Parasites like fleas, worms & ticks can cause havoc for your dog if not controlled.
Talk to our veterinary team about the best parasite prevention for dogs to keep those harmful critters away. Some parasites not only affect your pets, but also your human family and home too, and can affect other pets in the New Forest and beyond.
ROUNDWORMS (Toxocara) IN DOGS
Roundworms are picked up by puppies through the placenta during pregnancy and through the milk when nursing. This high exposure combined with an immature immune system means that roundworm treatment for puppies is recommended every 2 weeks from 2 until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age. Severe roundworms in puppies can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea, poor growth and a condition where the gut telescopes over itself (intussusception) which requires surgery to correct and could be fatal if not detected and treated.
Roundworms in adult dogs live inside the intestines and rarely show symptoms, however, it is still important to treat your dog for roundworm every 3 months for public health reasons. The eggs released in dog poo can cause disease in immunocompromised humans and children, most commonly blindness as children pick up the eggs from the ground and then rub their eyes. The eggs are incredibly resistant, staying in the ground for up to 8 years.
TAPEWORMS IN DOGS
Picked up from scavenging sheep/cattle carcasses or ingesting fleas when grooming, tapeworms in dogs can grow up to 28 inches long inside the gut. Segments are then released in stools and cause itching around the bottom. Tapeworms in dogs can be prevented by giving your dog worming tablets every 6 months as part of their preventative healthcare routine. Contact us for advice on how to get rid of tapeworms in dogs and other parasites.
Picked up from anywhere other animals exist, flea bites cause itching and dermatitis on you and your dog. If your dog is allergic to the flea’s saliva, symptoms are more severe. Each flea can lay over 1000 eggs per day, meaning that 95% of a flea problem is actually within the home environment rather than in your dog’s coat. It can be difficult to treat the flea population in your home so prevention is always better than cure, but if monthly flea prevention treatments have lapsed, it can take a few months to completely rid the home. Pet shop products do nothing to treat the home, so house sprays combined with hoovering and prescription dog flea treatments are essential for success. Spot-ons, tablets and collars are all available to make treatment easy, so please get in touch to discuss the best flea prevention treatment for your dog and home.
TICKS ON DOGS
The New Forest area is a hotspot for ticks on dogs, which they mostly pick up in long grass. The main season is March to October, although increasingly we are seeing ticks in the winter too. As well as causing a reaction at the site of attachment, ticks can transmit Lyme’s disease if attached for more than 24 hours. This difficult to diagnose disease causes various intermittent symptoms, including lameness in your dog. European ticks will transmit other diseases such as Ehrlichia and Babesia which affect blood cells, causing anaemia. Although rare in the UK, increasing pet travel and global warming will mean this may be seen more frequently. The best tick prevention for dogs includes topical treatments, sprays and collars. A tick vaccine is also available. Ask our team at Pilgrims Vets in the New Forest for tick prevention advice and how to remove a tick safely.
LUNGWORM IN DOGS
Lungworm in dogs is picked up when your dog licks a snail, slug or its slime infected with the parasite. A dog ingests lungworm larvae, which spreads to the lungs and grows into adult lungworms. Not only does their presence cause coughing and lung damage, but the anticoagulant the worms release leads to spontaneous bleeding, which means lungworm in dogs can be fatal. Monthly worming to protect your dog against lungworm is essential to avoid them becoming affected by this devastating disease.
All-round preventative care for your dog
As well as parasite prevention, your dog’s preventative healthcare routine should include annual vaccinations, microchipping and regular health checks with a vet. You can get all of this when you sign up for our Dog Wellness Plan – find out more.