For young puppies and kittens this blood loss can be distressing and may even be life threatening if ignored or unnoticed. In adult pets (and humans) the main problem is the flea bite, which leads to irritation and skin allergy problems.
Fleas are also involved in the transmission of tapeworms. Two main species of flea found in Northern Ireland are the cat flea and the dog flea.
The cat flea is by far the most common and is able to live and breed on both cats and dogs. This means that the cat is often the main culprit of the flea problem when both cats and dogs are living in the same household.
The flea season is traditionally from the end of April to the end of November. However they have become an all year round problem with centrally heated homes allowing them to breed throughout the year.
Now with modern products it is possible to prevent fleas from becoming a problem with your pets.
Our vet will give you advice on how to use these products effectively, you will be able to stop these little insects making a meal of your pet and you!
How do I know if my pet has fleas?
Fleas are very small and are often hard to detect. When infestation is heavy you may see fleas on close examination of the coat.
The best way to check for fleas is to check for “flea dirt” which are brown/black specks seen in the pet’s coat.
These are composed of dried blood extracted by the flea. An intense unexplained itch is suspicious.
Intestinal worms are parasites that all pet owners should worry about. Regular routine worming is so important yet it is often overlooked.
It’s imperative that all puppies and kittens are wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every month until they reach 6 months of age and then every 3 months for the rest of their life.
There are many products available in pet shops and supermarkets consisting of tablets, liquids and spot-ons but unfortunately a lot of these are not very effective and only have a small spectrum of activity, so maybe only killing one type of worms.
As a result we recommend you seek advice from our vet and obtain a trusted product from ourselves with the professional advice that goes with our products. The most common worms in pets are intestinal roundworms and tapeworms. Any worming product should at least target these.
Be aware that dogs can also get lungworms and heartworms. If you have concerns about worms and your pet book an appointment to discuss it with our vet.
We must also be aware that our pets can pass some of these worms to us potentially causing disease. Young children are very hands on with their new puppy or kitten and puppies love to lick faces. So children are more at risk especially when they have no hygiene skills yet.
The main risk is from a worm called Toxocara which has caused blindness in children.
We offer a free weigh and worm service at our clinic, these are free and you only pay for the product. This is important as your puppy grows the dose may alter.