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Posts Tagged ‘Parasites’

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: Mites and your pets

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group

Did you know there are different species of mites?

  1. Ear Mites – otherwise known as Otodectes cynotis live within our pet’s ears and can cause itching and ear infections. These mites are visible to the human eye as tiny white dots. Signs that your pet may have ears mites can include itching, dark wax in the ear and head shaking. Another ear mites that cats can have is called Notoedres, which is intensely itching for our feline friends.
  2. Sarcoptic mange – Scabies is caused by Sarcoptic scabei and are highly contagious to other animals through direct contact with an infected animal or by sharing contaminated items. Once an animal is infected they will burrow into the top layer of skin and therefore cannot be removed by brushing or bathing. Animals who are infested with these mites may show signs of itching, biting and licking at the infected areas.
  3. Demodectic mange – Demodex lives within the hair follicles of our pets and rarely spreads from us or other dogs. Most animals will become infected during their first few days of life from their mum via their mum’s muzzle. Demodex can cause skin reddening, hair loss, bacterial and fungal infections and itchiness.
  4. Harvest Mites – otherwise known as Neotrombicula autumnalis tend to be seen within the autumn months and live within rural areas. Our pets can easily pick these pesky parasites up on their wanders. They are visible to the human eye and appear as small red/bright orange dots and tend to be seen in areas such as ears, head, feet or belly. Some animals may not be affected by harvest mites, however other pets may show signs of being itchy and scratching/biting at these areas.
  5. Cheyletiella – this mite can sometimes be described as walking dandruff and normally seen in long haired cats or rabbits. These case will normally present with mild or absent signs and normally owners will notice excessive dandruff on their pets.
  6. If you have any questions regarding your pet’s parasitic prevention, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss with one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses.
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What external parasites affect pet rabbits

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
At Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, we feel rabbits are just as important as any other pet and this is why our Healthy Pet Care Scheme for Rabbits also includes treatment for external parasites during the months of March to October.

There are a number of external parasites that can affect our pet rabbits. External parasites are parasites which live of the outside of the rabbit. Below are the most common external parasites for rabbits:
  • Fleas – Rabbits can pick up fleas the same fleas Ctenocephalides as your dog or cat as well as Spilopsyllus cuniculi which is the rabbit flea. This parasite can be involved in the spread of myxomatosis between rabbits. If you see fleas on your rabbit, it is important to treat both your rabbit, the environment and any other pets in the household.
  • Mites – The most common mites associated with rabbits is Cheyletiella parasitovorax or otherwise known as walking dandruff. This will tend to appear as an area of white scurfy skin, typically on the back or between the shoulder blades. If you believe your rabbit may have mites, we would advise a check-up with your veterinary surgeon, as they can also be indicators of other disease. Another mite rabbits can diagnosed with are ear mites Psoroptes cuniculi. Signs of ear mites might include crusting, itching and ulceration of the ear canals. It is advised to treat the rabbit for mites prior to removal of the ear crust as this can be extremely painful to remove. The rabbit fur mite (Leporacus gibbus) can infest rabbits without symptoms, however some rabbit may have allergy reactions to these mites. Demodex cuniculi is another mite which can be found on rabbits, however does not appear to cause clinical issue.
  • Lice – The rabbit biting louse otherwise known as Haemodipsus ventricosus can be seen with the naked eye. This are more common in large colonies.
  • Flies – these are not technically an external parasite however can be a nuisance to our pet rabbits and can cause serious health concerns. Flies can lay eggs on susceptible animals causing fly-strike or myiasis. These eggs will then hatch out and start to feed on the animal.
The product available on our Healthy Pet Care scheme deters flies, fleas and other biting insects. Find out more here – http://www.mkvetgroup.co.uk/healthy-pet-care-for-rabbits/
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Healthy Pet Care Scheme for Rabbits – External Parasites

At Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, we feel rabbits are just as important as any other pet and this is why our Healthy Pet Care Scheme for Rabbits also includes 36 weeks of treatment for external parasites during the months of March to October. There are a number of external parasites that can affect our pet rabbits. External parasites are parasites which live of the outside of the rabbit. Below are the most common external parasites for rabbits:
  • Fleas – Rabbits can pick up fleas the same fleas Ctenocephalides as your dog or cat as well as Spilopsyllus cuniculi which is the rabbit flea. This parasite can be involved in the spread of myxomatosis between rabbits. If you see fleas on your rabbit, it is important to treat both your rabbit, the environment and any other pets in the household.
  • Mites – The most common mites associated with rabbits is Cheyletiella parasitovorax or otherwise known as walking dandruff. This will tend to appear as an area of white scurfy skin, typically on the back or between the shoulder blades. If you believe your rabbit may have mites, we would advise a check-up with your veterinary surgeon, as they can also be indicators of other disease. Another mite rabbits can diagnosed with are ear mites Psoroptes cuniculi. Signs of ear mites might include crusting, itching and ulceration of the ear canals. It is advised to treat the rabbit for mites prior to removal of the ear crust as this can be extremely painful to remove. The rabbit fur mite (Leporacus gibbus) can infest rabbits without symptoms, however some rabbit may have allergy reactions to these mites. Demodex cuniculi is another mite which can be found on rabbits, however does not appear to cause clinical issue.
  • Lice – The rabbit biting louse otherwise known as Haemodipsus ventricosus can be seen with the naked eye. This are more common in large colonies.
  • Flies – these are not technically an external parasite however can be a nuisance to our pet rabbits and can cause serious health concerns. Flies can lay eggs on susceptible animals causing fly-strike or myiasis. These eggs will then hatch out and start to feed on the animal.
Find out more here – http://www.mkvetgroup.co.uk/healthy-pet-care-for-rabbits/
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Pesky Parasites – Fleas

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!
Some animals may suffer from flea allergic dermatitis (FAD), which is irritation of the skin directly related to the presence of fleas, and a strict flea prevention routine should be followed to alleviate the symptoms.

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!
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