Whether it’s to far-flung exotic locations or a break exploring what our own country has to offer, the summer months are a wonderful time to travel with our pets. Whatever your destination, it’s essential you speak with your vet before you go to ensure your pet is protected from parasites on their travels.
Did you know that even moving from the north to the south of the country opens up the potential for infection by entirely different types of worms than in the native environment?
Most of us do all we can to protect our four-legged companions from dangers while out and about; we watch out for cars, avoid aggressive dogs, keep our animals safe from dangerous terrain and even use seatbelts when travelling! But you might not be aware of some of the less obvious dangers in your pets’ environment you can also protect them from.
Just as we humans need protection against unseen dangers like UV rays on sunny summer days, cats and dogs of all ages require special protection against microscopically small organisms such as worm eggs, which may survive for months and even years.
Travelling with our pets can expose both us and our pets to parasites in the places we visit, but it can also mean our pets bring unwanted parasites back home. Travel – even a few hours in a car – can be enough of a change in the environment for parasites to develop, and so it’s important to speak with your vet about how to protect your pet.
The fact of the matter is that pets can be infected with worms at almost any time outside, such as when they’re running around in green areas or home gardens, when they’re digging for rodents, when they eat a snail, or when their tongues come into contact with other animals through licking. And the risk of parasitic infection has become even greater in recent years due to environmental changes, especially in the summertime. Pets who roam free or travel around are at particular risk of getting worm-induced diseases.
So just after you make your booking, speak to your vet about protecting your pet through the long, hot summer.
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2. ESCCAP guideline: Worm control in dogs and cats. ESCCAP Guideline 01. Second edition. September 2010
3. ESCCAP Guideline: Control of Vector-Borne Diseases in Dogs and Cats. 05 Second Edition. Oct. 2012.
4. Deplazes, P et al.: Role of pet dogs and cats in the transmission of helminthic zoonoses in Europe, with a focus on echinococcosis and toxocarosis. Vet Parasitol. 182(1): 41-53. 2011
5. Wolfe A. and Wright IP. Human toxocariasis and direct contact with dogs. Vet Record. (152) 419-427. 2003
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