Parasite Prevention for Summer Safety
Tuesday, 7 January 2020 8:52 AM
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
Can you believe it’s the year 2020?! Time flies when you’re having fun – it’s insane to think how fast the New Year came around. We hope you’ve been able to enjoy some time off with your family, friends and fur-kids! We imagine you all either enjoying time along the river or down the beach… especially with all this warmer weather! We also want to take this time to say that we are all still thinking about those that have been affected by the terrible fires, and have found solace and could find some joy during the difficult time.
With a new year, we always make the same old ‘New Year Resolutions’ – wanting to lose weight, travel more, see friends more, be more organised, keeping on top of our pet’s parasite control… the list goes on! And we’ll be the first to admit that by the end of the year, many of our goals have not been met. But we can help with the latter of the list – with helping you be more organised with giving your pets’ parasite control! We can understand that it sometimes goes under the radar when you’ve got a flat out lifestyle, but we do put our beloved animals in jeopardy when we miss their monthly or 3-monthly treatments.
“We put them in jeopardy!? What could worms or fleas do to put my pet in jeopardy?”
Great question! Though they are small, intestinal worms and fleas can create big problems. Dogs & cats can contract intestinal worms by eating contaminated soil, grass, faeces or by grooming other dogs. And fleas- well, we know that they love jumping from pet to pet, and can live in the environment for years in a dormant stage. Did you know - A worm can survive in the ground for up to five years? Tapeworms, the most common variety of worms, are picked up from eating infected fleas. Intestinal worms can also be passed on to puppies from their mother when they’re born or still suckling. If not treated/prevented, pets can show symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, anaemia and in extreme cases death. Puppies can also experience issues with their growth if they are not protected from worms.
The other thing we put in jeopardy is ourselves – humans can contract different intestinal worms from their pets. It can be passed from your dog when they lick you or when you walk barefoot near where they have gone to the toilet. Be sure to wash your hands after you’ve been playing with your pet, especially before consuming food. Roundworm is easily passed onto young children, and if left untreated can sometimes result in blindness. Tapeworm can be contracted easily too, which is known to cause nausea, diarrhoea and loss of appetite in humans. Yucky stuff right!
Oh and we can’t forget about fleas – though they can’t cause death, they can cause a serious case of the itchies! Some pets can be allergic to flea bites, causing their skin to become extremely itchy and irritated, making them scratch and bite at their skin and causing infections which only get better with medication from the vets. Though they feed off our pets, the eggs that the fleas lay will drop into the environment, meaning the cycle will continue to happen, so make sure to treat all pets in the household as all pets in the house are at risk of getting fleas.
Symptoms to look out for if you think your pet has worms include:
- ‘Scooting’ (dragging their bottom across the ground)
- Weight loss
But to think, all these nasties can be prevented with a simple step – giving them a preventative treatment! Luckily, even if your cat or dog is difficult to give tablets to, there are many different options of treatments you can use including spot-ons (liquid that is put on the back of your pet’s neck), tasty chew tablets and normal tablets. There are products that can cover fleas & worms together or separately, and products that will last monthly or 3-monthly. You can ask us about which combination would suit your needs the best.
Now, you may remember that we talked about how would be the best way to remind yourself to give these preventatives at the start of this blog. A few ideas that may help to remind you when your pet is due can include:
- Writing on your calendar
- Setting a reminder (with an alarm) on your phone
- Leaving a sticky note on the fridge or somewhere obvious
- Ask us to set a reminder when you come in & purchase the treatment – you will receive a text message reminder when your pet is next due!
--View flea handout