This spring, like every year, the team of the MTLVET network would like to plant a bug in your ear: beware of tiny critters! Your pooch or kitty are ready to stroll in the streets and in the parks, and the smallest patch of greenery becomes a pleasant playground after an endless winter. But watch out! Parasites are lying in wait. Spring is the season for defending your pet against those little beasts with sharp teeth!
Parasites creep and crawl, grip and bite, itch and scratch…
The flea is the pest we know best, and the one we must fight first. Indeed, your dog or cat soon may not have any fur left on its body if those nasty fleas settle on their skin for the season. Fortunately, treatments are easy and products are affordable!
If your pet is constantly scratching its ears, it could be time to check if it’s playing host to ear mites. And if the host is really generous, it could be carrying another mite: mange. This parasite tends to cause very unpleasant skin infections. However small it might be, this mite is not to be taken lightly, and also requires an effective treatment.
The tick is a clingy little thing. Hiding in the tall grass, it only needs a few seconds to latch onto your pet and suck its blood. If the tick is infected with Lyme disease, it can pass it on to your four-legged companion. This serious illness is often difficult to diagnose, so remember to check your pet’s coat after every walk, and if you find an itty-bitty vampire, put on a pair of gloves and get rid of it with your anti-tick kit.
Not always visible to the naked eye
Unlike fleas, mites and ticks, external parasites that are easy to spot, other invisible and internal parasites can live in the warmth of your faithful companion’s body. For these, you need to be vigilant and have a sharp eye.
Among the invisible parasites, the heartworm (dirofilariasis) is quite discreet but nevertheless very dangerous. While still in the larval state, it is transmitted by mosquitos while they feed on your pet’s blood. It then develops within a few months, finally settling in your pet’s vital organs, where it leads to heart problems.
In this same group of invisible pests, we also find intestinal worms, which come in all shapes (round, hook, flat, etc.) and are hard to diagnose without a stool test. However, if your pet is constantly rubbing its hindquarters on the ground, these creepy crawlies may already be settled in! They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even weight loss.
Do not hesitate to contact us as soon as the warm weather sets in, to find out all you need to know about preventive treatments, vaccines and the anti-tick kit, so that you can take full advantage of the spring. And remember, although they are tiny, parasites are not to be taken lightly!