Flea infestations are no longer a seasonal issue. They are now an all year round problem, because our pets spend much of their time in centrally heated houses. Prevention is easier than treatment. Many people do not realise that just 5% of the total flea population is on their pet, while 95% is on the carpet, curtains and sofas, so in addition to treating your pet, the house should also be done.
The warmer weather during the summer heralds an increase in the demand for flea control for our pets, although these small creatures can feed and reproduce throughout the year in our centrally heated houses. They are extremely successful parasites and have been with us for thousands of years, and even before we started to think of living in caves.
You will recall from your schooldays that the Black Death (bubonic plague), which killed one third of the population of Europe, was transmitted from rats to humans by fleas. Happily, nowadays, we have cures for such diseases and, in addition, there are simple methods to reduce the household flea population including rendering the female flea sterile.
Consideration must be given to fleas that are not attached to your pet – 95% of them, in fact – so it would seem prudent to tackle the furniture as well. Female fleas lay eggs after a blood meal, which are intended to survive until climatic conditions are suitable for hatching; they are tiny but resistant to all sorts of assault – one of the reasons why they remain so numerous.
We can supply all your requirements for effective flea control. If you need further advice please telephone one of our Veterinary Nurses on 01291 672637.
Worm Vet South Wales
Worms are internal parasites that are common in both dogs and cats. Most pets pick up worms while out and about and it's not always easy to tell if they are infested as often there aren't any outward symptoms of ill health. However, in sufficient numbers worms can cause your companion to lose weight and/or have sickness and diarrhoea. They also pose a potential risk to human health, which is why prevention is so important.
There are two groups of worms most commonly found in dogs and cats: these are roundworms and tape worms.
Our pets pick up roundworms by eating their larvae and the adult worm then develops inside the animal's body, with worms and eggs being passed out in faeces. These eggs then develop into larvae and the cycle starts again. The most common species of roundworm in dogs is Toxocara canis which can also infect people; children are particularly vulnerable as eggs can be picked up in contaminated soil. Once ingested by children, the worm larvae can migrate through the body and, if they reach the eyes, they may potentially cause damage to eyesight. This highlights how vital it is to 'pick up' after your dog.
Although a roundworm, the immature parasite needs to develop within an intermediate host such as a slug or snail before taking up residence in the lungs or heart of a dog (or fox), which can be fatal to that host. Because infested slugs and snails can be quite small, the dog may be unaware that it has eaten them whilst rummaging in the undergrowth or drinking from an outside water bowl.
There are several different species of tapeworm that can affect your pet, each with a unique method of infection. The most common species is acquired by swallowing fleas carrying larvae, when grooming. Once inside the animal's gut, the larva develops into an adult worm that can grow up to 5 metres in length. Other species are acquired by eating infected rodents/rabbits or through uncooked meats.
From the information above it's clear that preventing worm infestation is better than to wait until there's a problem. The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) recommends that dogs are wormed at least every 3 months. More regular treatment of young puppies and kittens is particularly important. Please speak to the nurse or vet about specific worming programmes and products for the new addition to your family.
For more information on worming your pet or for advice on setting up a worm control programme please contact one of our Veterinary Nurses on (Usk) 01291 672637 or (Caerleon) 01633 430053.