5. Prevent fleas and worms

5. Prevent Fleas and Worms

Key Points

  • Some worms can be fatal to your pet and some worms can affect humans, particularly children
  • It’s much better to prevent fleas and worms than wait for your pet to get them
  • If you pet gets fleas you may have to treat the house as well to kill all the eggs and larvae
  • Puppies and kittens have to be wormed very regularly from an early age; older animals also need regular treatment
  • A large range of the most effective products are only available from your vet or from a pharmacy with a veterinary prescription
  • We can produce a personalised worming & flea control schedule for your pet – please ask

Worming
Nearly all puppies and kittens will have worms – they get them from their mother and/ or when very young. Left untreated these will make your pet unwell, result in poor weight gain and at worst can cause death from balls of worms blocking the intestine.Therefore puppies and kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every month until 6 months of age. After this age you should worm your pet regularly.

There are many types of worms which can affect your pet. Some can be fatal, and some can affect humans, particularly children – although it is very rare, children’s eyesight can be affected. A risk like this is just not worth taking, and regular worming with an effective product recommended by your vet is the best way to minimise any risks.

Vets are increasingly concerned by canine lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) which dogs contract from eating slugs and snails – a lot of dogs do this although you may not notice it! This worm can make dogs cough, but can also cause bleeding disorders, with dogs presenting bleeding from the mouth and nostril – nasty and potentially life threatening.

Your veterinary practice will give you the best advice on which products to use and how often depending on you and your pet’s individual circumstances.This may mean worming your pet up to once a month with a product effective against certain types of roundworms.

Many of the most effective worm treatments are only available from your pet’s vet, or from a pharmacy with a veterinary prescription. Worm treatments available from supermarkets or pet stores may not be particularly effective, so before deciding to buy any of these treatments please ask your vets for advice on which works the best.

Flea treatment and Prevention
Fleas are not nice and it’s best to prevent your pet getting them rather than wait for an infestation before treatment. Indeed, if your pet gets fleas so does your house – for every one live flea you see on your pet there could be 100 eggs and larvae around the house, waiting to hatch! So as well as treating your pet you’ll also need to treat your house.

However, flea prevention is very simple. You can apply a ‘spot-on’ treatment which will act against fleas for 1-2 months depending both on the brand and how much your pet likes swimming. ‘Spot-on’ treatments are small tubes of liquid which are applied to the skin between the shoulder blades and provide cover against fleas for 1-2 months. There are also spray products available which are very effective, but many owners and pets prefer the ‘spot-on’ treatments because they are quick and easy to use.

With flea treatments, it is usually the ‘prescription only’ medications available from from your pet’s vet, or pharmacies with a veterinary prescription, that are most effective. You can of course buy ‘flea treatments’ in many guises from pet shops or supermarkets, but they may not work as well. Also the checkout person cannot give you advice on what will work, or what dosage to use (this differs depending on the size of your pet) but your veterinary practice can!

If in doubt about which is best to use for your individual circumstances your vet or the veterinary nurses will be more than happy to advise you.

 

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