Scientists are warning that pets are at increased risk from parasites this autumn and winter due to rises in seasonal temperatures.
Studies conducted in vet practices showed that one in four cats (28%) and one in seven dogs (14%) attending clinics for routine matters such as health checks and vaccinations were found to have fleas and that 11% of the fleas found on cats and dogs were carrying bartonella bacteria – a bacteria that causes a disease known as ‘cat scratch disease’ in people.
This disease can cause life-threatening blood, heart and neurological problems. In addition, 2% of the ticks discovered were carrying the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, which can have serious consequences and is known to be on the increase.
An initiative called Protect Our Future Too has been launched to raise awareness of the risks to our household pets caused by changes such as warmer months in autumn and winter.