweet smell and taste which attracts dogs and cats to them.

What should I do if I suspect my dog has come into contact with these caterpillars?

It is very important to take your dog immediately to the Veterinary Surgery for treatment.

Be prepared always carry the local Veterinary Surgery’s telephone number on you and ring in advance so they know you are on your way and can be ready for you.

Know the Veterinary Surgery opening times and whether you need to telephone a different number if they are closed.

Whilst on your way to the Veterinary Surgery you can give your dog an antihistamine called Lepicortindo Prednisolona (Prednisolone).

Speak to your Veterinary Surgeon beforehand about having an antihistamine tablet ready to hand and the dose you should administer to your dog if required.

However the most important medication your dog requires has to be administered by a Veterinary Surgeon and involves a cortisone injection, antibiotics and fluid therapy, hence why it is very important to get to the Veterinary Surgery as soon as possible.

For more information on the dangers of these caterpillars and how to deal with any nests etc. please go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Processionary

http://web.cortland.edu/fitzgerald/pineprocessionary.html

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Woods near Salir do Porto

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GPS:  39.488929,  -9.154028

or

39°29’20.1″N   9°09’14.5″W

salir mapComing from the roundabout in Salir do Porto near the cemetry and has the exit to the swimming pool.

Take the exit to Chão da Parada, Tornada and Caldas da Rainha onto the Rua Doutor Gagliardini Graça.

Then take the second exit on your right onto the Rua da Primeira Circular, if you get to the railway crossing you have driven passed the turning.

As you drive along this road you will drive pass a turning on your right called Rua da Palhana, just after this turning look for the house in the photo below on your right

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Then this old building (see below) on your left

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We will park up off the road (see below) just after the old building in the photo above.

parking salir

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Palm Oil warning for dog walkers along the Silver Coastline in Portugal

A notice for anyone walking their dogs on the beaches along the Silver Coastline in Portugal.

On the morning of Wednesday 22nd July 2015 in Baleal near Peniche there was a lot of congealed palm oil washed up on the beach. The palm oil comes from the ships flushing their tanks and once it mixes with seawater it congeals. It looks like large lumps of wax (see photo below).

palm oil

Palm oil once in this solidified form is very toxic to dogs causing vomiting and diarrhoea, plus possible pancreatitis, kidney and liver failure and death.

As dogs are attracted to the oil please be on the look out if you are walking your dog on the beach. I would advise either keeping your dog on lead, putting a basket muzzle on your dog or avoiding the beaches at the moment.

If you suspect your dog has ingested any palm oil get them to your vet / or closest vet to you at the time immediately!

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Sponsored Walk Sunday 26th July 2015

Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros

IMG_2221 IMG_2190 IMG_2414Join us for a sponsored dog walk to raise money for the rescue dogs at Dogs of Portugal, Shelter Cantinho da Milu.

This sponsored walk is open to everyone, whether they have a dog or not.

Starting at 10am, the walk should take approximately 3IMG_2227 hours. We will stop at one the picnic areas along the route for lunch. Please bring your own food and drink.

The tracks are mainly sandy limestone and pretty even with a small part on a small road at the beginning, good walking footwear is advisable.

Please be aware you may come across other walkers and cyclists. Please respect others and keep your dogs under control whilst we do the sponsored walk.

There will be a €5 fee to join the walk, all going to Dogs of Portugal, plus the option to donate more if you wish.

 

 

 

Contact me at sharon@silvercoastangelicdogs.info for further details and to register for the sponsored walk.

Directions:

GPS:       39.554024, -8.843872    or    39°33’14.5″N  8°50’37.9″W

It is a fairly straightforward route driving along the N8 through Alcobaça, Aljubarrota, Olheiros, Cumeira de Baixo, Cumeira de Cima, Albergaria,Cruz da Legua, Moitalina, Chão da Feira, across the IC2, then head towards Porto do Mos.

In Porto do Mos you need the N243 Rua do Rio Alcaide to Livramento for a short while then the N362 Estrada de Santarém to Ribeira de Cima. Stay on the N362 which becomes the Rua Principal driving through Manhosa, Pragais to Serro Ventoso.

As you come into Serro Ventoso take first right onto Rua do Moinho to Bezerra.

As you come to Bezerra take first right onto Rua das Figueirinhas, as you drive along this road you will see a sandy football pitch, this is where we will park up and start the walk.

See maps below for further help with the location:

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Casias dos Morgados

 

 

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GPS:      39°28’31.6″N     9°07’41.3″W       or      39.475448,    -9.128134

Coming from Caldas da Rainha along the N8 take the left turn to Chão da Parada and Salir do Porto onto the Estrada Principal just after driving through Tornada.

If coming from Alcobaça way or Alfeizerão along the N8 take the right turn to Chão da Parada and Salir do porto onto the Estrada Principal before you reach Tornada.

As you drive along the Estrada Principal through Chão da Parada you will see a sign to Casias dos Morgados on your right. Take this turning onto the Rua Casias dos Morgados. Keep on this road in a straight line until you come into the woods, there is a clearing in the woods for us to park.

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Woods in Macarca

This weeks walk will take place in the woods at Macarca Between Alfeizerão and Famalicão.

sign for villageGPS:   39.526110, -9.090442    OR   39°31’34.0″N   9°05’25.6″W

Driving from São Martinho do Porto to Alfeizerão –

about half way along the main road running through Alfeizerão towards the A8 turn left just after the farmácia (pharmacy) on your left.

Driving from the N8 or A8 end of Alfeizerão –

about half way along the main road running through Alfeizerão towards São Martinho do Porto turn right just before the farmácia (pharmacy).

Stay on this road and you will enter the village Macarca. Keep driving through the village, as you are driving out of the village you will see a car garage on your right (photo below).

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Immediately after this car garage turn left down the fairly big track into the woods (photo below).

entrance woods

If you get to the railway line you have gone too far and need to turn around and come back.

Continue to drive along the track for about 400 yards and then park your car along the side of the track.

road to woods

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