Author: vetstream

Weight watchers with Daisy!

The hairy members of our family (yes I am talking about the pets) rely on us to keep them nice and slender, with a balanced diet giving them all their nutritional needs. Now, being a bit of a foodie myself (especially when it comes to cake, chocolate, crisps, cheese…. maybe I should stop before I fill the page) I tend to have passed on this love of food to my dog Daisy. As well as looking like me, she also likes to eat as much as me, and with a cute irresistible face like this how can you resist! (Unfortunately for me we look alike- but I am not this cute).
But here is where the tricky part comes. Daisy likes to go through cycles of getting a bit soft around the edges. A good weight for Daisy, being a working Cocker Spaniel, should be around 12-12.5kg, but she has been known to creep right up to 13.5kg.
Now, for someone who works in a vets, I’m probably not setting a very good example, but it’s easy for any of us, no matter who we are, to be a bit over zealous when feeding our pets. I thought the best way to explain how easy it can be sometimes for Daisy to get a few too many tit bits, would be to ask her to do a diary in the life of Daisy. Here’s what she had to say:

A day in the life of a “Working” (more like sleeping) Cocker Spaniel

When I wake up in the morning everyone is asleep, and I have to nudge them with my face to make sure they wake up to give me my breakfast. Sometimes I get everyone up as early as half past 5, because all I want is my breakfast. I wake up, go outside for a quick wee, and run straight back in for food. After taking about 1 minute to eat it, I go back out to the toilet again, and come back in still hungry!

If I’m lucky mum does me a treasure hunt and hides biscuits around the house for me to find, but it doesn’t take me very long. Then when mum and other members of the family have their breakfast I wait and see if they have anything for me. Sometimes if I’m lucky, I get my own taste of some milk in my bowl, yummy! Then I go back and lay on mums bed and have a few hours’ kip, its tough work being me so I need lots of sleep.

By about lunch time I get to go on a walk over the woods, where I don’t stop, not even when I need the toilet, this helps me to burn all my energy off. When I get back and have my legs washed (much to my disgust, what’s the point in getting dirty if I then get cleaned again), I often get given a chew bone to help keep my teeth pearly white.

When the humans start eating their lunch, I often might get a few bits of meat when they finish because I put on my best soppy look. Later in the afternoon I’ll go out for another walk, and when I come back I get my dinner- yummy! I start asking and pestering for this at about 2 o’clock, even though I don’t have my dinner till 4 – just to make sure they don’t forget.

When the humans have their dinner again later on, I pretend like I haven’t had mine, and then I often may get a few more bits of scrap meat or vegetables- delicious! Once when the humans went out at Christmas I was so hungry that I opened one of their bags and helped myself to my doggy stocking. I got so full I couldn’t finish it all. 

In the evening the humans tend to snack lots on lots of yummy things like popcorn and biscuits, they are so greedy so I don’t think it’s fair when they tell me I’m being a porkie pie. I usually sit there expectantly, give them my best fluttering eyelashes, and get some bits of popcorn or biscuits or crisps. I’ve managed to get my way so much that the humans buy some digestives just for me- they even have a special name – Daisy Digestive. I know they’re in there, so anytime I hear movements of the biscuit tin, no matter where I am, I run to it as fast as I can.

After all this exhausting work of eating, sleeping, and going out for walks, I’m ready for bed. Although, if I hear a rustling downstairs, I’m still quick to get up and see what food may be on offer.

Now, as you can see Daisy can get to eat a lot in the day! If we looked at that in terms of numbers, Daisy (for her size, based on her level of exercise) should only consume about 860 calories a day to maintain her weight. Her chappie, which is her main food for the day comes to around 680kcals, that leaves only 180 left for her to have. GULP. So her handful of biscuits that she has in the morning will be another 58kcals, for a dental stick from pedigree they are 53kcals, 73kcals for a digestive biscuit, and for ¼ of a chicken breast it is approximately another 75 kcals. Now, if I add all this up, and that’s excluding the milk, it comes to around an extra 250 calories, which means in a day she could be having 930calories- that’s over 10% a day more than she should be, and that’s just in one day!

I thought by using myself as an example, it would show how easy it is to overfeed your pet, and how quickly this can start leading to weight gain and subsequent health issues. That’s why we, at Mayne vets, are doing a month dedicated to helping all our clients and their furry friends.

Any pets that may have weight issues can come in to see us, to see where they could be going wrong, and how we can put them back on track again- and this is all free of charge! So if you think, like me, you could be overfeeding your pet, and perhaps they could do with losing a few of those pounds, then please ring in and book with the nursing team today. 

(I try not to be naughty anymore to set a good example, but Daisy still gets her ‘Daisy Digestives’- please don’t tell the vets!).

Lumps and Bumps

People will be petting their pet and find a lump or a bump, something that has popped up overnight, they then assume the worse – Its CANCER, sometimes we then avoid finding out more. Either though fear or worry or cost.

During the first week of February (weekdays only) as part of our involvement with WORLD CANCER DAY we are offering a free consultation with Louise or Gemma to get the worrying lumps and bumps checked.

We have all been in your situation and its scary so we hope that we can help put your mind at rest or we can get in early and remove the small swelling which is a sign of a more dangerous disease process – remember larger masses are harder to remove.

Causes:
Most superficial lumps and bumps are caused by one of the following

1. Puncture Wounds – Often these have resulted from a bite, they fester beneath the skin surface and then eventually break open.

2. Benign Masses – Warts, skin tags, fluid-filled cysts, fatty tumours (lipomas) and histiocytomas are all examples of benign (non-cancerous) masses that may or may not need to be removed depending on size, site and how much the animal is bothered by the mass.

3. Cancerous tumours – These are the scariest of the masses. Sometimes they can be cured with surgical removal but sometimes they have spread to other parts of the body locally or to distant parts of the body.

What you can do at home:
There are some simple suggestions to help at home

1. Assess your pet – if your pet appears unwell or there is a smell or discharge from the lump then we need to see him ASAP as it may be a more urgent situation, than if he is well the lump is not red or hot with no odour.

2. Mark the mass – So many people steal themselves to come to the vet for the bad news but then cannot find the mass when they get into the consult room. Clip some hair from around the area or mark it with tipex or a small amount of nail varnish.

What we will do:
We need to find out the origin or cause of the mass to this this several things may take place.

1. History – We will ask several questions – how long have you noticed the lump? Has it grown quickly? Is the dog/cat bothered by it? How has your pet been otherwise?

2. Perform a physical exam – Sometimes the look and feel of a mass can give us plenty of clues. Examining from head to tail will also give us clues as to any further complications.

3. Fine needle aspirate – We will insert a needle into the mass to try to extract some tell-tale cells that can be looked at under the microscope. These will be looked at in house by our staff and sometimes for a more expert opinion send to the pathologists. Unfortunately this test only tells you what cells are in the area the needle hits so it’s not 100% representative of all the cells in mass.

4. Incisional biopsy –In order to get more cells or a fuller picture of the mass sometimes we will cut a piece away. We do this a number of ways but your pet will need to be sedated or anaesthetised for it. We would do this if the FNA has been non diagnostic and we wanted to remove the mass surgically but were concerned about removing the correct margins.

5. Excisional biopsy – This increases our chances of making a definitive diagnosis, but it means removing the entire lump and then submitting the tissue to the laboratory for full assessment.

Once a diagnosis has been made we can give you the most accurate prognosis and treatment for the type of mass it is.

We are really keen to put your minds at rest so please ring to book an appointment quoting the term – lumps and bumps check.

How do I tell whether kittens are boys or girls?

This is one of those tasks that sounds like it should be really easy – but actually it can be surprisingly hard! Until they begin puberty (usually at about 6 months old), male and female kittens are incredibly similar.

There are several different approaches that different people use to determine sex, and some are more reliable than others, so we’ll have a look at all the common ways to distinguish the boys from the girls.

Coat colour

This can sometimes give you a good indication – but it’s not always reliable!

Tortoiseshell cats are almost always female – the cat needs two X chromosomes to be a tortie (mixtures of three different colours) or a calico (patches of three different colours). However, some chromosomal abnormalities and a condition called chimaerism can result in male torties, so don’t rely on it!

Ginger tabbies are usually male – but again, not always.

All the other common colours can be male or female.

Facial features

When adult, tomcats tend to have a leaner, more muscular build, a broader face and a heavier skull.

However, these features are all driven by testosterone and are not present in kittens before puberty – just as you wouldn’t expect a young boy to have broad shoulders and a beard!

The facial features of male and female kittens are sufficiently similar that it isn’t possible to use them to tell the sexes apart.

Sex-linked behaviours

If the (older) kitten is calling and rolling, she’s in season (oestrus) and is therefore a female. Likewise, strong-smelling secretions from the base of the tail (“stud tail”) is unique to tomcats. However, most cats won’t enter puberty until about six months old, by which time its usually easier to use other methods!

Some books suggest that urine spraying is an indicator that the kitten is a male – however, although spraying is more common in adult tomcats, all cats will spray if they’re stressed, so this really isn’t terribly useful.

Genitalia

This is by far the most reliable method – actually look under the tail and see what’s there… However, it’s not as easy as it sounds – unlike most animals, boy cats have a fully retractile penis which points backwards underneath their bottom – while girls have their vulva in almost exactly the same place. As a result, a casual examination will reveal just two little holes, one above the other, in both sexes!

If possible, have a gentle feel and try to find his testicles – in a male kitten they’ll be in between the anus (top hole) and penis (bottom hole), and each one will usually be the size of a small pea. If you do find them, it’s definitely a boy! However, some kittens are a little shy (especially if they’re scared by being groped by a strange human), so if you don’t find any, it may just mean that he’s pulled them up inside out of harm’s way. As he gets older, they’ll spend more and more time outside, and by the time he’s six months old, they’ll probably be fully visible.

The anogenital distance is another really useful marker – but it’s easier if there are a couple of different kittens to compare. Females have a shorter distance between the two holes than males.

The final thing to check for is the shape of the genital orifice (the bottom hole). For girls, it’ll be a vertical slit, whereas the boys have a circular hole. So when you look at them from behind, a girl has a round anus and slit-like vulva like an i. The boys, meanwhile, have two round holes, like a :

Ideally, use a combination of all three genital components – testicles, distance and shape; or bring them in and our vets and nurses will be able to tell you!

How do I persuade my cat to eat their new food?

Cats are creatures of habit and routine, so it’s no surprise if you haven’t found a change of diet to be easy. All that cajoling, smiling sweetly and pretending to eat the food yourself while exclaiming  ‘Yummy!’ might just not be cutting the mustard. Don’t despair, read on for a few hints and tips.

Why won’t my cat just eat what they’re given?

It’s important to know that cats are really rather wild at heart. They have strong instincts similar to those that would see them thrive in the wild. One such instinct is to be very cautious about what they put in their stomachs, avoiding anything that they are suspicious might be poisonous.

From a very young age, the textures, shapes and smells of what they usually eat are imprinted in their minds and this is what they recognise as food. If they have always eaten wet food and you suddenly switch to dry, they might not even recognise this as edible. So while you may think they are being fussy eaters, actually, their inner lion is shining through. It is also important to know that a cat shouldn’t miss multiple meals.

Their metabolism is of a delicate disposition and starvation means that they can suffer a life threatening and tricky to treat illness called hepatic lipidosis. You are asking much of them, so help them through this tricky transition by persuading them all is safe and well in the feline culinary world.

Gradual change
Changing the diet of any pet is a process that should be carried out gradually. A sudden dietary change can cause stomach upset; but also, you’re likely to cause confusion and find your cat turning their nose up when suddenly faced with a full bowl of strange food. It doesn’t matter that you’ve opted for the best of the best, gourmet, organic, no expense spared deliciousness, they will seem disinterested, just because it’s different.

Try mixing just a small amount of the new, in with the old to get them started. Gradually increase the new and decrease the old over a period of two weeks until you’ve made a complete change, you might find that they get the hang of it that way.

Recognition by routine
Another method is to place an (initially small) bowl of the new food down at the usual feeding time. If uneaten, remove after half an hour and replace with a smaller meal of their usual fodder. Repeat at each usual meal time so that this new is diet brought into your cat’s consciousness as a food stuff by association. Often you will find that by day three, they happily tuck into the new food.

Consider why they’re being fussy
It’s worth taking a moment to think about anything physical that might be preventing them from enjoying their new delights. Have you suddenly noticed a buildup of tartar on their teeth and you’re moving them onto a dry, dental diet to try to combat this? Perhaps more damage has been done than you’ve realised and their gums are already sore. In which case  they will long for their non-abrasive soft food once again so that they may eat in comfort. If in any doubt, have them seen by us to treat their mouth, let their gums settle and then try again.

Perhaps their new diet simply isn’t to their taste. Is there a tastier option offering the same benefits? Many brands run a money back guarantee so consider looking into tastier alternatives. Don’t get stuck in the trap of encouraging fussy eating however; it is not advisable to try endless new diets. You will soon notice that you are no longer the trainer in this relationship but that you have become the trainee. They will cleverly train you to offer ever increasingly tasty foods!

A few hints from the professionals!
We vets and nurses have a range of tricks up our sleeves as we commonly find ourselves tempting inappetant feline patients to eat. We’re letting you into a few trade secrets with this list of suggestions below.

  • Warm wet food GENTLY to release the aroma – take care with microwaves which often heat food unevenly
  • Make dry food feel a little more like wet to start with. Using warm kettle water, soften dry kibble initially
  • Understand whether they’re a secret eater – some cats like to dine alone while others even like the comfort of being stroked whilst they tuck in
  • Let them play with their food. Ping a few bits of kibble across the floor and turn it into a game!
  • If all else fails, ask yourself why you’re making this change and whether you actually need to as we don’t recommend changing diets willy nilly. Are you making this change to care for their teeth with a dry dental diet? Could you brush their teeth instead? Is it because your local shop has stopped selling their food? Could you buy it online?

In many circumstances, a change in diet is necessary; for example because of an allergy or because they’re leaving kittenhood and entering adulthood.

If you’re really struggling, speak with us for more advice!

 

Five Christmas Disasters and How To Prevent Them

Christmas is a an exciting and often hectic time of year – but had you thought about how it impacts on your pets? In this blog, we’ll look at five pet-related Christmas disasters and how to stop them ruining your festivities!

Tree Injuries

A tree in the living room makes Christmas for many families… But to cats it’s a climbing frame, and to dogs it can be a urinal. Unfortunately, most indoor trees aren’t stable enough to take a curious moggy climbing about in the branches, and tend to fall over, causing alarm and despondency to all in their path (including the poor cat, who gets catapulted across the room).

Dogs weeing on the Christmas tree is messy and unamusing (except to very small children). However, if you’ve got electric fairy lights, it can also result in a nasty electric shock in a very unfortunate place.

To avoid tree-induced injury or electrocution, make sure that trees are well secured and well supervised when pets are around!

Ornament Attacks

Baubles, tinsel, glittery and sparkly decorations – they make our homes look very festive. However, they are also a massive temptation to our pets! New shiny toys to be played with, sucked, broken and swallowed.

Cats generally seem to have thing for tinsel, and love to pounce on it. Unfortunately, it can get caught round their claws and teeth and, worse, get swallowed causing a “linear foreign body”. Once in the intestines, the string at the core of the tinsel acts like a cheesewire, cutting through the tissue.

Dogs generally prefer bigger, bouncier toys – like baubles, fairies etc – and love to chew them. This often results in broken toys and cut mouths. However, sometimes dogs (often Labradors with their soft mouths and tendency to greed…) will swallow a toy whole, resulting in a “foreign body obstruction” and emergency surgery to remove a bauble blocking the bowel.

The best way to keep our pets safe is to keep all ornaments out of reach, and if possible, only allow supervised contact – so you can distract them if the shiny things get too tempting!

Festive Flames

Candles and, in older houses, a roaring fire make a house a snug winter home. However, pets – like small children – don’t recognise the danger. Yes, the flickering light is beautiful, but it has a hot bit at the end! Cats in particular are prone to swiping at candle flames and either getting burned, or knocking over the candle.

The best prevention is making sure you don’t use real lit candles where the animals can get at them. If you want the effect, there are some very good LED battery powered candles available nowadays, which don’t get hot and don’t pose the same risk to pets.

Toxic Treats

Christmas, to many of us, is a time associated with special foods – dried fruits, nuts, sage-and-onion stuffing, Christmas pudding, chocolates and, of course, alcohol, to mention just a few. However, all of these are poisonous to our pets… The top culprits at this time of year are:

  • Raisins (in mincemeat and puddings) which can cause kidney failure in dogs, and also occasionally in cats.
  • Peanuts can cause salt poisoning and seizures in dogs.
  • Macadamia nuts – these cause seizures and a wide range of other toxic effects in dogs.
  • Onions can cause anaemia in dogs and cats.
  • Chocolate – highly toxic to both cats and dogs, causing vomiting, heart problems and potentially seizures.
  • Alcohol – we all know it causes drunkenness and a hangover in humans, but dogs and cats don’t cope as well as we do and are frequently dangerously ill after only a tiny amount.

Bottom line – don’t feed your pets anything unless you’re CERTAIN it’s safe for them!

Overindulgence

We all like to give our pets something special over Christmas – but even if you manage to avoid the actually poisonous foodstuffs, cats and dogs do not really benefit from a very varied diet. Unlike us, it takes their intestines a while to adapt to new foods – so suddenly offering them rich roast turkey, gravy or similar indulgences often causes a nasty stomach upset! Actually, vomiting and diarrhoea are the most common reasons we see dogs over the Christmas period, mainly due to overly generous owners. In general, you’re better off sticking to proper pet foods – most manufacturers do offer Christmas Specials, so you can still offer them a treat, but one that’s less likely to require veterinary attention.

Christmas can still be fun with pets, but you do need to be a bit careful…

If you have any concerns over your pet’s health over Christmas, feel free to call us – we always make sure that there’s a vet on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

Do cats get stressed?

Simple answer – yes, very easily! Stress is an important factor in the development of a number of feline diseases (particularly cystitis, “incontinence”, and some skin conditions). In addition, many cats will leave their owners and look for a new home if they live somewhere they consider to be too stressful… So if your moggy moves out, it might not be them, but you!

Why are cats so sensitive to stress?
Cats originally evolved as small carnivores living as solitary ambush predators, and this simple fact explains much about their behaviour:

  • Small carnivores – yes, cats are ferocious hunters. But let’s face it, they rarely get above 5kg, and in a real fight even a small dog like a terrier will probably win if they really mean it. So the life of these wild ancestral cats was always precarious – find enough small critters to eat without being eaten yourself by something bigger (wolves, jackals, even big foxes will happily make a meal of an unwary cat). This means that they evolved to be constantly on edge, in case something with big teeth came unexpectedly round the next corner.
  • Solitary – this meant that they each had their own hunting patch, which they’d defend against other cats. If another cat moved in and started eating their mice, or rodents, or whatever, then they’d starve. Unlike dogs, who evolved from co-operative pack hunters (wolves), in general cats don’t really like other cats very much!
  • Ambush predators – most cats won’t chase down their prey; they’ll stalk it, keeping out of sight behind cover until they can pounce. As a result, they tend to feel very vulnerable and exposed if there’s nowhere to hide.

Of course, since we’ve domesticated them (to a certain point at least!) we’ve reduced their dislike of each other (and there are a lot of cats who get on just fine with one or two others in the house). However, that tension is still there under the surface – you only have to introduce a new and unfamiliar cat into the neighbourhood to see it come out.

So what sorts of things make cats stressed?
Almost anything that changes (cats don’t like change!), but especially:

  • Alterations to the physical environment
  • Any movement or alteration in furniture can stress some cats.
  • Building work (where apparently fixed structures like doors and windows are moved) is a problem for almost any cat, and it’ll take them a while to get used to it.
  • Movement of feeding points or litter trays – cats instinctively feel vulnerable when eating or going to the toilet, so they need to feel secure wherever they’re going to perform these functions.
  • Alterations to the human environment
  • New people (e.g. babies or visitors) in the house are always a problem, especially if they behave in a way that’s significantly different to the normal residents.
  • Some individuals may also be stressed by the absence of someone they’re familiar with – for example children going away to college or university, or following a bereavement.
  • Presence of other cats
  • Typically due to a cat they don’t know, such as a new arrival in the area, or a new cat in the household. It’s important to remember, however, that just because they don’t fight it doesn’t mean that two cats are friends – they may just work around each other so they come into contact as rarely as possible (cats often “time-share” different rooms, for example). Likewise, it’s important that there are enough litter trays and food bowls (not next to each other) – generally, one for each cat in the household plus one extra.
  • Lack of seclusion
  • Cats like to be able to hide; if they can’t, it’s a source of stress. Note that even a bold cat who routinely stays out in the open always likes to know there’s somewhere sheltered he can dash to if needed!
  • Boredom
  • If cats aren‘t able to hunt for any reason, it’s important to supply them with an alternative outlet for those instincts – usually some sort of chasing or pouncing game. If not, boredom alone can make them feel stressed.

So how do I know if my cat feels stressed?
Short-term fear is usually obvious and easy to recognise (fur standing up, hissing, crouched, rapid breathing, hiding, urination and defecation etc); however, chronic or long-term stress can be much more subtle. Signs may include:

  • Altered appetite – may be increased or decreased, depending on the individual cat’s temperament and personality.
  • Altered activity – some cats may become hyperactive, while others spend more time resting or pretending to sleep.
  • Altered behaviour towards people – stressed cats may become increasingly clingy and needy, or may decline any human contact or attention.
  • Increased hiding.
  • “Incontinence” or, more properly, inappropriate urination or defecation. This may include urine spraying. Cats use urine and faeces as territory markers, so this is almost always a sign of territorial stress.
  • Overgrooming, often resulting in bald patches on the belly or forelimbs.
  • Increased aggression (to try and drive intruders out) or fearfulness (to escape the threat).
  • Cystitis (aka Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder or FLUTD).
  • Increased scent marking – rubbing on surfaces or people.

What can I do to make my cat less stressed?
Well first try and understand why they’re stressed, and then if possible make it stop! Of course, it isn’t always actually possible, but if it is, try to make some accommodation for them.

If you can’t, the next best step is the use of a pheromone based product – these really do work in reducing a cat’s stress levels. The one with the best evidence base is Feliway, which comes in two forms – one for general stress relief (Feliway Original) and one for cat/cat stresses (Feliway Friends).

There are also non-prescription calmers available (Zylkene is probably the best studied and understood), but these are usually reserved for particularly stressful occasions, like fireworks displays etc.

If these simple steps aren’t enough, make an appointment to talk to one of our vets about the problem.

Can cats get lungworm?

We’re all very much “lungworm aware” when it comes to dog lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum), but many people are unaware that cats have their own species of this parasite – Aelurostrongylus abstrusus. Unlike the dog version, this is often “clinically silent”, meaning that no symptoms are apparent. However, if the infestation is heavy enough, it can be very severe and even life-threatening.

What is the Cat Lungworm?
Aelurostrongylus abstrusus is a small nematode, or roundworm. Adults are about 7mm (⅓”, males) to 10mm (½”, females) long, and live inside the cat’s lung tissue. Here they lay eggs (starting about a month after the cat is infected), which are squeezed out into the airways and form nodules in the small airways. These then hatch into larvae which swim upwards until they irritate the tissue and are coughed out by the cat. They are then swallowed and passed in the faeces. Once in the outside world, these larvae infect slugs and snails, where they lay in wait. Every so often, an infected slug or snail is eaten by a rodent, or a bird, or a frog or similar, and the parasites move house to set up home in this animal (called a transport host). Sooner or later, the small animal will be eaten by a cat, and the worms are eaten with it. They then burrow out of the cat’s intestine into the tissues, and make their way through the body into the lungs (which takes about 24 hours). There they mature and begin the cycle again.

What cats are at risk?
Any cat who ever, even occasionally, catches wild prey. The prevalence is probably very high in outdoor and feral cats.

What are the symptoms?
Many cats will only have a fairly small infestation, and will never show any symptoms. In addition, in most cats the infection is fairly short-lived – after four to six months, the worms die and are destroyed. Cats with a moderate infestation may develop a cough, shortness of breath when exercising, wheezy breathing and weight loss – which symptoms may be subtle enough that an inexperienced or inattentive owner may not recognise them. However, in cats with a heavy infestation, symptoms typically include rapid breathing, severe distress, difficulty breathing, blue gums and collapse. In rare cases, it may even be fatal.

How is it diagnosed?
With a special test on the faeces of the infected cat called a Baermann Test (which looks for the larvae in the faeces). Sometimes, larvae, nodules or worms can be seen on endoscopy of the lungs.

Can it be treated?
Treatment of established cases requires advanced supportive treatment, with infected cats often needing oxygen therapy, intensive care and powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, long courses of drugs like fenbendazole (usually daily for two weeks) or doses of moxidectin/imidacloprid spot-on are used to kill the parasites.

Can it be prevented?
Regular worming with an ivermectin-based wormer will usually prevent infestations becoming severe enough to cause symptoms. However, hunting and outdoor cats should be wormed more frequently than the every three months recommended for indoor cats – usually every month or so, especially in active hunters.

If you cat seems to be having any trouble breathing, this is an emergency that needs advice from one of our vets as quickly as possible.