Pet Parasites – What you need to know

Having a pet can you bring you so much joy and the company they provide is second to none,  and as a responsible pet owner there are a couple of things you need to be on top of to give them the best possible care.  Annual health-checks with yearly vaccinations is one thing, preventative treatment for parasites is the second and a healthy diet is third, a combination of all these things will ensure your pet is as healthy as can be.  Today however, I want to talk to you about pet parasites and why you don’t want these to visit your pets and in turn your household.

Roundworm (Toxocara)

Roundworm is probably the most common worm your pet can contract, not only can it make your pet feel quite rotten, the threat to humans from accidentally eating eggs from the roundworm Toxocarapose a significant threat to human health, potentially causing blindness or neurological disease – especially in children.

Lungworm

Lungworm is perhaps the most commonly known worm to pet owners and one that they are most concerned about due to the severity of the effect it can have on dogs.  It’s worth noting that lungworm is more common in certain areas of the UK and whilst in my area (Northamptonshire) it remains relatively uncommon, there is no doubt it is spreading all over the country .  Lungworm is harmful to dogs but harmless to humans.

Ticks

Again ticks are predominant in certain areas in the UK more than others but are a growing problem.  Ticks carry the risk of transmitting diseases like Lyme disease and Babesiosis, with Lyme disease being harmful to humans too.  Ticks can be found all year round in the UK but are more common between March and November when temperatures are higher.  There’s also been reports to suggest that ticks are becoming more common due to the increase of travelling pets.

 

The key thing to remember with pet parasites is prevention is better than cure, all of the above won’t cause you any worry if you do all you can to help prevent your pet from contracting parasites in the first place,

The latest preventative treatments for parasites are only available through your vets (or through a written prescription to buy online), and it’s worth remembering that treating your pet all year round is essential, your pet is at risk 365 days a year.

If cost is an issue then speak to your vet about any practice payment plans they may have, this can help you spread the cost throughout the year and often includes 2 health-checks a year on top of the yearly vaccinations and year-round parasite protection.

As I said at the beginning, owning a pet is one of the best things you can do…I have 2 dogs and 5 cats, they run a riot around my house but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

My brood!

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