Cat and dog owners are understandably extremely protective of their pets. But whilst we are usually alert to the risks we find whilst out and about, it is important to be aware of the dangers posed to our pets by common pests found in and around the home.
The most common pest that can cause harm to your pet is the rat. Rats carry a host of very nasty diseases, which can easily be transmitted to your cat or dog. Germs and disease are present in rat urine and droppings, which can contaminate pet food and water sources. For this reason it is extremely unwise to store pet food in a shed or outhouse. Rats can chew through even very sturdy plastic containers. If you find droppings, chew marks or paw prints anywhere around your pet's food, discard it immediately and call a pest control company. Diseases carried by rats include:
Leptospirosis - known as 'lepto'. This is transferred from rats to dogs via sniffing, ingesting or licking rat urine. It affects the liver and can be fatal. Lepto bacteria can be found in drinking water that has been left outside or transferred via open wounds.
Toxoplasmosis - the Toxoplasmosis gondii parasite can be passed on to your cat or dog if they eat a rat. The parasites multiply in cysts that form in the rat's muscle. The danger is particularly severe if the disease is passed on to pregnant pets or young animals. Puppies and kittens will show symptoms of vomiting and fever. Pregnant pets can lose litters.
Rat Bite Fever - cause by bites or scratches from rats or via ingestion of droppings, the Streptobacillus moniliformis and Spirillum minus bacteria can be passed on to humans, and the result can be fatal.
Tularemia - also known as Rabbit Fever. This can be passed on to humans via dogs, who can pick it up via rat contaminated drinking water or eating rats. It is fatal to dogs if left untreated.
Tapeworm - this can affect cats or dogs that eat rats and has a long-term effect on their health, as the parasite will cause weight loss, discomfort and abdominal distention.
Mice harbour many of the same diseases as rats and can be very are harmful to pets for this reason. Cats are particularly at risk, due to their strong urge to hunt mice, so consider a bell for your cat's collar if he is a keen hunter.
Fleas are extremely irritating to your pets, and also carry disease. They can transmit tapeworm and your family may be at risk from Cat Scratch Fever, which can be passed on to you from your cat. The flea is the transmitter of this disease, which is passed from cat to cat, and can cause fever, headaches and fatigue in humans. Flea allergy can cause severe skin problems in cats and dogs, so do remember to keep up to date with preventative flea treatments. If your house becomes infested with fleas, call a pest control company to have the problem dealt with, and treat your pet with a prescribed flea treatment.
We cover the whole of Reading, Wokingham, and West Berkshire to the Wiltshire border. If you are looking for a complete, reliable
and reputable pest control service (whether it's for domestic or commercial pest control), we are the local, family-run business you should
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