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Parasite Control

Find advice on keeping your dog healthy

  • Fleas
  • Worms

Fleas

These are the most common parasite found on our pets and they are zoonotic which means they can pass to humans and can cause skin reactions like red spots and itching. In pets they can cause many problems such as FAD (flea allergy dermatitis), which causes hair loss due to a skin reaction with the flea saliva; they spread tapeworm and can cause anaemia in very severe cases. 

Using an effective prescription-strength flea product regularly will prevent a flea infestation occurring. By using it every 4 weeks this will break the flea cycle. This life cycle can be up to a year-long, with eggs living in carpets, furniture, etc. for long periods of time. Vacuuming the area and treating the house at the first sign of flea-trouble is the only way to prevent fleas from becoming a problem.

If you do have a problem with fleas, we recommend using an environmental spray, which can kill adult fleas for up to 2 months, and prevent re-infestation for up to 12 months.

How you use the spray is very important; here are some guidelines but please follow the instructions:

  • Take all animals out of the house before spraying. Make sure they have been treated first.
  • Vacuuming also fluffs up the fibres of soft furnishings, which allows the spray to penetrate better
  • Leave the mist to settle for at least half an hour.
  • The important thing when dealing with fleas is to be persistent!
  • Hoover again a few hours later and then on a daily basis if possible, to pick up the flea eggs and larvae as they die.
  • Spray everywhere according to manufacturer’s instructions, paying particular attention to areas the pets spend a lot of time e.g. their beds, rugs, around the sofas etc.
  • Vacuum everywhere thoroughly, including carpets, sofas, animal beds, skirting boards etc. This will remove a lot of the flea eggs and the warmth and vibration from the vacuum encourage eggs to hatch, making them more susceptible to being killed by the spray.

Worms

Lungworm

Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) has become more and more common in pets. Sadly, most signs can go unnoticed so regular routine prevention is the best way to prevent your pet from becoming infected. Owners may notice signs like coughing, breathing difficulty and reluctance to exercise. In rare cases, this parasite can cause lung problems and defects in the blood clotting mechanism, meaning dogs can have problems with excessive bleeding.

Lungworm is carried mainly by infected slugs and snails so your dog could pick it up by licking them or the slimy trails they leave behind on surfaces. Therefore puppies, with their inquisitive natures, are particularly at risk.

Tips for lungworm prevention:

  • Use a monthly prescription-treatment to prevent and treat          
  • Discourage your puppy from playing with or eating slugs and snails
  • Don’t leave toys and bowls unattended outside as they could easily get covered in slug or snail trails, which your puppy will accidently ingest next time they play with the toy or drink from the bowl.

Roundworm

Roundworms are most common in puppies and often give them those round tummies. They are picked up from touching soil and poor hand hygiene. Worms generally stay in the small intestine but can migrate to liver, lungs, eyes and brains and cause serious problems. They are a common cause of diarrhoea in young puppies and kittens. Routine wormer should be given to remove any worms from the gut.

They are also zoonotic and cause similar problems in humans as they do to pets.

Tapeworm

Regular treatment is required for pets that are keen hunters and scavengers as these worms can be picked up by eating infected animals. They can be the cause of chronic diarrhoea and weight loss and some types can cause very severe - life threatening illness in people.

Treatment of parasites

Please contact the surgery to speak to a member of the team who can advise you on the best treatment for your pet or you may find further information in the following links: 

Boehringer-ingelheim

Zoetis

Have you considered joining the Pet Health Club? Not only would this get you discounted flea and worm treatments it would also save on animal vaccines, food, dental work and many other items. More information can be found on the Pet Health Club Website.