Tis the season to be itching!!!

It is true that warmer (and wetter) climates do encourage parasites to emerge and so our pets are at more risk in the summer of a visit from these pesky creatures (let’s not call it an infestation!)

What are we talking about? Primarily ticks and fleas but also mites and internal worms would feature here too. And other than causing skin disease and a life-consuming itch, these insects can carry infectious, and sometimes fatal, disease.

With global warming, easier pet travel and a trend for rescuing pets from foreign countries our pets are more at risk than ever of acquiring an infectious disease through the vector of an insect.

So, what do you need to know? Essentially, if it is all too confusing and it’s difficult to get your head around the multitude of products available simply come and chat to us about it. Ask your vet what they use on their pet, what you want covered in your pet and which products you need to get maximum cover for minimum fuss! If you want a bit more information, have a read below…

Ticks: Ticks used to be found in wetter parts of the UK but now seem more evenly distributed throughout. They suck your pets’ blood to get a meal and when doing so can transmit Lyme’s disease (as they can to you), Babesia (a blood-borne pathogen which can cause a life-threatening anaemia) amongst a host of equally scary diseases.

Fleas: Fleas bite, are itchy, carry worms and are a monkey to rid your home of. If you find a single flea on your pet, there will be approximately 100 in your home. This is because fleas live and breed in your home and jump on warm-blooded creatures for the purpose of getting a meal. Prevention is better than cure and is formulated mostly as spot-on products or ‘tasty’ tablets. If trying to clear an existing flea burden then as well at killing the fleas on your pet, a big aspect of getting control will be also treating your home with an effective product. Again, we can advise you here.

Lungworm: Unlike many other diseases, lungworm is not passed from dog to dog. The worm grows and develops in slugs and snails, and dogs become infected from eating these in the garden or out on walks. Infection can, in the most extreme cases, cause death. Not every snail or slug carries the worm, but it’s much more common in southern parts of England than the rest of the UK. If your pet tends to eat snails or slugs, they are at risk so come and ask us the best way to prevent infection in your pet.

Intestinal worms: Tapeworms, Roundworms, Whipworms and Hookworms. Symptoms can range from silent to diarrhoea and vomiting to swollen abdomens and lethargy and, in severe cases, blocked intestines. Easily prevented and treated with tablets for dogs and cats or a spot-on preparation for cats.

Don’t be fooled into thinking your pets are safe in Winter, we see lots of cases as soon as the heating gets turned on every year.