It’s that time of year again …. Parasite season!!! We have a special offer on in Ashwood Veterinary until the 12th of June to help you get on top of your pets’ summer parasite treatments. These days with Covid restrictions, we feel that we don’t get enough time to educate clients on the importance of treating your pets for parasites. The simple answer is to protect your pet and to protect your family!!!
Did you know that several of your pet’s pesky parasites can transmit diseases to your pet and YOU – yes, you? Read on and find out!!
Parasites are broadly divided into those that live outside the body, like fleas, ticks and mites and those that live inside the body, like worms. These are called Ectoparasites and Endoparasites respectively. This month we will discuss the Ectoparasites. Next month, I will give you the scoop on the Endoparasites.
Did you know that ticks:
- are nasty blood suckers which get larger when they feed?
- are not choosy … they will bite you or your pet?
- can transmit diseases such as Borreliosis in pets causing lethargy to lameness etc. and other tick-borne diseases? (https://www.msd-animal-health.ie/diseases/dogs/parasitic_disease/ticks/Introduction.aspx) can also transmit Borreliosis to us, where the disease is called Lyme disease, which can cause serious problems from fatigue to heart and joint diseases and memory loss? (https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/l/lyme-disease/)
- can be removed safely by using a special tick remover to twist the whole tick gently off? If you pull, you will likely leave the head behind, which is not only uncomfortable but can also cause a painful and infected skin lump. Call us, and we will be happy to help you.
- can be swiftly killed by using a prophylactic treatment against ticks. We have an assortment of different anti-parasitic treatments available. Anything from a monthly treatment up to a collar that lasts 8 months!! Yes, over half a year.
Did you know that fleas:
- are very resistant to treatment? Only 5% live on your pet and 95% in the environment as eggs, pupae and larvae and they hatch over months. Because they can be buried deep in inaccessible creases of flooring or carpets and bedding etc and because pupal stages are difficult to destroy with insecticides, it can take over three months of rigorous treatment of your house and pet to get rid of fleas. We recommend getting a strong veterinary flea treatment for your pet throughout the year and use veterinary household flea spray to treat infestations in the household. Don’t forget to hoover, wash bedding regularly, treat your car or any other areas where your pet stays. Believe me, it is not fun having a flea infestation of your house so please, use regular flea treatment for your pet to avoid getting to that stage.
- transmit tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum) in dogs and cats? Tapeworms can cause problems such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea and many other symptoms in your pet and can also infect you (see blog about worms). So when your pet has fleas, you need to treat him/her for worms and repeatedly because getting rid of fleas takes time.
- can transmit blood parasites called Mycoplasma Haemophilis and Candidatus Mycoplasma Haemominutum which cause anaemia in cats?
- can cause serious health conditions to your pet such as life-threatening anaemia, especially in young animals, and severe itchiness and painful sore skin?
- can cause YOU itchy skin irritations? Yes, fleas are the masters of jumping in the animal world relative to their size and can easily jump 30cm wide and some even say up to a meter. They just love tasty blood and if it’s from you, well …
- can cause Cat Scratch Disease in humans by transmitting Bartonella henselae (fever, lethargy, swollen glands etc)? (https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/child-health/pets-and-child-safety/cats-health-and-safety-risks-to-babies-and-children.html#Cat-scratch-fever)
Did you know that lice:
- can affect dogs, cats and small furries causing itchiness and sore skin?
- can be transmitted by direct contact and indirect for example by using a brush from an infected pet?
- can be treated, so contact us if you are concerned.
Did you know that mites of pets:
- cause a disease called mange and that there are different types such as Demodex, Sarcoptes, Otodectes ear mites etc.?
- can cause serious ear infections and skin infections with extensive itchiness and sore skin?
- don’t like humans and die fairly quickly? – thank you
- can be diagnosed by skin scraping and biopsy?
- can be treated by a strong veterinary anti-parasitic product? Some products for fleas and ticks treat automatically for mites but not all do. To be fair, considering that flea and tick infestations are very common but lice and mite infections much less, it is acceptable to use prophylactic flea and tick treatment only – this is unless your pet has been diagnosed or is suspected of having a mite or lice infection.
Hopefully this blog will make you jump up and get your pet’s parasite treatment. If you have any questions, just give us a call at 071 963 1043. We are happy to help.
And remember – prophylasis is better than treatment! Our summer special offer will help protect you and your pet for less, up to 30% less!!! Yes you heard me….. so call in and discuss which product suits your pet’s lifestyle.