Pet Subjects: Telegraph vet Pete Wedderburn answers your questions

Pete Wedderburn
PETE WEDDERBURN Credit: Patrick Bolger

Dear Pete

I have heard on the news that the “eyeworm” has arrived in the UK, apparently carried here by pets that have been holidaying in Europe. My neighbour’s dogs often go to France: should I do anything to make sure that my own dogs don’t pick up this parasite from them?

HB Kent

Credit: Rachel Husband / Alamy Stock Photo

Dear HB

Despite the headlines, the eyeworm is highly unlikely to cause blindness if it is treated promptly: it causes the same type of irritation that a dog suffers from a speck of straw or grass under the eyelid. Immediate treatment involves removing the tiny worm with tweezers. Prevention is simple: monthly application of the same spot-on medication that many dog owners already use to control fleas, roundworms and lungworm. Ask your local vet for details.


Dear Pete

I’m three months’ pregnant, and because of risk of toxoplasmosis I have been keeping my cat, Cagney, outside. I feel bad about it. Is there anything I can do that eliminates the risk so that I let her indoors?

AM, Swansea

Credit: Getty Images

Dear AM

While cats are important in the life cycle of toxoplasmosis, human infections are often nothing to do with the cat itself and instead commonly result from eating undercooked meat containing the parasite. Research shows that contact with cats does not increase the risk of infection in humans. As long as you take simple hygiene measures (e.g. avoid contact with cat litter trays), there’s no reason to keep Cagney outside.


High-quality cat information

For up-to-date details on cat health, visit the International Cat Care website ( Run by a Wiltshire team of cat enthusiasts, iCatCare aims to ensure that cats are treated with care, compassion and understanding.


Rescue pet


Michelle is a laid-back rescue pony. Visit


Send queries to [email protected] or tweet 
@PeteTheVet. All sick animals should be taken to a vet.

Pet Subjects by Peter Wedderburn is published by Aurum Press (£12.99). To order a copy for £10.99 plus p&p