FLEAS are a small, wingless insects, just a few millimetres long with hind legs modified for jumping. The majority of the flea life cycle will occur off the animal, but can easily occur in the home. The fleas lay their eggs on the animal, which then fall off into the environment (e.g. onto bedding or carpets). Only 5% of the flea population is actually on the animal, the remaining 95% is in the environment in form of eggs, larvae and pupae.
HOW IS YOUR PET AFFECTED?Fleas will bite cats, dogs, rabbits and even humans. You may notice your pet is scratching, licking or biting a lot, has unusual red patches of skin, signs of hair loss or flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like tiny black dots and can be identified by a simple quick test:
- Take a piece of paper towel and dampen
- Rub gently on your pets fur where you suspect there is flea dirt
- If the black dots change to a reddish-brown colour – FLEAS ARE PRESENT!
HOW TO HELP YOUR PET AGAINST FLEAS?Treat your pet with a prescription flea product as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinary surgeon. These can be in a variety of forms, such as spot-ons, collars or tablets. Speak to our staff about our Pet Health Care plans to make sure your pet gets the best prevention at the most affordable prices or find out more here. With a heavy infestation of fleas, don’t forget to treat the environment as well. Remember those fleas can live in bedding, sofas, beds, carpets, car, etc. so it’s just as important to treat the home as it is the pet!
TICKS are commonly found in long grass, and attach themselves to your pet as they brush passed. They are eight legged and are composed of two body sections. Their highly developed mouthparts allow them to pierce a pet’s skin and feed on the animal’s blood, sometimes causing reactions at the site of attachment. Severe infestations can lead to anaemia in young animals. Ticks are associated with Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.
HOW TO HELP YOUR PET AGAINST TICKS?Prevent Ticks by using a prescription tick product as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinary surgeon. Products can be in a variety of forms such as collars, tablets or spot on treatments. Protection against Ticks is now included within our Pet Health Plan, find out more here.
If you have any questions about these parasites or prevention, our staff would be happy to help.
Lungworm is a parasite that can lead to serious health problems in dogs and cats. If the parasite is undetected it can be fatal if not treated.
Dogs and cats become infected by ingesting infected slugs and snails carrying the lungworm larvae. Dogs and cats of all ages and breeds can become infected with lungworm however the younger animals tend to be more prone due to their inquisitive nature.
The practice periodically reviews the parasitic products it chooses to match the parasite risk and give the best cover for dogs and cats at any one time. Our staff will advise you on a safe and effective product.
THE LUNGWORM MAP
The Lungworm Map shows reported cases by vets and owners across the United Kingdom. The MK postcode currently have 37 reported cases and the map is regularly updated with new cases. However even if there are no reported cases in your area, your pet may still be at risk. Visit the Lungworm Map here.
WHAT IS LUNGWORM?Lungworm otherwise known as Angiostrongylus Vasorum in dogs, and Aelurpstrongylus Abstrusus in cats. This parasite resides in the heart and pulmonary arteries and can therefore be fatal. There has been an increase in recorded canine Lungworm cases, but it is still less common than other dog parasites such as flea, ticks and worms. Feline lungworm cases are currently rare, but more cases are confirmed each year.
HOW CAN YOUR PET GET LUNGWORM?Dogs become infected by this parasite through the ingestion of infected slugs and snails. You may not necessary see your pet ingest any slugs or snails, as they may do it accidently when eating grass or drinking from outdoor water bowls. Cats who hunt birds and rodents will be at a higher risk of ingesting this parasite.
HOW CAN IT BE DIAGNOSED?Lungworm can be diagnosed by:
- Blood test
- Faecal test
HOW WILL YOUR PET BE AFFECTED BY LUNGWORM?Canine symptoms can vary between cases, the most common signs are: coughing, lethargy, weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, excess bleeding from minor wounds and seizures.
Felines may never show signs that they are affected by Lungworm, however if symptoms do occur they can include coughing, difficulty breathing and poor body condition.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR LUNGWORM?Treatment is available for Lungworm cases in the form of a monthly prescription only treatment, which kills the L4 Lungworm larvae as well as other intestinal worms and fleas. However, in severe cases, this condition may be hard to treat.
PREVENTION IS KEY with Lungworm.Here are some tips to help
- Pick up the poop – Lungworm larvae is passed out in your pets faeces and therefore picking up after our pets prevents spread of the parasites
- Pick up their toys – toys that left outdoors will be exposed to slugs and snails, increasing the risk of parasite spread
- Don’t leave their food and water bowls outside – these will be exposed to slugs and snails increasing risk to your pet.
- Monthly prescription only worming treatment will protect your pet against Lungworm and reduce its spread. Not all spot on treatments treat against Lungworm, so please contact us for advice. Unfortunately at present, there is no licensed preventive treatment for cat lungworm. Lungworm prevention for dog is included in our Pet Health Care plans.
Has your pet’s vaccination slipped your mind? Our vaccination amnesty makes it easy to update your pet’s vaccinations and provide them with protection against various diseases. Your pet will receive a full vaccination course for the price of a booster!
Our vaccine amnesty will run throughout February 2018.
During your pet’s consult for their vaccination, they will also receive a full health check and physical examination. To fully protect your pet and update their vaccinations, they will need two injections, (3 weeks apart for both dogs and cats).
Dog vaccinations protect your dog against Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza viruses. Cat vaccinations protect your cat against Feline Infectious Enteritis, Cat Flu and Feline Leukaemia.
Why not consider joining our Pet HealthCare Plan for a monthly cost, which includes future vaccinations, flea, tick and worming treatment. For more information, click here.
Please call us on 01908 397777 to book an appointment
Terms of offer
- Only valid for dogs and cats who have lapsed their vaccinations and not new puppy or kitten courses
- Offer is for vaccination re-start for the price of a booster
- Any additional consults will be charged at usual cost
- Offer is valid from 1st – 28th February 2018
- This offer is valid across all our branches – Walnut Tree, Stoke Road, Whaddon Way, Stony Stratford and Willen
- If you have an outstanding balance with us, we will ask you to settle this before the appointment
- Non-clients can use this offer if they register with us and agree to our terms and conditions
There are many risks associated with our pets being overweight including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and more.
Tips for Avoiding Pet Obesity
There are things you can do to ensure your pet maintains a healthy weight:
Change of food
Ideally change your pet’s diet to a low calorie diet over a period of five to seven days.Home-made diets are rarely successful as your pet may still be hungry or start begging or even dustbin raiding. Diets with high levels of fibre help your pet feel full with also getting the nutrients and vitamins they need.
Avoid giving your pet treats as much as possible. However if you want to still give your pet treats include them as part of their diet and reduce their meal portions.
Weigh your pet’s food
To ensure your pet gets the required amount of food per their weight, it is best to weigh out each meal to maintain or lose weight.
Exercise your pet
Exercise is important in terms of weight loss and therefore your pet should be encouraged to exercise. Taking dogs for those winter woodlands walks or providing your cat with extra playtime at home will help keep them healthier.
We offer free nutritional consults with our veterinary nurses, Charlotte Barker and Laura Sandall, who both have many years of experience. Our nutritional consults are available with Wednesday between 10am-6pm at Walnut Tree and between 3.30-4pm on Thursday and Friday at our Willen Branch. Appointments with Laura are available on Monday between 9am – 4.30pm at Walnut Tree and on Tuesdays between 3.30-4pm at our Willen branch. If you have any questions about the nutritional consults or would like to book your pet in to see us, please do not hesitate to contact us.