Parasites are extremely common especially in multi-pet households. The situation becomes increasingly serious when we think about zoonotic parasites (those that can affect people). Maintaining clean homes can help keep parasite numbers down, but how can we control what parasites our pets are exposed to outside? Cats have a tendency to explore under houses and beyond the limits of your property, whilst dogs which are walked regularly could be more at risk. And what about the reservoir of parasites stray cats, rodents and birds carry? There are many situations where parasite exposure can result in your pets requiring veterinary attention. This underlines the importance of effective parasite prevention.
Most endoparasites (internal parasites)) affect the gastrointestinal system, with some affecting the respiratory tract. We are most aware of the mature stage of their life cycle but the parts of the body affected during their development are equally significant. The immature stages of hookworms can be absorbed through the skin, causing nasty sore at the contact surfaces of the paw. Other worms can migrate through the liver causing hepatitis and later resulting in scarring (cirrhosis). It is thus vital to maintain worming in all your pets throughout their lifetime.
Ectoparasites (external parasites) usually result in skin issues. These range from mange (demodex or sarcoptes), allergies (flea allergy dermatitis) to hot spots (localised hypersensitivity). Fleas are not specific to cats or dogs. They can be found in other small mammals (rodents) and are well known to feed on humans. Fleas can also host intermediate stages of tapeworms.
Parasite preventatives come in two forms; oral and topical treatments. Tablets for cats vary from all wormers to flea tablets. Dogs vary from all wormers, fleas only and everything in between. There are more and more products coming out on the market every year. Deciding on a product can be overwhelming but there are two things that can help you decide:
Some pets are impossible to give pills to, other pets react to topicals. Every pet is different. If you have any questions about the right product for you, please feel free to contact our friendly staff.