Spring is a great time to shake off the winter blues, come out of hibernation and get your life in cracking good order (as we do with our yearly ‘spring clean’). But it’s not just our own lives we need to organise – spring is the perfect time to make sure that your pet is in barking-great health after the cold season. Here are some tips from Purina’s pet care expert Shivaun Statham on those problem parasites that cats and dogs can get.
Both cats and dogs are prone to getting parasites, and will most likely house some of these nasty critters at some point in their lives. However, there are signs you can look for that will mean you can recognise and treat parasites as soon as possible, reducing the discomfort for your animal companion.
The most important thing to look for is any changes in your pet’s behaviour, appetite and/or water consumption – any change can show that something is astray. If you’re concerned about any changes, go and see your vet for a proper check.
If you notice your pet scratching, check to see if they have any fleas. It’s easiest to check on any light-coloured patches of fur – you should be able to see the fleas on your pet’s skin if they have them. If you can see fleas, there are over-the-counter products you can buy from your pet store or vet that will have instructions.
Some common ways to tell if your pet has worms are: visible worms or eggs in fecal matter (if you’re brave enough to check!); visible worms in fur or the area around your pet’s rear; your pet scratching or rubbing their rear on the ground or against furniture; vomiting with visible worms; a bloated belly; diarrhoea; weakness; weight loss; or changes in appetite. As with fleas, there are products available for treating worms overthe- counter. However, if these treatments don’t relieve your pet’s symptoms – see your vet.
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