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How to keep your pet free from parasites

October 31, 2018    ABUDHABI WORLD

As part of a new series, every month we will bring you a new column to help animal lovers care for their pets and get the best and most up-to-date information possible. This week, Dr Katrin Jahn, head veterinarian and founder of German Veterinary Clinic, discusses parasites and how to keep your fluffy friend safe from infection. 

Now that the weather is getting cooler and your pets are able to spend more time outdoors, parasite prevention is an absolute must for all owners.

So, what are we talking about exactly? We group parasites into internal and external groups. When we talk about internal parasites, we basically mean intestinal worms with tape-worm being the most commonly seen in the UAE.

Our feline friends are particularly at risk as hunting birds, geckos and small vermin, all of which are carriers of tapeworm, means they are easily infected.

But dogs are at risk too, and I would particularly recommend regular de-worming treatment if you have small children in your family as tapeworm can be transmitted to humans.

How can you spot tapeworm? Sometimes, they are not visible to the naked eye, but should you see small rice-grain sized and shaped globules near your pet’s bottom, then these could be tapeworm segments and I would strongly advise seeing your veterinarian for the appropriate treatment.

We recommend de-worming your pet every three months and this can be done with a tablet or a spot-on treatment for cats.

When we speak about external parasites, we mainly mean fleas and ticks, and while fleas are quite rare in the UAE, ticks are on the rise and can carry very nasty diseases that can be transferred to your pet.

Ehrlichia is one such disease that affects dogs. It is a parasite that infects the blood of canines and can lead to life-threatening anaemia (reduced red blood cell count) and other complications.

In order to prevent this, we strongly recommend regular external parasite prevention for both dogs and cats. These are available in a variety of forms including three monthly tablets or six monthly collars.

We regard parasite prevention as being an essential part of your pet’s preventative healthcare.

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