Veterinary webinar by IAN WRIGHT BVM&S MSc MRCVS, Reviewed by David Grant

Testing/screening. Baermann apparatus

This older test involves the collection of fresh faecal samples and demonstration of larvae via faecal flotation. This can be in house or via outside laboratory. The procedure is time-consuming and the sensitivity can be poor

Idexx Angio Detect Test

This blood test measures antigen to Angiostrongylus. It has a sensitivity of 84.6% and a specificity of 100%. It therefore allows rapid diagnosis of suspected cases and is useful for pre-operative screening

Crenosoma vulpis (lungworm of foxes) 

  • This parasite of foxes and dogs is not as common or pathogenic
  • In a survey of fox samples across the UK 11 of 546 foxes were positive. Nevertheless there appears to be an increase in cases involving dogs. Thus is likely for the same reason that the incidence and spread of Angiostrongylus has increased and the treatment for both parasites is the same

In summary of the webinar it is suggested that in all cases a risk assessment is made followed by assessment of compliance that would then lead to specific recommendations, considered to be crucial

Assessing risk

  • Does the pet hunt?
  • Does the pet have access to raw food/offal/carcasses?
  • Is there a history of snail/slug consumption?
  • Are children in the household?
  • Does the dog walk through high prevalence tick areas?
  • History of tick exposure?
  • Echinococcus granulosus infected area?
  • History of lungworm cases in the area?

Assessing compliance and efficacy

  • Does owner shampoo pet?
  • Frequent swimming?
  • Preference for tablet, spot on, collar?
  • Reaction to spot on or collar in the past?
  • Vomiting after specific tablets in the past?

Taking all the above into consideration it should be possible to advise on specific recommendations on a case by case basis. In general these will come under the following headings: –

  • Ensure that all high risk parasites for a particular pet are covered
  • Compliance has been considered
  • Adequate frequency has been assured
  • Licensing has been assured where these are appropriate options

Reviewer’s comments

Ian Wright covered a lot of ground with lots of useful advice in a user-friendly style. The webinar was well attended. 88% were attendees from the UK, 5% from Ireland 5% from mainland Europe and 2% from the rest of the world. Of the audience 54% were vets, 39% were vet nurses, 5% others, 1% vet students and 1% SQPs. There were some interesting questions as follows.

  1. Which treatment advised for hedgehogs?

Fipronil works well applying with cotton bud or if spray care to avoid nostrils. Ivermectin can be used also

  1. Should we regularly advise environmental control?

Advises a yearlong plan is formulated, preferably after booster vaccination/annual health check. This plan should be written down with suitable reminders. Depending on risk assessment the plan could include environmental control

  1. Colleagues working in farm practice are steered away from regular worming on the grounds it may increase resistance. Does this apply to companion animal practice?

Dogs and cats are not the same as they have wild life parasite reservoirs. The risk of resistance is small and needs to be balanced against the very real risk of zoonotic transmission

  1. If worming treatment is given and worms are seen a few days later does this indicate failure of the s de-worming? And therefore should the de- worming be repeated at this point?

It indicates that there was a high burden initially. In which case repeating the procedure in a month is definitely indicated.

  1. Questioner thought that Echinoccus was absent from the UK and hence the need to tape worm pets before entry into the UK

This applies to E.  multilocularis a much more pathogenic species, and therefore it is important to prevent entry if at all possible. E. granulosus is present in specified areas as described previously

  1. Has the presenter any experience of E. granulosus in pet monkeys and is it a concern with the possible entry of multilocularis?

No experience but it is a possible concern if it gets into zoos and from there into wild life.

This webinar was generously sponsored by MSD and is one of three that the company is sponsoring in this subject area. The next will be on Monday 24th.of March and the third one will be on the 6th of May










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