Parasites are back……

Although we have all been rejoicing at the recent heat wave we have had this February we have to take a minute to remember what this will have done for our pets parasites.

Fleas:

Much of our time as vets is taken up seeing skin conditions often caused by fleas. This can be a simple case of a dog or cat being very itchy or to other more severe cases where the skin is covered in small scabs, with hair loss and the animal and owner being in a lot of distress.

With central heating fleas can become an all year-round problem as the pupal and larval stages can continue to develop within the environment i.e. your house, where your pet sleeps and where you sleep. Unfortunately the pupal stage is not susceptible to any treatments either applied to the environment or your pet. The pupae can take up to 2 months to hatch, so during this time ensuring your pet is completely up to date with a good flea product is so important to prevent any new adult fleas from developing, laying more eggs which can progress to larvae and pupae again – so the cycle continues.

The importance of breaking the life cycle in fleas is critical to improving a flea problem. You can imagine with the warm weather we have had the affect this would have had on speeding the development of the life cycle.

FACT – a female cat flea can lay as many as 40 to 50 eggs per day and more than 2,000 eggs in her lifetime.

Treatment:

Fleas are easy to treat but requires a good flea product which you and your vet has confidence in. We are seeing a progression to using tablets in dogs, often which treat ticks as well. This can be a product given every 4 weeks i.e. Simparica or one given every 12 weeks i.e. Bravecto. For cats there are a number of spot on medications which are normally given every 4 weeks i.e. Stronghold plus and Advocate. Please speak to your vet which type of product will suit your pet.

This is just one of our pet parasites but take a minute to remember all the others:

Ticks, mites, lice, round worms & tapeworms. Just because we cannot necessarily see these parasites doesn’t mean they are not affecting your pet in some way.

If you have any questions about parasites in your pets please contact your local friendly vet for a chat.