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A beautiful, yellow-eyed cat receiving treatment. Doug Hall feeding a well-loved client.

Paws For Thought- Article 16

5th September 2019

Parasite Control

 

It is starting to feel more Autumnal, and although you would expect a reduction in fleas and other parasites as the temperature drops, we wanted to highlight that most parasites are sadly present all year round. In this article I’ll discuss common parasites that are in the Guildford area, the risks that they pose to our pets and any seasonal changes in their prevalence.

 

Ectoparasites (external parasites):

These are the critters that are found living on the fur/skin of animals, and they include-

    Fleas

    Ticks

    Mites

    Lice

Most ectoparasites cause skin irritation and itching (known as pruritus). Even if you don't see fleas, they can still be an issue, and even one bite can either cause a severe skin reaction or transmit a tapeworm in cats. Some animals have a condition called Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD) and they have the most severe reaction to flea bites.

As you may remember from my article in April, Ticks are now found all year round, but are less prevalent in the colder months. Ticks can cause bite reactions and can transmit disease to your pet (although this is rare). 

The most common mite we see is the ear mite (Otodectes cynotis) which is generally found in young puppies, and treated with anti-parasitic treatment and topical ear treatment.

 

Endoparasites (internal parasites):

    Intestinal worms

    Lungworm (in dogs)

    Tapeworms

    Heartworm*not found in the UK.

Prevention against these parasites requires a combined treatment plan that is appropriate to your pet and their habits.

Lungworm is one of our biggest concerns, as this parasite can be fatal. The symptoms can vary from a mild cough to more serious bleeding. Due to the risks with this parasite, we recommend year round protection.

If your pet is travelling to Europe, they will require protection against Heartworm, and possibly other parasites, depending on the location of travel.

 

Standard protocol:

DOGS: Advocate pipette monthly and Milpro tablet every 3-6 months

CATS: Stronghold pipette monthly and Milpro tablet every 3-6 months.

We treat every animal as an individual and some parasite treatments may not suit your pet or your lifestyle so we may alter parasite control accordingly. There are many different products for parasite control, and we always recommend talking to one of our vets in order to find the right protocol for your pet. There are some treatments that are not as efficacious and so do not despair if you have tried a treatment from the pet shop/supermarket and it hasn’t worked- your pet may require a stronger parasite treatment from the vet or more comprehensive cover including treating your home for any parasitic eggs/larva that may be re-infecting your pet.

 

If you are concerned that you have seen any parasites or that your pet may not be having the appropriate protection from parasites, please do contact us at the Cape Veterinary Clinic on 01483 538990.

 

Catherine Hannah BVSc MRCVS

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