Vet Diary - Routine Maintenance
The importance of performing routine flea and worm treatment, even if you are not aware that your pet has any parasites, cannot be over-emphasised. Fleas in particular can breed at an alarming rate, and it doesn't take long for them to take over your pet, or sometimes even your house!
A stray lurcher was brought to us, crawling with fleas, 20 mins after applying Advocate this is what we found!
Dying fleas were jumping off in every direction, even into the water bowl, or dropping straight onto the blanket. Each of the spots you can see is a flea, some large and some small deppending on the stage of the flea's life cycle. The red colour looks like blood because it IS digested blood. Fleas actively suck blood from their "hosts" and then pass digested blood as flea faeces, which is the small gritty black bits that are often the first thing you see on a pet with a mild flea problem. With a severe infestation like this one, fleas were easily seen running all over the poor dog. With this level of infestation, the host can easily become anaemic, as was the case with this dog.
It should be remembered that fleas lay their eggs off the host, so the bedding where the dog had been living must have been riddled with fleas. If you use routine flea control with a reliable, good quality flea treatment, this simply cannot happen. If you don't treat regularly and find that your pet has fleas, it is VITAL to treat your entire house and wash all the pets' bedding or it will keep getting re-infested.
Your pet can carry roundworms for months or even years without showing symptoms, while still shedding eggs into the environment (these are too small to see with the naked eye). Fleas can carry tapeworms, which can also be caught from eating uncooked meat, vermin etc. If tapeworms are present, you will often see segments being passed, either on the faeces or crawling round the dog's back end. No-one wants to see that! So please treat your pets routinely and keep them safe.
If you would like to contribute towards the routine anti-parasite treatments that we give to ALL our rescue dogs, please visit the Support Us page of our website www.strayaid.org.uk for ways you can help our charity and our dogs.