During Easter, there are plenty of treats around the household. Some of those treats are toxic to your pets and we advise to be aware of potential dangers.
EASTER EGGS – Easter eggs contain cocoa solids which contains Theobromine – this is poisonous to animals. All chocolate whether it is white, milk or dark can contain Theobromine. If you pet has eaten some chocolate, please make sure you bring the chocolate wrapper when you visit your vet.
GRAPES – Take care to keep grapes away from your pet. Some individuals may not show immediate signs, poisoning can occur with as little as 8 grapes in a Yorkshire Terrier.
HOT CROSS BUNS – Raisins, currants and sultanas can be poisonous to animals so please take care to keep cakes and buns away from your animal.
MOULD – Innocent looking mould on food in rubbish bins and sacks can contain toxins which will attack an animal’s nervous system. Small amounts of these mycotoxins can cause tremors and seizures.
DAFFODILS – Many bulbs, plants and house plants can be poisonous to dogs. If you are unsure of the name of the plant and don’t have a label, ensure you bring part of the plant to try and identify it.
BONES – Small & cooked bones especially from poultry can fragment into pieces with very sharp edges when chewed by dogs. If swallowed, these can then become stuck in the digestive tract and may require surgery to remove.
ONIONS – All of the onion family including shallots, leeks and chives whether they are dried, cooked or raw can be poisonous to animals. Always check the packaging if your pet has eaten something.
If your pet ingests a toxin, we advise you contact your vet for advice and keep the product packaging to hand if they have any questions.
So this year, Milton Keynes Veterinary Group are eager to organise a charity calendar (charities are yet to be confirmed). Therefore we would like your best pet photo (must be excellent quality). We are aiming to get as many pets as possible on the calendar and we also need seasonal pictures:
- Spring time
We look forward to seeing all your photos.
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.