External Parasite Control
Why flea control?
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is one of three major allergic skin diseases that must be considered in every itchy animal. FAD causes severe itchiness in dogs and cats and arises when an animal that is allergic to certain proteins in fleas’ saliva gets bitten by a flea. The incidence of fleas is linked to their environmental requirements. Fleas typically occur in temperate and warmer climates. The most suitable conditions are temperatures ranging from 18-30 Degrees Celsius with the high relative humidity of 70-80%. They do not survive in colder climates. In areas where FAD is endemic, it is the most common reason pets are presented to the Veterinarian. The diagnosis of FAD is based on the history and the findings during the clinical examination. Even in the absence of live fleas or flea dirt, if your animal is showing signs of FAD empirical anti-flea treatment is always a good idea.
In the case of a flea infestation, the main goals of treatment are the eradication of fleas from the environment as well as on the animal. This would include topical or chewable treatment to treat your animal and an aerosol spray to treat the environment. If the animal is affected by FAD the goals of treatment would also include providing rapid relief of the clinical signs and discomfort.
At Birnam Vet we stock a range of products that assist with the eradication of fleas from the animal as well as the environment. Please feel free to contact Birnam Veterinary Clinic on 011 887 8158/9.
The most common mite related diseases in dogs and cats are 1) Demodicosis (demodectic mange), 2) Sarcoptic mange and 3) ear infestation by ear mites.
Demodectic mange (Demodicosis)
Demodicosis or most commonly known as ‘mange’ is a common inflammatory disease associated with excessive proliferation of Demodex mites in the skin. It is quite common in dogs and less so in cats. Canine juvenile demodicosis can be found localized or generalized on the animal and is often first noted by 3-6 months of age. Canine adult-onset demodicosis is usually generalized and occurs in middle-aged to old dogs. Canine adult-onset demodicosis is associated with internal disease and immunosuppression.
In cats, Demodex cati is often associated with immunosuppressive disease and can also affect the external ear canals. In the localised form of the disease, one to several small areas of hair loss can be noted in the face and front limbs. With the generalized form, often whole body regions are affected and can also be accompanied by a secondary infection of the skin.
The main way Demodicosis is diagnosed is by your Veterinarian doing a skin scrape.
At Birnam Vet we stock a range of products that assist with the eradication of mites. For more information on how to treat Demodicosis, please feel free to contact Birnam Veterinary Clinic on 011 887 8158/9.
Sarcoptic mange is a highly contagious, intensely itchy infestation of the animal’s skin caused by a small, obligate, burrowing mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis and Notoedres cati. Dogs and cats usually present with severe itchiness. Typical body parts affected include the ear margins, elbows and hocks, ventral abdomen, chest, and legs.
Canine scabies is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis. This mite infests the skin of dogs, but it is potentially contagious to humans and cats.
Feline scabies is caused by a mite known as Notoedres cati. Feline scabies is rarely spread from cats to dogs or people, as this mite generally only infests cats. Just like in the case of Demodicosis, a diagnosis of Sarcoptic mange in dogs and cats is made by performing one or more skin scrapings.
At Birnam Vet we stock a range of products that assist with the eradication of mites. For more information on how to treat Sarcoptic mange, please feel free to contact Birnam Veterinary Clinic on 011 887 8158/9.
Otodectic mange (Ear Mites)
Otodectic mange is a contagious disease and is caused by a mite called Otodectes cynotis. Otodectes is primarily found in the external ear canal of dogs and cats, but more common in cats. The main clinical signs are itchiness in and around the ear, evidenced by headshaking and ear scratching. Another common finding is a dark brown exudate in the ear canal. A diagnosis is usually made by direct viewing in the ear canal with an otoscope or microscope. Other pets can also become infested and eradication is best achieved when all the animals are treated simultaneously. For more information on how to treat Otodectic mange, please feel free to contact Birnam Veterinary Clinic on 011 887 8158/9.
Why tick control?
Ticks are ectoparasites that feed on the blood of their hosts and can be divided into hard (ixodid) and soft (argasid) ticks. The ticks of most clinical importance in dogs are Haemaphysalis elliptica (yellow dog tick) and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick). The yellow dog tick is found on cats as well.
The most important tick-borne diseases affecting dogs and cats are Canine babesiosis, Feline babesiosis, Canine ehrlichiosis and Feline infectious anaemia (mycoplasmosis).
Most common clinical signs to look out for include: anorexia, lethargy and pale mucous membranes. The dog might vomit as well. Canine babesiosis is associated with a lot of complications, so it’s important to get your dog to the Vet as soon as possible if your dog is carrying ticks and displaying these clinical signs.
The vector for this disease is largely unknown but is thought to be tick related. This disease is most commonly seen along the coastal areas of South Africa. Clinical signs to look out for: Anorexia, weakness, listlessness and pronounced anaemia.
The most common clinical signs include lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, and bleeding tendencies. This disease often present in the more chronic form, but is also a life-threatening disease. Canine ehrlichiosis can also occur concurrently with canine babesiosis.
Feline infectious anemia (mycoplasmosis)
This parasite is most probably transmitted by biting arthropods. It has also been suggested that it can be spread through fighting. Stress can cause relapses of parasitaemia. Anorexia, weight loss and anaemia. Cats are often described as wasting away.
All of these tick-borne diseases are life-threatening and can be diagnosed by your local Vet by making a routine bloodsmear. It is therefore very important to take your pet to your local vet if presenting with any of these signs.
At Birnam Vet we stock a range of products that assist with the prevention of tick-borne diseases.
For more information on how to treat and prevent any of these tick-borne diseases, please feel free to contact Birnam Veterinary Clinic on 011 887 8158/9.