Protecting your Pet Against Parasites
Parasites are defined as organisms that live on another mammal as a ‘host’, and feed off them as a source of nutrition.
There are several different types of parasite that can affect your dog, and once your dog is infected you and your family may be at risk too. Some parasites can cause significant disease in both humans and animals, which is why it is so important to ensure that your pet receives proper protection.
Parasites can be divided into two main groups. There are endoparasites, which live inside the host’s body – such as roundworms, tapeworms and lungworms – and ectoparasites, which live outside the body – such as fleas, ticks and mange.
Roundworms Toxocara and Toxascaris are particularly harmful to human health, and may occasionally cause blindness or possibly epilepsy in people. In addition the tapeworm Echinococcus, which is very common in Wales and Europe, can cause severe disease and even death.
For your pet dog, Angiostrongylus (lungworm) is often life threatening and mange or fleas can also cause significant distress. Additionally, ticks or sandflies are carriers of serious disease and are particularly prevalent if you take your pet abroad. As with many illnesses, the effects can be significantly more pronounced in very young or very old animals.
For dogs we have a number of options depending on your dog’s lifestyle. These include Advocate and Nexgard, both of which are licensed treatments for lungworm. We also recommend using Drontal Plus or Droncit intermittently which both treat tapeworm, or Advantix which treats tick infestations.
Some parasite treatments are oral and some are topical. Your vet will discuss the best one for your pet.
Please feel free to contact us on 0208 300 8111 for more information about the most suitable parasite control programme for your dog, or discuss this with your vet at their annual health check.
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