A parasite is a small creature that lives in or on another animal. This can be either:
- Internal parasites, such as intestinal worms
- External parasites, such as fleas, ticks, mites and lice
Parasites can cause many symptoms, ranging from mild itching and discomfort to severe illness. Some parasites can also affect humans, causing serious problems especially in children.
What parasites do we need to protect against?
The most common parasites seen in cats and dogs are:
Parasites in Rabbits
Parasites are much less common in rabbits than in dogs and cats so routine preventative treatment against fleas and worms is not recommended. If you think your rabbit has intestinal worms, speak to your vet as they will likely test a faecal sample.
The most important condition seen in rabbits due to parasites is flystrike.
What should I do if I think my pet has parasites?
If you think your pet has parasites, call your local practice to arrange an appointment with a vet or nurse. External parasites can often be seen on examination; ticks can be removed but fleas will need treatment of both the pet and the house to kill them.
Internal parasites cannot be seen on examination so your vet may wish to send a stool sample for testing or may decide that it is safe to give a worming treatment based on suspicion.
How do I treat parasites?
Parasites aren’t always easy to detect, so prevention is much better than cure! We recommend regular anti-parasite treatment for all cats and dogs, even those that don’t go outside.
There are many different anti-parasite treatments available, as no single product is effective against all parasites. Deciding what your pet needs to be fully covered can be over-whelming, however our trained vets and nurses are happy to help you find the right combination for your pet.