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Archive for July, 2020

Guidance regarding coronavirus and cats

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
A statement was recently issued by DEFRA who confirmed that a pet cat in England had tested positive for COVID-19 following tests at the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 22nd July. The cat only showed mild signs of the virus, and has since made a full recovery.

We appreciate that at this time pet owners may be worried about this news, but would like to reassure our clients that there is still no evidence that infected pets can pass COVID-19 directly to humans. There are only a small number of cases where COVID-19 has been diagnosed in pets worldwide, and transmission was from an infected human to the animal.

Our advice remains if you have COVID-19, or are self-isolating with symptoms, to restrict contact with your pets as a precautionary measure and to ensure good hygiene standards such as regular hand washing. The virus can potentially be present on your pets’ fur, in the same way it is on other surfaces, further highlighting the important of maintaining good hygiene at all times.
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Pet Blood Bank Session – Saturday 1st August

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
We are holding our next Pet Blood Bank Doggy Donation Session at our Stoke Road surgery on Saturday 1st August.

The Pet Blood Bank are welcoming new donors and would particularly like the breeds listed.

Dogs on this list tend to be Negative blood type and this type is high in demand because it can be given to any dog in an emergency.

Do you have one of these breeds?


Please give us a call on 01908 397777 if you think your hound could be a hero

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Parasites: Tick Facts

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
Ticks are commonly found in long grass, and attach themselves to your pet as they brush pass. 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.
  • Ticks also have four life stages – egg, larva, nymph and adult. All the life stages except the egg require to feed on the host.
  • Ticks are arachnids – therefore they are closely related to spiders rather than insects. As a nymph within the life cycle they only have six legs and eight legs when they reach the adult stage.
  • Ticks may appear as small dark specks on your pet’s fur – these can be hard to find when they are small therefore it is important to protect them by using a preventative treatment.
  • Ticks can feed on the blood of different hosts – such as dogs, cats, birds, humans and many more.
  • Ticks have different species – ticks most commonly found on pets within the UK are Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes hexagonus. Dermacentor reticulatus and Rhipicephalous sanguineus can also occasionally be found.
  • Ticks can transmit disease to the host – they acquire disease from an infected host during feeding and can pass them along to other animals. Many diseases are transmitted after many hours of feeding.
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Parasites: Flea Facts

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
Fleas are small, wingless ectoparasites, just a few millimetres long with hind legs modified for jumping.
  • They have a lifecycle of four stages – The four stages are egg, larva, pupa and adult. The adult flea will lay eggs on a host animal which will fall off into the environment. Eggs will then hatch within the environment into the larvae stage. The larvae stage will continue to feed and develop in the environment into the pupae stage. The pupae stay will then emerge into the adult flea which will seek an animal host for a blood meal and the life cycle repeats. If the life cycle has a warmer environment, the faster the life cycle will be.
  • A flea infestation cannot be eradicated by treating your pet alone – as mentioned most of the life cycle of a flea happens in the environment and therefore not on your pet. If you see an adult flea on your pet, it is likely that that flea has hatched within your home environment e.g. carpet, in between floor boards or even in your car. It is recommended to treat your pet with a suitable ectoparasite treatment, in addition to a insecticide environmental spray. You will also need to wash bedding, clothes on a hot wash and hoover regularly to help eradicate the infestation.
  • Fleas can survive without eating for some time – some research suggests that the pupae stage can survive within colder environments for up to a year. After an adult flea has had a blood meal, it is suggested that they can survive without another blood meal for around 2 weeks.
  • A female flea can lay up to around 50 eggs per day – for this reason if you think you may have a flea infestation you need to act fast to minimise the situation worsening.
  • Indoor-only pets can get fleas too – yes in most scenarios we would expect an indoor-only animal to have a lower exposure to fleas however you need to consider that fleas can be easily transported from one place to another, e.g. by owner’s clothing and footwear. Therefore they can still be brought into a household and start their life cycle within an indoor-only pet’s household so it is just as important to treat our indoor-only pets as well as animals that have access to outside.
  • Fleas can transmit other parasites – fleas are also capable of transmitting other parasites to their hosts such as tapeworm.
  • Flea infestations can cause other complications – in cases of severe infestations, fleas can consume the host’s blood in large quantities causing flea anaemia making the host very ill.
  • Animals can be allergy to fleas – in some animals they may suffer from a condition called flea allergy dermatitis where the host is allergic to the flea’s saliva, typically causing severe skin issues and if left untreated can be extremely uncomfortable.
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Parasites: Lungworm (Angiostrongylus Vasorum)

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
Lungworm otherwise known as Angiostrongylus Vasorum is on the rise in the UK and Milton Keynes Veterinary Group have already seen two cases earlier this year.
  • Those slimy garden critters (slugs and snails) are involved in spread of Lungworm, therefore dogs that eat these slimy garden critters will be at a higher risk of contracting this parasite. It is though that an average UK garden can inhabit over 20,000 slugs and snails.
  • It is highly recommended to not leave toys or water bowls outside to minimise exposure to these slimy critters.
  • Foxes can also become infected with Lungworm and play a part in spread of this parasite.
  • All dogs of all ages and breeds are susceptible to contracting this parasite.
  • Dogs that become infected with Lungworm will also spread it within the environment as larvae are excreted within the pet’s faeces, increasing risk of exposure to other dogs. Therefore it is very important to make sure you pick up your dog’s poo.
With cases increasing of this parasite, it is important to know the symptoms, follow advice on minimising exposure and how to prevent exposure.

Symptoms of this parasite can vary between cases, however the most common symptoms may include; coughing, lethargy, weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, excess bleeding from minor wounds or seizures. Diagnosis of this parasite can be determined through either a faecal test or blood test.

Prevention is key with lungworm, by treating your pet with monthly prescription only worming treatment, contact us if you have any concerns via email at questions@mkvetgroup.co.uk or wish to order your pet’s preventative treatment visit www.mkvetgroup.co.uk/repeat-prescriptions/. Our Healthy Pet Care plans include covers against this parasite as well as many other parasites and diseases through a simple monthly direct debit.
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