Ok, so not the most pleasant of subjects but have you ever stopped to think about the vast numbers of potential passengers your much loved animal companions might be carrying around with them?
From surface parasites like fleas, lice, ear mites, ticks or chyletiella to mange mites like Sacoptes (fox mange) and Demodex who live within the skin itself, to internal parasites such as tape-worms and round-worms your pet is a potential moving buffet-on-legs capable of sustaining thousands of foreign invaders.
Worms are particularly adept at remaining hidden. With the exception of one species of tape worm whose segments advertise their presence by obligingly crawling around on your dog or cat’s bottom before making their way onto your furniture, all other tape- and round-worms remain invisible, tucked away safely within the bowel. Yet the roundworm of dogs is one of the potentially most serious parasites of all, whose larvae will happily burrow through human skin and set up home in your (or your children’s) brain or at the back of the eye where, in rare cases, they can cause serious damage, even blindness. And there is no way, short of examining a stool sample under the microscope that you would ever know your dog had them.
Where parasites are concerned you will not notice a problem – scratching, weight loss or increased appetite etc… – until it is too late. By the time we are diagnosing a flea induced dermatitis or sarcoptic mange or a worm induced enteritis you already have a major problem which will take a lot to get sorted; not only to kill the parasites (on your pet as well as in the house) which have caused the problem but to treat the problem itself.
Parasites aren’t particularly “seasonal”. Traditional lore has it that fleas are only a problem in the Summer – not so, think again, nothing could be further from the truth! Fleas are very much an all year problem; they benefit from central heating just as much as we do and with many houses being nice and warm and cosy during the winter some infestations can be even worse during the colder months.
Obviously prevention is better than cure when it comes to parasites and this is where the excellent staff at Orchard Vets come in. There is no product which will kill everything, the various medications which are available come in a variety of different forms – sprays, spot-ons, tablets and injections and while some parasites are a walkover others are extremely tough to kill and not all commercial preparations are equally effective.
The wonderful thing is though, you don’t need to know about everything in this topic – we’ll do the worrying for you. Pop in or phone up and we can discuss your individual circumstances taking into account family members, ages etc, types and numbers of pets, lifestyle of pet and owner and cost to come up with the best solution, tailored especially for your needs. Could we make it any simpler?!
Well, yes we could actually! If you join the Orchard Health Plan you get all the treatments you require, when you require them all at a discount without having to lift a finger – how about that for service? What are you waiting for, give us a call!
Niall Taylor MRCVS