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From fleas & tick to local taxi services

Fleas & Ticks


No one likes fleas as their bite can be very annoying to both owners and their pets causing the animal to become irritated and start scratching. Female fleas can lay 40 to 50 eggs per day, usually on the host, although as these multiply they can roll off onto surrounding areas and therefore it is much easier to prevent an infestation rather than treat the pet and house afterwards. Remember 95% of a flea population during an infestation is not on the pet but in your home!

Not only that but the skin condition Flea Allergic Dermatitis can be very sore and expensive to treat. As well as being irritable, flea larva can be infected with tapeworm eggs and if eaten by your pet they can become a host to the parasite. The rabbit disease Myxomatosis can also be spread by fleas. Prevention is better than a cure!


Ticks are small arachnids who satisfy their nutritional requirements on a diet of blood. They are vectors for a number of diseases including Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis which can be passed on within 48 hours. Ticks will also attach themselves to humans and potentially pass on these diseases.

  • Tick activity traditionally peaks in spring and early summer, with a second peak in autumn.
  • Ticks are able to feed from pets at three lifestages – first the 6-legged larvae feeds for 2 - 3 days; the 8-legged nymph feeds for 4 - 6 days and an adult feeds for up to 14 days.
  • Ticks at all lifestages can transmit disease in their saliva while feeding, or more rarely if swallowed.
  • An adult female tick full of a blood meal may be easy to spot – being up to 1 cm wide – but the earlier lifestages are much harder to see.
  • Regular tick treatment helps protect dogs against ticks and the potentially life threatening diseases carried by these parasites.


Animals may be carrying large numbers of parasitic worms in their stomach or intestines without showing any symptoms. Infective stages of the common parasites survive for a long time in the environment and after treatment re-infection occurs frequently. Although some animals may show no signs of infection the symptoms can range from general ill-health with a dull coat, occasional vomiting through to anaemia, intestinal obstruction and death. Some worms are also transmissible to humans. It is therefore important to carry out routine treatment against the most common worms.


Infection occurs through ingestion of eggs in the environment e.g. eating faeces, grass or from grooming another animal and is transmissible from mother to offspring in milk. Ingestion of the eggs by humans can lead to potentially serious conditions including blindness so regular worming of pets and good hand hygiene is essential to reduce risk.


There are a number of different types and can be transferred by fleas and eaten in raw meat.


These enter the host through ingestion of infective larvae or penetration of the larvae through the skin.


These affect dogs and are ingested in faeces.


These are contracted through the ingestion of slugs and snails.


As this uses the mosquito for transmission it is not seen in the UK but it is necessary to ensure that any pet travelling abroad is protected.

There are many products available for the treatment against worm infestation and the choice of product and route of administration will depend on the circumstances of the client and pet. We stock a number of products including tablets, oral liquid or spot ons. The products we stock are 'prescription only' and require pets to be examined yearly.  

Routine worming treatment is provided as part of our Pet Health Club which provides a routine health plan at exceptional value.


There have been recent reports of leptospirosis cases in dogs in the local area. In the last few years, new varieties (strains) of leptospirosis have emerged and newer vaccines (including the L4 vaccine) target four strains of the disease rather than just the two strains which were included in the older vaccines.

What is leptospirosis?

It is a widespread bacterial disease affecting a number of species of animals.

How is it transmitted?

It can be transmitted by contact with infected urine, either directly on indirectly from a contaminated environment eg stagnant water supplies, ponds or lakes (wild rodents such as rats can carry the disease, and without ever showing signs of illness, shed it in their urine).

What should I look out for?

  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • High Fever
  • Acute Renal failure
  • Vomiting and Diarrhoea    
  • Jaundice (due to liver impairment)

How can I prevent my dog getting it?

Vaccination is considered the best way to protect your dog.

At Gatehouse Vets we have been using the L4 vaccine, which includes protection against two new strains, since the summer of 2014.

If your dog has not been vaccinated (either via an initial course or booster) since then please contact your local surgery to arrange an appointment.

Taxi Services

If you struggle to get to any of our branches, below are some taxi services that are happy to transport you and your pet.

Chester Taxi Services  -  01244 521024

King Kabs - 01244 343434

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