Parasites – A Source of Irritation For Your Pet

Deborah Smith BVM&S MRCVS discusses the best ways to prevent parasites becoming a problem for your pet.

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Parasites come in all shapes and sizes from those that live inside the body; round worms, tape worms and lungworm to those that live on the outside such as fleas, ticks, mites, and lice.

How Do You Know If Your Pets Have Parasites?

Well sometimes you may not… it is possible that your pet may have parasites and not show any outward clinical signs whatsoever but this does not mean that they are not a problem to them or even passing them on to you or your children. However, there are changes that you may notice either in their general behaviour or medical problems, these may include:

  • Restlessness and being unsettled
  • Itching/chewing/licking at specific areas of the body
  • Hair loss or excessive moulting
  • Red or inflamed skin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Coughing

Because of this we recommend regular parasite prevention rather than waiting for a problem to occur. We understand it is very easy to pick up flea and worm products when you are out shopping but these are often none prescription medicines and are likely not to do what they say on the box – treat or prevent parasites. Also, some of them can be harmful to your pets if used incorrectly.

How Can We Help?

Parasite control has massively evolved over the last few years and it is often now easy to prevent the most common parasites with one easy preparation, these are often drops applied directly to the skin especially useful in cats or palatable tablets that have been formulated as treats.

Consultations are readily available at PVC or our branches with our nurses to discuss routine prevention of parasites where a plan can be tailored specifically to your pets and their lifestyle. If your pet has not been seen by a vet within the last 12 months for a health check or you are worried that your pet might have parasites we will make an appointment for you with one of our vets.

What Will Happen In a Veterinary Consult

A full health check will be carried out and we will ask lots of questions about your pet’s lifestyle and any concerns that you may have. It is possible to detect some parasites through this alone and if this is the case then treatment will be discussed with you and prescribed.

In some cases, further investigations may be necessary, these may include collecting a sample of faeces to be looked at under the microscope, taking skin scrapes. This is where a sample of skin cells is taken by scraping on the very surface layer of the skin using a scalpel blade and can often be achieved without sedation. These help us rule out parasites that live under the skin surface, hair plucks or looking at fur or dandruff that comes out though general grooming under a microscope.

These simple non-invasive diagnostic procedures are often carried out in an extended consultation without the need for leaving your pet. It may take a day or two to get these results but when we do again a full treatment plan can be discussed and prescribed.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Why not make use of our VIP Scheme for Dogs, Cats and Rabbits, this is a cost-effective way of preventing parasites becoming a problem and giving optimum protection to your pets? With monthly payments or a single yearly fee for as long as you are in the scheme your pet will be provided with an individually tailored parasite and vaccination treatment plan. Included within our VIP Pet Club schemes are discounts off:

  • Retail purchases
  • Neutering
  • Dentistry
  • Pet report services

Out of hours emergency

Save money with our VIP Club!

Join our VIP Pet Club and get great discounts on your pet’s routine preventative healthcare in easy monthly payments.

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