Vet Diary - Remember To Check Your Pets!
Looks like Spring might be on the way at long last! But it never comes alone......As the weather warms up, parasites become much more active. The two most common parasites to look out for at this time of year are ticks and fleas.
Ticks are often (but not exclusively) found in the countryside, especially in areas with sheep and deer. Ticks feed from the blood of the animals they attach to, then drop off when full. This way, they pick up disease from one animal and then re-attach to another, spreading infections such as Lyme disease which can cause kidney problems, fever, lethargy and swollen joints. If you see a tick, please do NOT try to pull it off, use a tick removal hook which will ensure that the head is removed. If the head is left in, a reaction or possibly infection can occur. A reliable tick treatment should also be used regularly, this will not prevent the tick from attaching but it will be killed as it feeds, which is helpful for those ticks that are not detected by the owner.
Fleas are always around but become much more active in the warmer weather. If your dog becomes itchy, look through his coat. You may see a dark reddish-brown flea running across the skin at the base of the hairs, or you may see dark specks on the skin which, when brushed on to damp kitchen towel, cause red staining - this is flea dirt. Fleas lay their eggs on the ground or on the dogs coat, which then drop off wherever the dog goes, the eggs then develop into larvae all over the house! If you find adult fleas and flea dirt, it is advisable to also use a household spray, as well as a reliable flea treatment.