Worms - The parasite problem inside your pet!
The most common type of roundworm found in the UK is known as Toxocara. Nearly all puppies and kittens are born with roundworms which have been passed to them from their mother. They can also be infected via their mothers milk. Animals who are infected with roundworms may pass adult worms in the faeces and/or vomit them up. They appear like thin, white elastic bands and can be up to several inches long. As well as adult worms, eggs can be passed in the faeces and these can live in the environment for many years, ready to infect the next animal that comes along.
Toxocara is a ZOONOSIS.
This means it can pass from animals to humans.
Children are particularly at risk.
It can cause serious health problems and, in extreme cases, blindness.
Tapeworms are more commonly found in adult animals. They require an intermediate host to complete their lifecycle. This host is often the flea so any animal found to have tapeworm should also be treated for fleas.
Tapeworm segments are passed in the faeces and look like flattened grains of rice. They can often be seen stuck in the fur around the bottoms of infected animals. The adult worm lives in the gut and can grow to a considerable size while shedding these "segments".
Puppies and kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. They should then be treated monthly until they are 6 months old. Thereafter they can go onto an adult regime of every 3 months.
Dogs and cats who hunt or are prone to scavenging can be treated more often. We have various preparations available for worming: tablets, liquid, granules and spot-on. Our staff can advise you on the best product for your pet's needs.
Fleas - Prevention is better than cure!
Fleas are a problem all year round . Warm, damp weather in the spring and summer is an ideal environment for fleas. Once the autumn comes round, on goes the central heating and outcome the fleas!!
The most common flea found in the UK, affecting both cats and dogs, is the cat flea . Hunting cats may also catch rabbit fleas which tend to stick around the edges of the ears. Cat and dog fleas are found in the coat, especially around the base of the tail.
Adult fleas live and feed on animals, but the female lays eggs that fall off into the environment. Under favourable conditions these eggs develop first into larvae and then into pupae. The pupae contain adult fleas, which lie in wait for a suitable host. 90% of the lifecycle is completed off your pet.
Modern, carpeted and centrally heated homes provide ideal conditions for the year round development of fleas. The highest number of flea eggs are found where your pet spends most time. Just because you can't fleas doesn't mean you don't have them!
Many pets can live with fleas but show minimal signs. Adult fleas live on the animal and feed on blood. Young or debilitated animals may become anaemic. This can be very serious, causing lethargy and even death.
Some pets can be allergic to flea saliva . When a flea feeds, it first injects saliva into the skin. If your pet is allergic to this saliva, it will groom and scratch excessively causing sores, scabs
and skin disease. Humans too, can be allergic to flea bites.
The best flea products have dual action on both your pet and the environment. Use a really effective and persistent product on all the dogs and cats you have, to kill adult fleas, as well as treating your home.
Fleas are the intermediate host for a type of tapeworm. Tapeworm eggs, which are shed in the faeces, are eaten by flea larvae which develop into infected fleas. Eating infected fleas while grooming infests your pet.
Any pet with fleas is also likely to have tapeworm and should be treated for both.
For every adult flea in your home there are potentially 500 more in the form of eggs, larvae and pupa!
Ticks are oval shaped insects which attach to your pet's skin in order to feed . They can resemble a wart-like lump so if you are unsure please bring your pet to the surgery
to see one of our nurses.
Never pull a tick off, you may leave the head under the skin, causing infection.
The tick does not need to be killed before removal if a suitable device is used to remove it. Again, one of our nurses will be happy to do this for you. We have various products to protect against ticks and our staff can advise you on the best one for your pet.