Controlling Fleas, Ticks, Worms and more…There are many internal and external parasites that can affect your cat or dog. Most of them will just cause mild symptoms including skin irritation or diarrhoea but some are potential fatal.
• Tapeworms – long flat worms made up of multiple segments that can grow to 55cm long. These worms shed their segments which can be seen in faeces and resemble white rice grains.
• Roundworms – look like a ‘typical worm’, being white and string like in appearance. These worms can sometimes be seen in faeces or vomit but often stay within your pet’s digestive tract.
• Lungworms – live in the lungs and airways and not the digestive tract. Lungworm has only become a problem in the UK recently but are potentially fatal if not treated.
Most animals are infected with worms via ingesting their eggs or larva. This can be directly from the ground (roundworms) or via ingestion of an intermediate host like a flea, slug or snail (tapeworm and lungworm). Some worms can also spread directly from mum to pup/kitten via the placentae and in some circumstances even the milk.
Worm infections vary in the clinical signs that they cause. These may include vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss or respiratory problems. We must also remember that some worms can be transmitted from animals to humans, especially children, so it is important to regularly protect your pet from infection.
There are multiple products on the market these days to treat and prevent against all types of worms in cats and dogs. No one product suits every animal therefore talk to one of our staff or book a free nurse clinic to chat about your pets lifestyle and how best to protect them.
FleasAdult fleas feed on animal blood (including human) and then breed shedding eggs into the animals environment ready to hatch into the next generation. This rapid breeding cycle can very quickly lead to a flea infestation in your house.
Cats and dogs can catch fleas from each other, other animals (e.g. hedgehogs) or from the environment (e.g. infested houses or cars). In mild cases fleas cause skin irritation and itching but in severe cases can causeanaemia and some animals are allergic to the flea saliva and this can cause severe skin disease.
Flea infestations should be treated or ideally prevented using a quality spot on or tablet preparation. You should also treat the environment in which your pet lives in regularly to help reduce the environmental contamination with fleas and their eggs. Flea collars, shampoos and powders are no longer recommended.
TicksTicks are commonly found in the UK and they attach onto cats and dogs (and humans!) in order to feed then fall off. In most causes this onlycauses mild skin irritation but in some parts of the UK ticks can spread disease, for example Lymes disease.
Ticks are best removed individually using a tick remover. Some of the other methods you may have heard off including using alcohol or a flame are dangerous and cause the tick to regurgitate the blood back into your pet increasing the change of spreading infection. There are many products available that either cause ticks to fall off quickly or that prevents the tick form attaching in the first place. Speak to one of our staff to find out more.
There are many mites and lice that vary in size, some being able to be seen on your pets skin by eye (e.g. harvest mite or cheyletiella) and others so small and living within your pets skin that you can’t see them (e.g. sarcoptes (fox manage) or demodex). They all cause skin irritation in varying degrees from mild to severe.
Many lice and mites are transmissible to humans in close contact with the infected animal.
Most mite and lice infections can be treated quickly and easily using a spot on product or spray effective against the particular mite or louse.
Every cat and dog is susceptible to parasite infections, which can easily be treated or prevented with the right advice and products. No one product treats/prevents against everything so please talk to one of our staff or book a free nurse clinic to discuss your pets individual requirements.