For the long-term health and wellbeing of your pet and your family, it is essential that you routinely use proven, preventative treatments against the most common parasites throughout your pet’s life. Remember that prevention is much easier and cost-effective than cure.
Fleas are one of the most common external parasites in pets and are the cause of many skin problems. Although you may only see fleas on your pet, they are continually shedding eggs in your home and can lead to a home flea infestation. Flea bites to you and your family can be costly and complicated to treat. Did you know the adult flea can stay in its cocoon for up to 6 months before it emerges?
Although fleas are small, they can make your pet miserable. Once on your pet, fleas can bite every 5 minutes leaving your cat or dog itchy and uncomfortable. You only need to bring one flea inside your home to start an infestation. One female flea can produce enough eggs to escalate the problem in your home quickly.
Fleas live on a variety of animals such as rabbits and hedgehogs, as well as cats and dogs. When your pet is outdoors, fleas from the eggs left behind by other animals can jump on your pet. Once on your pet, they feed on his or her blood and start laying eggs.
Treating your pet with our Vet recommended treatment plan will effectively kill fleas and disrupt their life cycle.
We commonly recommend Nexgard Spectra, which is a chewable tablet given monthly. This protects against fleas, worms, ticks, lungworm and mites.
Some pets may have specific needs, for example, if travelling abroad so please discuss with us what will be most suitable for your pet.
Various worms can infect your pets, and they can pose a threat to your family. Worms that target pets include roundworms, hookworms, lungworms, and tapeworms, and they are prolific across the United Kingdom. Certain worm can produce more than 100,000 eggs per day, which are then passed in the pet’s faeces and spread throughout their living environment.
Your family can accidentally ingest worm eggs that have been passed through your pet’s faeces. The eggs can then hatch in your intestinal tract, and the worms can travel to various tissues in the body, including the eyes and brain, potentially causing serious infections.
Worms are a year-round threat, and the only way to keep your pet and family safe is through proactive actions to get the best products. Lungworm, which is passed on by slugs and snails, is potentially fatal and many over the counter products do not tackle this worrying parasite.
Please be aware that many products available elsewhere other than sold at Leadon Vale Veterinary Practice may be ineffective at treating all the species of worms and fleas your pet could get. There are many ranges of worming treatments available, including tablets, liquids, granules and spot-on.
Ticks are normally found in rural areas, especially where other animals graze. Ticks attach themselves to your pets as they brush past. To start off with they are tiny but as they feed on your pet's blood, they grow rounder and larger.
Ticks are especially dangerous for dogs as they tend to love countryside walks; they can cause anaemia but in adult pets (and indeed also humans), however, the main risk is Lyme Disease.
Pet owners should be especially careful when travelling abroad, as ticks in warmer climates carry further serious illnesses.
How to protect your pet against ticks
We recommend a spot-on treatment which will prevent ticks biting and can be applied monthly or at least 48 hours before travel abroad. Another solution is a special collar which provides ongoing protection for up to 8 months.
How to remove ticks
You should never remove ticks by pulling them out, as all that you are doing is detaching the tick's body from its head, which stays buried in the pet's skin. Ticks have very strong jaws that will remain lodged in the skin of your pet and may cause further infections.
The best way is to obtain tweezers specifically designed to remove ticks. They do so by gripping the tick close to the mouth parts and all you need to do is twist it out, which will release it safely.
Hazards in our local community
Fleas, worms and other parasites can be caught at parks local to Leadon Vale such as:
- Ledbury Recreation Ground
- Ledbury Park
- Malvern Hills
- Shropshire Hills
- Brecon Beacons National Park
- Breinton Springs
- Herefordshire Trail
Parks are a breeding ground for parasites, especially in the warmer months from April to October. As a pet owner, you do not want to deprive your beloved pet of the chance to make friends, and you certainly do not want to limit the opportunity to be outside. But, if it seems like all the other pets are itching, scratching and playing with slugs and other parasite carriers, what is a pet owner to do?
The vets at Leadon Vale Veterinary Practice recommended being proactive before enjoying your local community.
Don’t live in fear of parasites; every year we help hundreds of pet owners just like yourself have a parasite free pet. Not only will you save money on veterinary costs, but you will give your pet the quality of life they deserve.
For more information, please contact our friendly team.