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This is an infection of animals that can be transmitted to humans.
A host is an animal that can act as a habitat for a parasite which may live either on the outside of the host or within the host, depending on the parasite.
This is the interval between when a parasite infection occurs and when the products of reproduction or multiplication of the parasite become apparent.
Because there is no single solution that will work for all dogs or all cats. The most suitable solution for your pet depends on a number of factors including you and your family, and your pet’s age, health and lifestyle.
Your pet is at risk of infection whatever its age. Many puppies and kittens in the UK acquire roundworms from their mother. It’s really important to protect your puppy or kitten from an early age and continue considering, managing and treating parasites throughout its lifetime.
Outdoor cats are more prone to parasitic infection than those kept indoors. Therefore, it is very important to protect them against the parasites and ensure their worming and flea treatments are kept up-to-date. Fleas and other parasites can be picked up from prey and the environment.
As well as following the general advice on keeping your pet and family safe at home, you need to take extra precautions to protect your pet and family when you travel. It is important that you consult your vet and prepare your pet's treatment and prevention plan well in advance of travel.
For more information on protecting your pet while abroad please visit our travelling pets section.
When you put your dog/cat into kennels/cattery while you go away you will expose them to a number of other animals and an environment to which they are unaccustomed. Consult with your veterinary practitioner to ensure all vaccinations, worming and flea treatments are up-to-date.
There are no risks of a cat and dog living in harmony together provided you discuss both of your pets’ lifestyles with your vet and ensure they are both adequately protected against infectious and parasitic diseases.
Protection against parasites is dependent on a number of things that include your pet’s lifestyle, whether you take your pet abroad, whether it lives with other animals and the environment or area in which it lives. Therefore, each pet’s treatment plan will differ and you should discuss individual treatment plans and products with your vet.
Reducing the risk of infection for your family is simple if you adopt these rules:
If you are pregnant and own an animal, it is important to be vigilant about the healthcare of your pet and yourself and adopt all the practices mentioned in question 11. For cat owners, toxoplasmosis is a disease which could affect pregnant women, babies and young children. However, research indicates that direct contact with cats does not increase the risk of infection in people.
Yes your pet may be at increased risk if it eats another animal’s faeces. Unfortunately, not everyone is a responsible owner and cleans up after their pet. This poses an additional health risk and the animal may be more prone to picking up parasitic and infectious diseases as a result. Always pick up your pet’s faeces and dispose of it responsibly.
There are some species of parasite that affect both cats and dogs, for example roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm and fleas. Some of these are zoonotic, which means they can transmit to humans as well. As long as your pets are fully protected against parasites, the risk of inter-species transmission is very low.
Yes, there are other professionally qualified people that can supply products and advise on your pet’s healthcare needs. However, for some treatments you may need to get a prescription from your veterinary practice in order to get the product elsewhere, depending on the classification of the treatment (whether prescribed by your veterinary surgeon or purchased in a store). It is also important to ensure that you get a suitable management and treatment regimen for your pet.
Dogs that hunt may be more prone to infection. Therefore, it is very important to protect them against infectious diseases and ensure their worming and flea treatments are kept up-to-date. Fleas and other parasites can be picked up from the environment, dead animals and carcasses.