Fleas, ticks and worms the dangers
When it comes to fleas, ticks or worms any type of investigation is not good. Therefore it is essential that you know how to protect your pets against them and stop them from coming back.
Fleas are small parasites which live on your pet’s body, surviving on their blood. Its quite easy for your pet to get fleas unless you protect them. Unlike humans nits cannot survive without living on the scalp, fleas, on the other hand, can survive in your pet’s coat meaning they can invest your home too.
Although fleas are difficult to notice whilst in their infant stage, as adults they are a lot easier to notice. However, by the time you can see them it may be too late. Indications that your pet may have fleas often come from their behaviour, often biting or scratching at their skin. Therefore if your pet is doing this quite often ensure you check them over thoroughly to see if there are any signs of fleas. Prevention is always the best cure especially when it comes to this type of parasites.
Ticks actually belong to the spider family. They are a blood-sucking parasite which again happily attaches themselves to your pet’s body to feed. Unlike fleas, the tick latches on to one place on your pet’s skin and sucks their blood, this is certainly not a nice thing for your pet to experience.
Furthermore, these can be very dangerous for our pets, as ticks often carry diseases such as Lyme disease which can be fatal to both your pets and humans. Ticks need to be removed very carefully, there are various ways in which to remove a tick. The safest and most effective is using a “tick twister”. This is a small plastic tool with a claw-shaped head, the head slots between the actual body of the tick and your pet, giving you the leverage to twist it out of your pet’s skin in one piece. These are a great tool to keep handy and available to buy at our Veterinary Centre.
After the tick has been removed, ensure you wash your pet’s skin and wipe it with a topical antiseptic. Ensure you keep an eye on the area for a few days to ensure it does not become inflamed or irritated. Although it is quite rare, it is important that pet owners are aware of the potential symptoms of Lyme’s disease. These include loss of appetite, general lethargy and lameness and often depression. If you have any concerns at all please do not hesitate to get in touch.
When it comes to worms there are quite a few different types which can affect your pet, some which are deadly. Therefore you need to ensure you protect your pet from coming into contact with them. Most commonly are tapeworms and roundworms, however, they don’t have obvious symptoms to spot.
These live in the dog’s intestines, although your dog may not always show signs of infection. Signs, especially in puppies, include diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss, dull hair and sometimes a potbelly. In the case of roundworms getting into the lungs, the dog could also develop a cough. Often in adult roundworms, you can notice them in their faeces or vomit. These appear light brown or white in colour and are several inches in length.
These are both long and flatworms, which attach to your dog’s or cat’s intestines. They have their own reproductive organs and consist of multiple parts or segments. Often infections caused by tapeworms and generally diagnosed by seeing small white worms which look like seeds or grains of rice. Normally these are found in the rear end of your dog or in its stools or around the place they live or sleep. In the prevention of tapeworm infections a monthly heat worm drug should be used which is specific for this type of infection.
Lungworms, on the other hand, can do serious damage to your pet, therefore it is important you have a regular worming routine. Pets can be infected with lungworm from eating snails or slugs, in addition, they can be infected by drinking the water which the slugs or snails have been in. Currently, the north of England is not a “hot-spot” for lungworms. Infections are however common in the South-West, South Wales and London.
Protecting your pet
Finally, at our veterinary centre, we can ensure your pet has a worming routine to help protect them from the potential issues caused by the various types of worms. You can find out more about these issues on our dedicated page or make an appointment for us to help protect your pet.
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