Control of parasites in our pets if a vital part of everyday health care for our loved ones. Not only do parasites harm our pets health, but worms are a considerable risk to humans (especially children) and flea infestations will attach and bit humans too.
There are 4 groups of parasites to consider the control of when thinking about the health of your pet. Heartworms, Intestinal Worms, Fleas and Tick. All of these parasites drain your pets reserves and in most cases also cause serious disease conditions too.
Control is easy and effective with a monthly spot-on, tablets or palatable chews.
A general rule for adult cats and dogs is:
Treat fleas monthly
Treat heartworm monthly (unless your vet uses an annual injection).
Treat intestinal worms every 3 months
Treat for paralysis tick every 2 weeks in dogs in indicative areas.
Fleas are biting insects that live on your cat or dog. Once they bite, the female flea will lay eggs in the environment (usually indoors and on carpets). The eggs hatch to larvae and then develop through to adult that jump back on your pet.
Effective control relies on a product that is long lasting on your pet (1 month or more), and preferably attacks the egg and larval stages too. water fast spot-ons are very popular and effective. Products include Frontline plus, Advocate, Advantage, Advantix, Revolution, Capstar, Comfortis, Program and Sentinel.
Of all the parasites heartworms cause the most direct disease processes in our pets. Both dogs and cats are susceptible, though cats are naturally more resistant to the worm infection. Heartworms are spread by infected misquotes, and is prevalent through most of Australia. It is guaranteed that your pet will be bitten in it's life by a mosquito, so it is essential to protect against heartworm disease if your live in a heartworm area. Heartworm infection often goes unnoticed for many years until bronchitis and heart disease become evident. Heartworm is also a costly and difficulty treatment to undertake with some risk to the patient, so it is a disease that is much better to prevent than treat.
If your pet has not received heartworm prevention for more than 3 months and you live in a heartworm area it is important to have a heartworm blood test performed by your veterinarian to ensure they do not have any adult heartworms. The reason being is that all the heartworm preventative treatments only kill young juvenile worms and have no effect on adult worms. You could be thinking your pet is protected, however damage to lungs and heart are occurring in the background. Prevention includes a variety of monthly products, the effective ones are: Advocate, Heartgard, Proheart, Interceptor, Sentinel, Milbemax and Revolution.
Intestinal worms are contracted by our pets through ingesting worm larvae worm Cysts or some worm larvae (hookworms) can penetrate directly through the pets Skin. Worm will compete for nutrients and high worm burdens can cause significant malnutrition and poor growth especially in young immature animals.
A further consideration is the potential for our pets intestinal worms to pass to humans Causing skin conditions, blindness and even organ damage through cyst formation. With this in mind it is important to keep our pets worm free.
The standard protocol for worming dogs and puppies is to treat at 2 ,4, 8 and 12 weeks of age and then once every 3 month throughout your dogs life. Always use a product appropriate to the age of your dog.
Standard protocol for worming cats and kittens is to treat at 6,8 and 12 weeks of age and then once every 3 month throughout your cats life. Always use a product appropriate for cats and its age.
Breeding dogs and cats treat at mating, before birth and then every 3 months.
Effective products are: Drontal, Milbemax, Endogard, Canex, Profender, Advocate, Interceptor and Sentinal.
Ticks are a blood sucking, biting organism related to the spider. Young juvenile ticks generally wait on long grass for you pet to pass by and then cling on for a ride. In the process the bite your pet and engorge with blood after with they then drop off. Ticks generally cause a irritating or sore bite, but can also become infected. The most worrying tick is the Paralysis Tick, Ixodes holocyclus, which is roughly confined to a 20-kilometre band that follows the eastern coastline of Australia. Symptoms include hind leg weakness, retching or vomiting and difficulty breathing. Deterioration is rapid over 48 hours and immediate veterinary attention is needed. Paralysis ticks can affect both cats and dogs and are prevalent from early spring to Autumn with most cases September to December.
Use of a Tick prevention is the best way to avoid this serious disease. To be effective Tick control needs to be carried out every 2 weeks with either Frontline Plus or Advantix.
If you find a tick on your pet the best way to remove it is to apply a spot of Frontline Plus or advantix directly to the tick and leave it to fall off. If you pull the tick off your pet it will often leave its mouth parts behind resulting in a granuloma or Lump.