INTERNAL PARASITES-INTESTINAL WORMS
The common intestinal worms of dogs and cats are roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm. Each of these worms lay millions of eggs which infected animals pass out in their droppings.
Roundworm, hookworm and whipworm are picked up by animals cleaning themselves after walking on soil contaminated with infected dog/cat droppings. Symptoms include diarrhoea, pot-belly, weight loss.
Tapeworm is spread through ingestion of creatures that have a tapeworm cyst inside of them.
The most common such creatures are fleas. Symptoms include itchy anus and bum-scooting.
Treat puppies and kittens every 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age. Then every month from 12 weeks of age.
Then once they are 6 months old they should be de-wormed every 3 months for life. We recommend all wormer products Milbemax and Drontal Chews.
Animals that eat raw offal (eg liver, lungs, kidney) not purchased from a butcher can become infected with Hydatid Tapeworm. Dogs at risk of developing Hydatid tapeworm should be treated every 6 weeks with Droncit.
Heartworm is transmitted through mosquito bites.
There is no way to tell if a mosquito is infection which is why heartworm prevention is essential.
It takes about 6 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms, which is when symptoms will begin. Symptoms include soft, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness and loss of stamina. All symptoms will become worse after exercise.
Severe infestations can result in up to 100 worms, clogging the right chamber of the heart as well as the artery leading to the lungs. This can be fatal.
We can easily diagnose heartworm by a blood test. Preventative drugs kill the immature larvae only, they do not kill adult heartworms already in present in the heart.
You can give monthly preventative tablets such as Milbemax, Sentinel, Heartgard
You can give an annual injection for dogs such as Proheart SR12
EXTERNAL PARASITES- FLEAS
Fleas are a small wingless parasite that feed off your pets blood.
They are usually brown or red in colour and can be seen scurrying along your pets fur.
There is no way to truly eliminate fleas from coming in contact with your pet.
Fleas can be picked up on a walk, from other animals or even brought into the back yard by neighboring pets.
The best you can do is ensure that no breeding of fleas occurs on your pets and that any fleas that do come in contact with your pets are quickly killed.
Firstly use a product that rapidly kills any fleas on your pets.
Dog flea prevention- Comfortis, Bravecto, Nexgard, Advantix
Cat flea prevention - Comfortis, Advantage, Revolution, Frontline
Secondly, you must treat the environment where fleas are living. We recommend vaccumming the area your pet occupies every second day (especially in crevices), washing bedding, toys in hot water, flea bombs and mowing your lawn.
Make sure you stay up to date with your pets flea prevention.
Each time a flea egg hatches they will jump on your pet and die before they can breed.
Paralysis ticks can be identified by their grey body and legs close to the head. They have eight legs; one pair of brown legs closest to their head, then two pairs of white legs and then one pair of brown legs closest to the body.
Paralysis ticks will jump onto dogs and cats and then attach by burrowing their mouth-parts into the skin.
70% of ticks are found attached to your pets head and face however they can attach anywhere on the body.
To remove a tick, we recommend using tick twisters to remove the mouth piece and body.
DO NOT apply human medications such as wart off, lyclear, alcohol, tea tree oil. These can cause significant burns to your pets skin.
If you suspect your pet has a tick, take them IMMEDIATELY to your veterinary clinic.
There are many oral and topically tick preventatives available, please chat to our staff about the most appropriate product for your pet. For more information please read our page on Paralysis Ticks.
It is important to remember no tick product is 100% and it is essential you tick search your pet daily.
To perform a tick search, work your fingers through your pets fur down to the skin and then massage your fingers through the entire coat. Make sure you check inside the ears, lips, paws and in skin folds.
Attached ticks feel like a hard smooth round lump on the surface of the skin. If you look closely you can see the legs sticking out either side of the lump.
Nipples, skin tags/warts, scabs and other bumps on the skin can be mistaken for ticks. Please do not attempt to remove them if you are unsure, please come into the clinic for our staff to check.