Parasites are a health risk to both pets and people

One of the largest surveys based on parasite risks has recently been conducted by MSD Animal Health.

Of the 450 cat owners, over half of those surveyed only treated their pets twice or even less than this in the last year, while 46 percent have not treated for fleas within the last three months. Perhaps even more worrying, given the potential human health risks associated with roundworms, only 19 per cent have wormed their cat four times or more in the last year, and 17 per cent don’t use a worm treatment at all.

Worrying worms

Roundworm is the most common worm to affect cats, with a recent Irish study (The prevalence of gastrointestinal and cardio-respiratory parasites in stray dogs and cats in Ireland, 2018) showing that 32 percent of stray cats were shedding eggs. As well as causing gastrointestinal and respiratory problems in cats, roundworms can affect humans too, if eggs are accidentally ingested. Children are most at risk, as they may play in areas (sandpits, gardens etc.) where worm eggs are commonly  found. The parasite can cause a variety of problems, including damage to the liver, lungs or eyes.
Blog Post Worms

Ticked off

Owners are concerned about ticks, with 27 percent of owners in the Republic of Ireland reporting that they have found a tick on their cat. More owners were very concerned (34.2 per cent) about ticks than other parasites. It’s important to remember that some of the common spot-on products available do not kill ticks, so make sure you ask your vet for a treatment that covers this key parasite risk.

Blog Post Ticks

Advances in treatment

All owners know that cats can be difficult to treat! Applying treatments every month, or giving worming tablets, can be challenging even in well behaved cats. Recent advances mean that options are now available which can make life easier for cats and their owners, including longer lasting treatments and combination products which treat many parasites in one.

Trust your vet

The survey showed that vets continue to be the preferred source of information about parasite treatment, with 72 percent of cat owners seeking advice from their vet. Disease risks constantly evolve, and your vet is best placed to give up-to-date advice about the risks for your pet. Vet practices can also offer the latest treatments, so ask your vet about how you can best protect your cat – and your family – against parasites.Blog post 3

Advertisements
Standard

5 ways to make your vet visits less stressful for your cat

Most of us know the importance of regular check ups for our cat, but the thought of that trip to the vets fills some owners with dread! One of the reasons that you may be hesitant is that the experience can be stressful for both you and your cat. However, there are numerous things you can do to reduce the stress involved with a vet visit.

Take a look at these five tips below:

Regular visits

If your cat only visits the vet when he or she is sick, then the visit will have negative associations and trigger fear and anxiety. More regular visits (at least once per year) can help to ease your cats anxiety and make vet visits a breeze.

Get your cat used to its carrier

One of the most stressful parts of getting your cat to the vet can be getting them in their carrier. What looks innocent to you is very intimidating to your cat. Learn to make their travel crate a pleasant experience by keeping it in an accessible location that your cat can treat like a safety nest. This will make it easier when you do actually need to travel

Check if your vet practice has cat-only hours

There can be nothing scarier for your cat than entering the waiting room at the vet practice and being greeted by a big, noisy dog. While the dog is likely friendly and just curious, your cat doesn’t know that and the encounter can cause their anxiety to go through the roof. Check if your vet clinic offers cat-only hours which can assist with easing your cat’s stress while they wait.

Try a pheromone spray

Pheromone sprays are often used in vet practices and in homes as plug-ins. However, you can also get them in sprays, allowing you to spritz some in your cat’s carrier and on a blanket to help relax your cat

Regularly hold your cat

One of the biggest stressors for cats at the vet can be the vet handling your cat. By consistently giving them physical affection throughout their lives such as picking them up and playing with their paws, your cat’s stress can be reduced when visiting with the vet as they are used to being touched.

Vet visits are always going to be a little intimidating to both humans and animals alike, use these above tips to reduce stress and make going to the vet a little less scary.

 

 

 

 

Standard

5 reasons to bring your cat for a vet check-up

As a pet owner you may think that you only need to bring your cat to the vet in the case of a serious illness or accident. In fact, there are many reasons you should bring your cat to the vet for regular check ups to ensure they live a long and happy life.

Cats are masters at hiding illness

One of the main reasons that you should bring your cat to the vet for regular check-ups is that their symptoms can be very hard to spot as cats instinctively hide pain and illness to protect themselves. By taking your cat for a vet examination they can help to catch problems before they progress and/or become more difficult to treat.

Regular visits will make the trip to the vet less stressful

If your cat only visits the vet when he or she is sick, then the visit will have negative associations and trigger fear and anxiety. More regular visits (at least once per year) can help to ease your cats anxiety and make vet visits a breeze.

Dental disease is very common

Unless you’re brushing your cat’s teeth every day (well done if you are!), plaque and tartar build up is inevitable. This can lead to dental disease, and chronic infections in the mouth cause bad breath, pain, gum disease, tooth loss and can also trigger disease elsewhere in the body. Regular check ups can help to spot the signs and allow preventative actions to be taken.

Preventative care is better than reactive care

In addition to other health issues that can be detected, annual health visits ensure your cat’s vaccines and parasite control are appropriate to the lifestyle of your pet and significant infectious and parasitic health risks that your pet and family are likely to face are avoided.

Cats age more quickly than us 

Sadly, cats have a far shorter life span than their owners and age more rapidly. In one calendar year, a cat may age the equivalent of five to fifteen years in a human’s life, which is why an annual health visit is so important.

How often should my pet have a health assessment?

This depends on the pet’s age and current health status. For adult cats, health assessments should be undertaken at least once a year. For rapidly growing kittens and for the older pet, every 6 months or more may be advisable.

Regular check ups when your cat seems well are just as important as when they are sick or injured and your vet is committed to your pet’s wellbeing every step of the way. Taking the steps to ensure your pet stays in good health is a vital part of caring for the pet you love. The best way to keep your pet on top form is with your vet’s support and advice, so make sure you schedule a check-up with your practice now.

Check out our blog post about making the vet visit a easier and less stressful for you and your cat- https://wp.me/p6wKsY-49

 

 

Standard

What’s what with worms

Worried about worms? Learn the difference between the different worms that can affect your pet.

WORMS

There are a number of different worms which can infest dogs and cats, including roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm. Although they may not be visible, our pets are commonly infected with worms.

ROUNDWORMS

Toxocara spp. & Toxacaris leonina

This is most common type of worm to affect dogs and cats. Studies show that up to 30% of dogs and 70% of puppies are infested with Toxocara canis1,2 and a recent Irish study showed that 32% of cats were infested with Toxocara cati3.

Pets can become infected in a number of ways: by eating soil contaminated with eggs, by hunting and by eating rodents.Puppies and kittens can be infected from their mother’s milk.

DID YOU KNOW?

Roundworms can lay up to 200,000 eggs per day!

Infection does not usually cause symptoms in adult dogs and cats, but can cause serious disease in puppies and kittens, including weight loss, diarrhoea and respiratory problems.

Human risk:

Toxocara spp. worms (AKA roundworms) can affect humans if eggs are accidentally ingested. Children are most at risk, as they may play in areas such as sandpits and gardens where worm eggs are commonly found. The parasite can cause a variety of problems, including damage to the liver, lungs or eyes.

Regular treatment will help to protect your pet and this will help to protect your family too.

 Kids in Sandbox

HOOKWORMS

Ancylostoma tubaeformeA. BrazilienseUncinaria stenocephala

Hookworms are relatively uncommon in pet dogs and cats in Ireland.

Infection can occur through eating larvae from the environment. The adult worms in the intestine feed off blood and some blood may pass in the faeces which typically turns faeces a blackish colour.

 TAPEWORMS

Tapeworms are less common than roundworms, and do not usually cause symptoms. The two main types of tapeworm found in pets in Ireland are Dipylidium caninum (flea tapeworm) and Taenia species.

Dipylidium caninum (flea tapeworm)

Pets become infested by ingesting fleas. Good control of fleas will prevent this tapeworm.

Taenia species.

Pets become infested by hunting and eating rodents or eating uncooked meat / carcasses. If your cat regularly hunts AND eats rodents, ask your vet about treatment for Taenia spp. tapeworms.

 

 

  1. Overgaauw et al., Veterinary and public health aspects of Toxocara spp. Veterinary Parasitology 2013, 398–403.
  2. Helminthoses digestives des carnivores domestiques. EMC, Veterinaire, Gastroenterologies, 0300, 2010.
  3. Power, C. et al. The prevalence of gastrointestinal and cardio-respiratory parasites in stray dogs and cats in Ireland. Poster presentation at ESCCAP Europe Congress, April 2018.

 

Standard

Ticks are everywhere: how your pet can pick up ticks

Week 3 Thursday

Ticks can be found in both rural and urban spaces. Do you think your pet is safe from Ticks? Think again.

Questing-tick_RF

Fig. 1. A questing Ixodes spp. tick, waiting to jump onto your pet and start its blood meal.

Ticks are efficient hunters widely distributed in the countryside and parkland. They typically “quest” from low vegetation and shrubs. When they sense vibration, carbon-dioxide (CO2), warmth and humidity from a passing animal they climb aboard, attach, and start to feed on its blood.

 Ticks can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including woodland, grassland, parks and hedgerows. Recent studies have shown that the edges of woodland paths are a particularly high risk area; exactly the type of area that your dog is likely to explore on walks. Ticks are not just an issue in rural areas, and they can also be found in urban parks and gardens.

For more information about ticks, check our other articles here or visit www.bravopets.ie

 

 

Standard

Protecting your pet against ticks

121153772_8f51e0c3cc

Ticks can be a serious health hazard. Luckily there are numerous treatments to prevent tick bites on your pet.

Ticks are a common and serious threat to your pet’s health. The good news is there are lots of ways to help reduce the risk. Steps you can take include:

  1.  Regular use of a tick preventative treatment

Scientific advances have brought innovative solutions to the control of parasites in companion animals. There is now a broad range of modern products with improved activity, efficacy, convenience and compliance to treat your pet.  These options include spot-ons, sprays, collars, as well as oral chewable formulations.ticks on dog 2

Re-administration of product is usually required for effective long-term control of ticks at intervals which range from a typical 4 week up to 12 weeks for extended control. Speak to your veterinary practitioner for a recommendation as to which product is most appropriate for your pet and how best to ensure you give repeat treatments at the appropriate intervals.

  1. Check your pet for ticks.

The best time to check your pet is after a walk. Run your hands all over your dog’s body, looking for any unusual lumps or bumps. Pay particular attention to areas with less hair, such as the ears, groin, between the toes, under the front legs, and under the tail. However, it’s worth remembering that ticks can be tiny (unfed nymphs are about the size of a sesame seed), so it can be easy to miss them.

  1. Remove any attached ticks.

If you do find a tick, remove it promptly yourself or call your vet for advice if you’re Nobivac pic.unsure of what to do. Ticks should only be removed using a specific tick removal device (a hook or scoop). Do NOT attempt to burn, cut, or pull the tick off with your fingers, as this increases the likelihood that parts of the tick could be left behind and also increases the risk of disease transmission to your pet.

  1. Take action to protect yourself and the other members of your family.

Ticks are a threat to people too, and can transmit disease such as Lyme Disease.  Protect yourself and your family by covering up exposed skin when walking in areas where ticks are likely to be present, using an appropriate repellent and checking yourself for ticks after walking.

For more information about ticks, check our other articles here or visit www.bravopets.ie

 

Standard

How can I tell if my pet has fleas?

3614414872_32886bc033_b

Fleas are tiny, just a few millimetres long, and very fast moving, so it can be difficult to tell if your pet has fleas. Here are some signs to look out for.

 The irritation caused by flea bites can cause pets to scratch excessively

  1. Biting or nibbling at the fur. As above, triggered by irritation due to flea bites
  2. Overgrooming (cats). In cats, the only sign may be that your pet is grooming excessively, which could also hairballs
  3. Hair loss, reddening of the skin. In more severe cases, particularly in those pets which develop an allergy, the excessive scratching can cause hair loss and damageimagesthe skin, triggering inflammation and infection.
  4. Fleas transmit tapeworm, so if you notice signs of tapeworm this could be due to a flea infestation. Signs of tapeworm include the appearance of dried, white to cream coloured segments, or pieces of tapeworm in your pet’s poo or stuck to the fur under the tail (these can look like grains of rice). Pets may also bite or lick the anus, or drag their hind quarters across the floor in response to the itching.

 flea

If you think your pet might have fleas, try parting the coat near the base of the tail using your hands or a flea comb and look for movement. Most fleas grow to about the size of a pinhead and will move or jump when disturbed.

It’s not always easy to spot the fleas, and some animals may groom them off. If you don’t see any fleas, have a look for flea dirt; dark, pepper-like particles on the surface of your pet’s skin and coat (see Fig.1). You can easily confirm this by dabbing some of this material with a wet paper towel or cotton ball. If you see dark reddish brown or orange swirls, this is flea dirt and confirms that your pet has fleas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig.1. Particles of flea dirt on a damp paper towel

 

If you see evidence of fleas, or are concerned that your pet may be suffering, please contact your vet.

 

For more information about fleas, check our other article here (link to other post) or visit www.bravopets.ie

Fleas are tiny, just a few millimetres long, and very fast moving, so it can be difficult to tell if your pet has fleas. Here are some signs to look out for.

 

  1. The irritation caused by flea bites can cause pets to scratch excessively
  2. Biting or nibbling at the fur. As above, triggered by irritation due to flea bites
  3. Overgrooming (cats). In cats, the only sign may be that your pet is grooming excessively, which could also hairballs
  4. Hair loss, reddening of the skin. In more severe cases, particularly in those pets which develop an allergy, the excessive scratching can cause hair loss and damage the skin, triggering inflammation and infection.
  5. Fleas transmit tapeworm, so if you notice signs of tapeworm this could be due to a flea infestation. Signs of tapeworm include the appearance of dried, white to cream coloured segments, or pieces of tapeworm in your pet’s poo or stuck to the fur under the tail (these can look like grains of rice). Pets may also bite or lick the anus, or drag their hind quarters across the floor in response to the itching.

 

If you think your pet might have fleas, try parting the coat near the base of the tail using your hands or a flea comb and look for movement. Most fleas grow to about the size of a pinhead and will move or jump when disturbed.

 

It’s not always easy to spot the fleas, and some animals may groom them off. If you don’t see any fleas, have a look for flea dirt; dark, pepper-like particles on the surface of your pet’s skin and coat (see Fig.1). You can easily confirm this by dabbing some of this material with a wet paper towel or cotton ball. If you see dark reddish brown or orange swirls, this is flea dirt and confirms that your pet has fleas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig.1. Particles of flea dirt on a damp paper towel

 

If you see evidence of fleas, or are concerned that your pet may be suffering, please contact your vet.

 

For more information about fleas, check our other article here (link to other post) or visit www.bravopets.ie

Standard