Beach, bush or the dog park, we love getting out with our dogs, so it’s important to keep them protected against parasites. But which parasites do we need to be prepared for? In this post we cover some of the major parasites to look out during the summer months in Australia.
Fleas are more than just a nuisance for your dog. In some cases they cause chronic skin disease and even transmit infectious or parasitic diseases. Some of these can be transmitted to humans too.
Australia is home to a number of tick species that can affect dogs, including the paralysis tick, brown dog tick and bush tick. Of greatest concern is the potentially deadly paralysis tick which, each year, affects an estimated 10,000 dogs and cats.
A single adult female paralysis tick can kill a dog if left untreated, so preventative strategies are essential. Paralysis ticks are found on the eastern seaboard of Australia, from North Queensland to Victoria. They can also be found on animals in areas such as the ACT and Greater Melbourne. Brown dog ticks and bush ticks are widely distributed throughout Australia.
Mite infestation, also called mange, can cause severe skin or ear irritation and impact your dog’s quality of life. Some mites, for example Sarcoptes scabiei can also be transmitted from dogs to humans, causing a disease known as scabies.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that has been reported in all mainland states of Australia.Transmitted by mosquitoes, in the initial stages of the disease, heartworms cause no sign of illness, but as they mature and grow in the heart and blood vessels, they can cause severe lung and heart damage.
Intestinal worms can affect all dogs and, when present in high numbers, can cause gastrointestinal disease, malnutrition and anaemia. Some of these worms may also cause disease in humans.
In addition to using highly effective preventative treatments, you can also take the following steps to help protect your dog:
- Make sure all pets in the household are treated for fleas and ticks all year-round (even during winter).
- Check your dog daily for ticks, especially in the warmer months. Approximately 80% of ticks are
- found around the head, neck and front legs. However, don’t forget to check all those hard to
- find places such as around the ears, between the toes and under the tail.
- If a tick is found it should be removed using a twisting motion. If you are unsure of how to remove the tick correctly, contact your vet immediately.
- Minimise exposure by making your home environment less hospitable to ticks – keep lawns well trimmed and remove leaf litter.
If you require any additional information about your pet’s health and wellbeing, please feel free to contact us on (07) 3103 8432 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be more than happy to have a friendly chat and provide you with expert veterinary advice.