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The Veterinarians here at the Calamvale Clinic have compiled some handy hints and basic care information for your perusal..... See the A-Z Client info section for free download of these sheets.
Parasites come in many different forms and they all have different and varying effects on our pets but without a doubt, they are all doing harm. Just as they would in us, parasites cause discomfort, illness, disease and in some cases death. Some are also able to be contracted from animal to human and cause lesions, rashes, fevers, muscle pain, gastrointestinal problems, interference in complete organ function and even blindness. There is a lot to learn about these nasty critters and we certainly don’t expect you to become experts but again we have compiled some basic information for your benefit.
These guys live or attack the exterior of the animal, in or on the skin. These are; fleas, mites, lice, ticks, mosquitoes and flies. They are easily controlled with some of the products we stock and we are always happy to advise you on the best product for your situation.
These live internally. They dwell in the intestines, organs and blood stream of our pets and are called worms. There are four different families of internal worms, which in turn branch off into different varieties. These are; round worm, hook worm, whip worm, tape worm (the four intestinal worms) and heart worm. There are also a number of other rare varieties of worms which can cause severe illness.
There are many different products available to be purchased for the protection of your animals. Most are effective, some are not but all of them are fairly confusing. These days companies try to focus on convenience in application and products that treat more than one parasite at a time. You can browse through our product section to find a product selection that is suitable for you and your pet or of course, our friendly staff are always available to talk to for advice on products.
We have come up with a number of ways that you as the owner can actively get involved in reducing the chances of your pet contracting parasites.
1. Keep your cats indoors. Some intestinal worms also dwell inside frogs, lizards, small mammals and snakes. Outside cats generally catch and ingest some of these things making them susceptible to parasite infestation. Keeping your cat indoors also helps the native wild life.
2. Be sure to clean any animal excrement as soon as possible. Eggs from some intestinal worms are passed through the digestive system and eventually come out the other end. Unfortunately our gorgeous pets are not beyond sniffing or even eating faeces thus causing infection.
3. Ensure to cook any meat before feeding it to your pet, better still, avoid feeding them to your pet all together as these also host intestinal worms. A good quality premium pet food is our recommendation to prevent any problems.
4. Try to keep your pet free of fleas as fleas are also carriers of internal worms.
5. Treat your environment if fleas are a problem for your animals. Fleas are prolific breeders and their eggs thrive in those cool, dark, humid and dirty places. So treat your carpet (as well as vacuum at least twice weekly), your pets bedding and those dirt patches around your yard and under your house. We sell a spray that can be used in the environment. Topical treatments for your pets are also effective. Fleas love dirt!
6. Keep your animals clipped in summer and check your pet every day. Ticks tend to be more active in summer (although, they are still present all year round) so it will be easier to search your pets with a shorter coat. Often ticks are missed when they are buried in long hair.
7. Be aware of your environment. Some of us are lucky enough to live with surrounding bush land and native scrub but unfortunately these are perfect breeding grounds for the deadly paralysis tick, especially around creeks. They also like to feed on some of our native mammals like bandicoots and possums.
8. Know and observe your pet. If you know your pet’s normal behaviour and personality then it is likely that you will notice if your pet is displaying abnormal behaviour. Anything that you feel is out of the ordinary could be a symptom. For example; lethargy, increased sensitivity, lack of appetite, depression, laboured breathing, scratching or scooting. There are many symptoms and some are more obvious than others like vomiting and diarrhoea.
9. Keep your pet up to date with all parasite control. If the treatment is taken late or is under-dosed it will lead to ineffective coverage and increased risk of infection. Always use a good quality product recommended by your vet, cheaper products often underperform. Remember you get what you pay for!
10. Finally, it is very important that if your pet is displaying something that you are concerned about, see your vet. As with us, if something goes untreated, it doesn’t just go away, it generally gets worse. Parasite treatment is fairly simple and very effective. Preventative measures are in place to keep our animals healthy and comfortable and to save you money in the long run by keeping the Vet at bay.