Pet Health: It’s a jungle out there!

Roundworms can cause serious problems to pets
Roundworms can cause serious problems to pets

Vet Darren Storey brings you the latest news from Northlands Veterinary Hospital.

Parasites are clever things, and your pet is likely to face them many times a year.

The question is, which will win the battle.

If your pet is protected with the right products then they’ll likely be fine, but if not then they could become victims of parasitism leading to other clinical problems.

Not only that but do you know some parasites which live in or on your pet can be contracted by humans?

For example the roundworm.

You could accidently swallow their eggs and it can cause some serious health problems.

So, protection benefits both you and your pet.

There are many different parasites that can be picked up by your pet and will vary depending on the following:

O Species of pet

O Age

O Lifestyle and living environment

O Travelling

O Any on-going health problems.

For example, a dog that attends walking clubs, goes outside a lot or interacts with multiple other species has more of a risk than one that stays at home and only goes out in the back garden.

Likewise, a cat that is almost constantly outside roaming the neighbourhood and hunts regular will likely contract more parasites compared to a house cat.

What is a parasite?

An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.

Each parasite has a most common route of infection, a unique lifecycle and ‘preferred hosts’.

We recommend looking on a very useful website called It’s a Jungle to find out the numerous parasites you pet can get.

This site has amazing pictures, videos and interactive sections for you to learn about them all.

Just pick a parasite and learn all about it!

How can I protect my pet?

Unfortunately there is no “magic bullet” when it comes to the treatment of parasites; no single product will cover your pet against everything.

As such there is a multitude of products you can use, usually in conjunction with each other, to ensure effective protection.

Alongside environmental management we recommend the following (based on dogs and cats):

O For tapeworms using Drontal or Milbemax tablets every three months, dosing suitable to the weight of your pet.

O Skin parasites and other worms using Advocate vials applied once a month, suitable to the weight of your pet.

For exotics, birds and small furries there are other things to consider so please call us for advice.

Whether you are a client of Northlands or not we will happily give you more advice if you need it.

Please call 01536 485543 and ask to speak to a clinical member of staff.