Worms and Fleas
Puppies and kittens need worming on multiple occasions with a product effective against roundworms as puppies are born infected and both puppies and kittens can be infected by their mothers milk. Both cat and dog roundworm larvae can migrate through human tissues and cause health problems in people so worming for roundworm is important for our health. We advise worming puppies & kittens monthly until 6 months old. Worming of pregnant bitches is important to reduce the infection of pups. As puppies will be growin & their weight changing in their first 6 months you are welcome to bring your dog in for one of our nurses to weigh and worm.
Adult dogs should be wormed every 3 months as a minimum for roundworms and tapeworms. More regular worming may be advisable depending on risk factors specific to your dog and household and you can discuss this with the vet. Monthly worming with our standard dog wormer will also provide protection against heartworm (for dogs going abroad) and lungworm. Monthly worming of adult dogs is recommended in households with small children and dogs that are on a raw diet or who regularly hunt/ scavenge carcasses.
Adult cats need regular worming depending on their lifestyle.
Tapeworms are acquired from eating fleas (which often occurs when the cat is grooming) and also from hunting. Roundworms can also be caught from hunting. So the cat with the active outdoor lifestyle will get regular reinfections and need worming frequently - monthly to keep worm free. The housecat is much less likely to be repeatedly re infecting itself. Cats are often not wormed as often as they should be due to difficulty in giving them pills but it is just as important to worm cats as it is dogs. Our routine worming pill is small and reasonably palatable but spot options are also available at the surgery. We have a new product for cats that will treat fleas, ticks, roundworm, tapeworm and lungworm in cats so one easy-to-use product can provide complete parasite control for your cat.
We are able to send reminders for wormer. If you would like to ensure that you get a regular reminder then please ensure that we have your mobile number/ email. You can arrnage to have reminders sent by either SMS or email, and to be sent at monthly or 3 monthly intervals depending on the risk factors for worms in your pet.
Routine flea treatments for pets and the house are available. Some allergic pets can have severe skin problems caused or exacerbated by fleas and these pets may need specific treatments that the vet can advise on. Many non allergic pets have fleas that do not bother them. However the presence of fleas in the house might bother you!
If your pet has fleas then you will need to treat the environment as well as the animal as flea eggs and larvae will be present in the house. Failure to treat the house properly is the commonest reason for flea treatments to appear to fail. Fleas are insects so they have a lifecycle with eggs larvae & pupae as well as the adult parasite. Just like butterflies only not quite as attractive! These stages are much harder to kill. Treating the adult fleas on the pet is only treating the tip of the iceberg!
Our household spray has 2 ingredients - an adulticide to kill the adult fleas and, more importantly, an insect growth hormone inhibitor to kill the developing stages. If used correctly it should provide upto 12 months flea control in your house.
The household spray should not be used in rooms where there are fish tanks unless they can be removed. Pet birds & insects should also be removed It is important to treat all surfaces the pet has contact with, bedding carpets fruniture etc with particular attention paid to dark nooks crannies & corners ( ie under furniture). Flea eggs & larvae can get in cracks between floor boards. A good vacuum before spraying may suck up some of the egg & larvae.
You are actively encouraged to vacuum daily after using the spray - the vibrations encourage flea eggs to hatch & it is easier to kiill the larvae than the eggs..
this picture demonstrates where fleas spend most of their life-cycle - in your home!
Flea shampoos are of little value in controlling fleas - they are rinsed off and provide no residual effect. Fleas can jump back on to your nice clean pet!
Sprays (depending on the ingredient) canbe effective but can be awkward and tricky to apply properly. Spot ons are generally effective if applied directly to the skin and not onto the hair. They may be less effective in long haired animals or animals that get bathed alot or swim alot.
Some spot on products made for dogs (containing permethrin) can be toxic if applied to cats - or to cats that are in close contact with treated dogs - so we do not stock these products. Fipronil containing products are safe in dogs & cats but can be dangerous in rabbits. Fipronil and Imidoclopramid containing products may have adverse effects on water life so dogs treated with these products should not swim or be bathed. Swimming and bathing also reduces their efficacy.
We have some new exciting products for flea and tick control available as tablets that last 3 months in dogs which will kill all fleas very quickly and certainly are much more effective for ticks so very much recommended in dogs that travel to continental Europe where there is a risk of serious tick boune diseases. We also have a new cat spot on flea & tick treatment which only needs to be used every 3 months. These new products are prescription only and very useful in flea allergic pets.
Some freaky flea facts
Fleas can drink upto 140% of their bodyweight in blood
They can jump with an acceleration equivilent to that of an Apollo space rocket
They can jump over 30cm high - the equivilent of a human jumping over St Pauls Cathederal
One female flea can lay upto 500 eggs during her lifetime
There is a tapeworm (Dipylidum) that spends part of its life cycle inside the flea - so when your pet eats a flea when grooming it might end up with a tapeworm
These are ticks and easy to use tick removers.
In the UK ticks are unpleasent but in mainland Europe they can carry a variety of serious diseases. Effective tick control is mandatory in the travelling pet. If you are taking your pet abroad them please see us about effective flea control & steps you can take to avoid your pet getting exotic dieseases.