Did you know that fleas and worms can be passed on to you and your family? They can also cause your pet pain and discomfort and in extreme cases, death.
Household pets are susceptible to fleas which live in almost any warm environment. This could be your pet’s fur, your clothes and furniture, and in the summer months the grass and sand outside your house or in the local park.
Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs every single day, and when all 50 of those start breeding, you quickly have an infestation on your hands. This rapid lifecycle makes fleas particularly difficult to get rid of. As well as being hard to clear, fleas will bite both you and your pet causing red, itchy bumps and to top it all off, bites can also spread nasty diseases.
If your pet has fleas, they are likely to swallow them whilst grooming. This is bad news as fleas can carry tapeworm eggs which will hatch in your pet’s gut. Tapeworms will then cause your pet to become very unwell if they’re not treated quickly and effectively.
Indications your pet has fleas include:
- Red, itchy, sore spots on your pet’s skin (these could appear on you also)
- Excessive scratching
- Over grooming and pulling fur out
- Fleas themselves seen moving through your pet’s fur
- Brown/black specs in your pet's fur (these are flea eggs)
There are a number of different intestinal parasites (or ‘worms’) that can affect your pets. These include roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm.
Indications your pet has intestinal worms include:
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- What looks like grains of rice in your pet’s vomit, faeces and around their bottom (these may be moving)
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
- Potbellied appearance (especially in puppies)
There is also a potentially much more serious ‘worm' called lungworm. This only affects dogs and occurs when they ingest larvae found in infected snails or slugs. They can also accidentally eat infected tiny slugs if they are on a toy or their fur.
The lungworm larvae then grow inside the dog and adult lungworms move through their body to live in their heart and blood vessels.
They cause haemorrhages predominantly in the lungs and liver but can occur anywhere in the body, and if left untreated, lungworm infected can be fatal.
Indications your dog has lungworm:
- breathing problems
- reluctance to exercise
- if a dog gets a minor injury, like a small cut, it might bleed for longer
- abnormal blood clotting
The good news is that there are effective products available to prevent all of these parasites, which we would recommend. Most importantly, especially in SE London where we are seeing a resurgence in cases of lungworm, we HIGHLY recommend a lungworm preventative product.
Most of the safe, effective preventative treatments for parasites are prescription products which mean they can only be dispensed once an animal has been examined by us, and for a maximum of 6 months at a time.