Parasites

Worms

Dogs and cats can be infected with different kind of worms, like roundworms, tapeworms, heartworms and lungworms. These worms can give bad infections in animals and humans so it is important to treat against these worms properly. Animals (and human) with a lower defence system, like pups, kittens and older animals have a bigger risk than healthy young adults. Pregnant dogs can infect their pups in the uterus and lactating dogs and cats can infect their infants through their mother’s milk. Dogs and cats in large groups have more risk as well, just like animals who get raw meat or fish, or catch prey like snails, rodents or other vermin. Pets who live inside can also get worms, from the eggs the owner brings inside unknown under their shoes! In certain areas of Europe there are worms that can have big consequences for the health of your pet (for example the heartworm, lungworm and Echinococcus multilocaris (a kind of tapeworm)). Please be prepared for this when you take your pet abroad. We can give you information about parasites known at your destination. For specific information per worm and advice you can check www.esccap.eu or ask our letter with ; Vacation information.

I can’t see them, so they aren’t there, is not always correct.

Most infections with tapeworm can be seen with the eye. You can see small white grains the size of a rice grain around the anus of your pet, or in the stool. The roundworm, that is most common in cats and dogs, are microscopic small, and can’t be seen with the eye! When you are having any doubts, we can check the stool of your pet.

Deworming advice for dogs and cats:

Pups: at an age of 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks. After that every month until he/she is 6 months old. After that 4 times a year.

Kittens: at an age of 3, 5 and 7 weeks. After that every month until he/she is 6 months old. After that 4 times a year.

Female dog/cat: at the same time as their infants.

Every other animal: at least 4 times a year.

When traveling abroad there is another schedule.

Fleas

Fleas are bloodsucking insects who live on mammals and birds. We can only find the adult flea on the host, the eggs and fleas who are not fully grown yet can be found in the surroundings. Fleas are parasites we see a lot on cats, dogs and other mammals who live in a house with more than one pet. Fleas are to be found all over Europe and cause itches, especially in sensitive animals, or even amnesia with animals who are heavily infected. Fleas can be a carrier for several pathogens and can bite humans causing itches and small wounds.

Our advice is to treat all animals every month with an anti-flea product. These products exists in a spot-on solution, collar or a tablet.

Ticks

The ticks on dogs and cats are so-called ‘hard ticks’. The female hard ticks can expand their body size 120 times. They suck themselves full of blood before they lay their eggs. A fully sucked female tick can be around 1 cm long and looks like a small coffee bean. Ticks are to be found all over Europe and there are more than 12 different species! Clinical symptoms of diseases can be seen at the time of infection, but also later in time. Ticks have the biggest part in giving diseases especially carried by ticks (for example Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis). The seriousness of these diseases can be very different. Also for ticks the advice is to treat animals with a product that defenses and kills ticks. These products are a spot-on or a collar. You can get more information out of our letter ‘Vacation information’, or contact our clinic.