Parasites such as fleas and worms, both on and in our cats and dogs, are inescapable. It isn’t possible to completely eliminate parasites from your cat’s or dog`s life but it is possible to control and prevent them becoming a problem through continuous, effective tick, flea and worm control treatments.
A common misconception is that if your cat is indoors then it doesn’t need flea or worm treatment. This isn’t the case at all. Fleas can happily travel in on clothes and bags; a quick trip to the vet or groomer is a great place to pick them up! Roundworms that are picked up by your feline friend as a kitten are never 100% eradicated. Tapeworms can be carried by fleas… and the cycle is continuous and endless.
Dogs and cats pick up ticks while out hunting or walking. Immature ticks develop in forests, grasslands and moorland.
How do I examine my pet for ticks?
Be sure to check the head, ears and forequarters including the feet. This should be done every day during Spring and Autumn periods.
Ticks may cause several problems when they bite:
- They transmit fatal diseases and several viral diseases.
- They cause severe skin reactions
- Where there are a large number of ticks attached to a small dog or cat, blood loss may be severe enough to cause anaemia
Many of the diseases mentioned above may be difficult and expensive to treat. For these reasons, if there is any risk, it is very important to use tick control and prevention.
Fleas will infect every cat and dog at some stage in its life. The flea season is traditionally to last from the end of April to the end of November. However, they have become an all-year-round problem with centrally heated homes.
Cats are expert groomers, so you may not see fleas on them but look out for the following signs:
- your cat chewing around their tail or belly
- scabs around their neck or tail
- suddenly ‘crinkling’ their back or becoming more sensitive to your touch
Why do I need to treat my pets for fleas?
- They are the most common cause of skin disease in cats and dogs (causing allergies as well as irritation)
- They carry other diseases
- They will happily bite you and your family if they can`t find a convenient pet!
How can fleas be controlled?
There are many products available to kill adult fleas on pets. These products work in different ways – some are more effective, work faster or longer than others. There are many ways of applying the products and you should be able to choose something that you find convenient and simple to use. Prices of products may vary but the most convenient and effective are usually more expensive. If your pet is allergic to fleas it is very important to prevent any flea bites, so you should use a product which kills fleas rapidly.
- Worms don`t cause serious harm
- It`s relatively simple and inexpensive to get rid of worms
- Some types of worm can be passed onto humans
- Regular treatment is strongly recommended
What sort of worms affect dogs and cats? Roundworms and tapeworms are the two important types of parasitic worms.
How can worms be destroyed?
Treatments as liquids, pastes, tablets or powder.
- Puppies should be treated with wormers every two or three weeks depending on the product used, from two weeks of age. Kittens should be treated every two weeks from six weeks of age
- Older dogs and cats should be treated about every three months
What are the symptoms of worms?
Most severe signs: vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, leading to a weight loss, failure to grow properly in kittens and puppies, and the classic ‘pot-belly’.
Worms may weaken your pet`s immune system making it more susceptible to infections.
We understand that pets and their owners have different requirements. Indoor cats will be different to outdoor cats, small pets different to big pets. Your home environment is important in determining the best plan for you and your pet, including whether you have small children, an elderly person or a family member with a suppressed immune system.
When we see your pet, we will discuss the options available to you and what we consider to be the best program for you both. There are several excellent treatments available. Some treatments are in a tablet form and some are in a spot-on form that goes onto the skin on the back of the neck. We will work out which plan works best for you to ensure continuous and easy parasite control.
You can protect your pet year-round with our Pet Health Plan, which includes free flea and worming treatments throughout the year and a free annual comprehensive health check, as well as unlimited free nurse clinics, amongst other benefits.