Fleas

Fleas are the most common of all external parasites found on pets. An infestation of fleas is both unpleasant and potentially dangerous for pets and their owners. flea bites cause intense itching, which may lead to rash, inflammation and hair loss. There are many products on the market, they can be purchased from supermarkets, pet stores and websites in the form of spot on treatments, tablets and insecticide impregnated collars. Their effectiveness varies. We recommend the use of prescription only applications as they contain more effective treatment, although they are more expensive than across the counter products. Whichever product you choose, do remember to treat all pets in the household routinely, including through the winter months.

In the absence of a friendly monkey on hand - you will need to treat your pet for fleas.

Unfortunately there is no single product available on the market that will treat a combination of fleas, ticks and intestinal worms with one monthly application, please see the tablet below for a brief description:

For the cost of these treatments, please refer to the Prices  page.

 Stronghold - spot on treatment Kills fleas, ear mites and the majority of intestinal worms
 Frontline - spot on treatment Kills fleas, lice and ticks
 Advocate - spot on treatment Kills fleas, ear mites and the majority of intestinal worms
 Bravecto - chewy tablet Kills fleas and ticks for 12 weeks

Your vet will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your pet.

Worms (intestinal)
 
Worms can be anywhere outside or inside, as microscopic eggs that are just waiting to be picked up and ingested by your pet. Fleas also play a role in the transfer of the tapeworm.

Regular worming should be carried out at least every 3 months, possibly monthly if your pet hunts or eats carrion on walks.

Worms (Lung)

Angiostrongylus vasorum (dog lungworm).

Lungworm has been known to be present in the UK for years but appeared to be confined to southern areas of England and Wales. Today it is far more widespread. It is now considered to be endemic for the whole of the south of England and south Wales and there have been reports of incidences in the north west of England. Thus it is reasonable to consider that there is a risk of this condition throughout England and certainly many parts of Wales. Routine roundworm remedies may be effective but this you should check with us on each occasion. There are very effective treatments for Angiostrongylus vasorum available. These treatments will specifically target lungworm as well as other intestinal parasites both roundworms, tapeworms and sometimes, external parasites, fleas and lice etc. Some `spot-on’ preparations particularly Advocate (Bayer) are very effective. Please refer to the 'Information Sheet' for further advice.  In depth information can be found on the http://www.lungworm.co.uk website.

Fleas

The majority of fleas found on dogs are in fact 'Cat Fleas'

Individual animals react differently to having fleas. Some will simply be very itchy, which is bad enough in itself. Some dogs, however, are highly allergic to flea saliva, and it’s these that suffer from flea allergic dermatitis, with severe skin irritation and hair loss. For these animals it may only take one or two fleas to cause a marked reaction, and they sometimes scratch until they bleed, and get infected sores.

It is important to treat every animal in the house.  Flea eggs and larvae can remain dormant for several months.

Ticks

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that attach themselves firmly onto a pet. They grow in size over several days as they suck blood, then drop off to complete their life cycle. Ticks are usually picked up when dogs and cats walk through long grass. 
They can cause anaemia (shortage of red blood cells) and can transmit a disease called Lyme disease. In Europe they transmit serious disease such as heartworm, Ehrlichia and Babesia. Although these diseases are not currently found in the UK, they are spreading rapidly northward through Europe and it is probably only a matter of time before they reach the UK.

 

Your main aims are to remove the tick promptly, to remove all parts of the tick’s body and to prevent it releasing additional saliva or regurgitating its stomach contents into your bite wound.

DO use a proprietary tick removal tool* (available from many vets and pet shops), and follow the instructions provided. 
These tools will grip the head of the tick without squashing the body.

* Alternative Methods : With pointed tweezers (not blunt eyebrow tweezers!) grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible; without squeezing the tick’s body, pull the tick out without twisting (it is difficult to twist tweezers without separating the tick’s head from its body) – there may be considerable resistance.

If no tools are available, rather than delay use a cotton thread. Tie a single loop of cotton around the tick’s mouthparts, as close to the skin as possible, then pull upwards and outwards without twisting.

DO start by cleansing the tweezers/tool with antiseptic. After tick removal, cleanse the bite site and the tool with antiseptic.

DO wash hands thoroughly afterwards.

DO NOT squeeze the body of the tick, as this may cause the head and body to separate, leaving the head embedded in the skin.

DO NOT use your fingernails to remove a tick. Infection can enter via any breaks in your skin, e.g. close to the fingernail.

DO NOT crush the tick’s body, as this may cause it to regurgitate its infected stomach contents into the bite wound. See this graphic animation of what can happen, courtesy of the Lyme Borreliosis Foundation, Hungary.

DO NOT try to burn the tick off, apply petroleum jelly, nail polish or any other chemical. Any of these methods can cause discomfort to the tick, resulting in regurgitation, or saliva release.

New tick borne dog disease in the UK

There have now been several confirmed cases of Babesiosis confirmed in the Essex area.

This is a disease widespread in Europe that, until now, has not been present in the UK. Previously cases in the UK have all been in dogs that have travelled in Europe and been infected there.  The recent Essex cases however, have been in dogs which have not been abroad.

Babesiosis is caused by a blood parasite which is caught from a bite from an infected tick. The parasite causes the blood cells to rupture resulting in acute severe fever and anaemia. Symptoms are often severe and can be fatal.

There is no vaccine available in the UK and treatment can be problematical and not always successful.
The best method of protection against this disease is to use an application which offers good tick control.

Currently we are finding one of the most effective products is Bravecto which offers 12 weeks protection with a single dose. This will usually kill ticks within 24 hours of attachment which is before thay can pass on the infection.

Another new product is Vectra 3D which offers good protection.  These are both prescription medicines.