With summer just around the corner, leading Essex vets are reminding cat and dog owners to protect their pets from the misery of fleas, ticks and worms.
Although they are a year-round concern, parasites such as ticks and fleas are much more prevalent as the weather gets warmer and pets begin to spend more time outdoors, warned Kevin Wood, clinical director at Basildon-based Cherrydown Vets.
Ticks can infect animals, and their owners, with diseases such as Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis, a bacterial illness which causes flu-like symptoms.
Pets can also get worms from fleas and ticks, while tapeworm, roundworm and hookworm can travel from pets to their owners and have potentially serious consequences for both.
Kevin is now urging owners to check their pets carefully and make sure all preventative treatments are up-to-date to combat the risk of potentially serious health problems.
He said: “It is really important owners protect their pets from fleas, ticks and worms as we head into summer and the risk of getting bitten increases as animals, like us, spend much more time outdoors.
“Owners should regularly check their pet’s coat for any signs of ticks or fleas by running their fingers through the fur or, even better, by using a fine-toothed comb.
“They should also be on the look-out for any excessive scratching, itching and biting, which are classic signs of a problem, along with scabs, hair loss, allergic reactions and pale gums.
“We’d encourage anyone who hasn’t already got preventative care in place to book an appointment with one of our vet nurses. This will ensure they get expert advice and information about appropriate treatments to keep their pets in the best possible health this summer and beyond.”
Cherrydown offers an annual Health Care Plan membership, which incorporates ongoing preventative care, including expert advice and treatments for ticks and fleas, across the year.