Flea, worm and general parasite control is confusing, with so many products out there it can be hard to decide which is the best one to choose. If you purchase your anti-parasite products
from us to can be sure that the treatment is safe, effective and targeted towards the parasites at which your pet is of highest risk. Our vets are happy to advise you on the most effective and
affordable protection for your pet.
Just because you don't see worms in your pets faeces or fleas on their back does not mean they are not infected. Cats and dogs can appear outwardly healthy whilst being infested and may not show signs until their burden is severe. Some worms can also infect and cause illness in people, especially children - in rare cases this causes blindness or death.
Pets can catch worms from their mothers, directly from other pets or indirectly through contact with animal faeces and regular treatment will keep your pets infestation-free!
We appreciate that some owners are put off from treating their pets as they find administering the medication both difficult and stressful. To help with this we can provide you a variety of different treatment methods including tablets, pastes, injections and spot-ons.
For cats and dogs we generally recommend:
A spot on product every four weeks that does French Lung worm, intestinal worms,ear mites and fleas. To protect against tapeworms we advise a seperate tablet every three months.
The product you should use is influenced by a number of factors including what type of pet you have, its age and size, where you live, where you walk your pet and where you go on holiday. This should be discussed with the veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse and they can use this information to advise you on the best available options.
It is important to realise that products bought from the supermarket may not be suitable for your pet, or quite simply will not work. Very often they contain much lower doses of a given drug than is required to effectively kill parasites and using multiple doses of these drugs at the same time to try and compensate for this can lead to a risk of overdose. It is not uncommon for us to see dogs and cats "treated" with pet shop bought products that are actually crawling with fleas! Thus using these products does not save you money. When you bring your pet to our practice for parasite treatment, we will weigh your pet and sometimes give them a quick health check to make sure that they get a dose which is both effective and safe.
Some products sold for treating dogs (e.g. permethrin) are so toxic to cats that even just sleeping next to a treated dog can cause the cat to be poisoned. They are very often drugs that we used to treat parasites over 20 years ago and were replaced due to their bad side effects and lack of reliability! We do not sell permethrin products for this reason see http://www.fabcats.org/owners/poisons/pemethrin/article.html
Sometimes if your pet is already on medication (especially long-term treatment), there may be interactions between pet shop products and these. It can either render your pet's medication less effective or may have side effects. If you ask our vets or nurses for advice, they will select a product that is safe for you to use.
The drugs used to treat endoparasites (worms) or ectoparasites (fleas, lice, mites, ticks) are often very different. Shop-bought products tend not to cover more than one group and your pet will be left unprotected. It is standard practice for us to provide your pets with a treatment regime or product that will cover the parasites your pet is at risk of.
The most significant parasite of concern varies depending on your local area and climate. Below are the parasites of most concern at present:
French Heart Worm (Angiostrongylus vasorum)
This worm can cause serious and life threatening illness in affected dogs. Reported cases of this worm are increasing in the North West of England, with several possible cases in the Merseyside area. Dogs become infected by eating larvae found in slugs, snails and frogs. Even slime trails from snails and slugs carry enough larvae to infect dogs and these can contaminate food, toys, bowls or anything left outside. Foxes can become infected and spread the worms around.
Symptoms include: coughing, abnormal breathing or tiredness on walks. Generalised signs of illness including weight loss or gut problems and seizures if the brain is affected. In some dogs the worm can affect their clotting ability, they can bleed from anywhere in the body such as from wounds, nose bleeds, gums etc. In some cases it can be severe enough to cause anaemia. This can cause a problem during surgery and all of our patients must be treated for this worm before surgery can commence. For more information visit http://www.lungworm.co.uk/
If you suspect your dog is infected, make an appointment to see our vets as soon as possible.
IMPORTANT: Shop-bought products do not protect dogs from this worm, only products bought from your vet will.
Flea life cycles involve an egg-stage, larval stage (like a caterpillar), pupae and then the adult flea. 95% of the flea life cycle takes place in the environment, not on your pet. They can bite humans as well as pets and can infect pets with tapeworms. The pupae cannot be killed so even after treating your pet and its environment you will still get adult fleas developing, this is why it is important to keep up with regular treatment. We deliberately select products that kill fleas in the environment, as well as those on your pet. With heavy infestations we may advise you to spray your house with Frontline Combo (a more advanced product with better effect than standard Frontline). This spray will kill all insects, spiders and dust mites, so if you keep pet spiders/insects it is important to tell us so that we can recommend a safer product to use (Program).
For more information on fleas: http://priory.com/vet/vetflea1.htm
Some products we use will kill flea, worms and mites (e.g. Advocate) but they will not treat ticks. If you go walking in areas near sheep or deer (such as North Wales) you will need to use a different product specifically to treat ticks. It is very common for exposed pets to pick up these parasites even if on holiday for only one or two weeks a year.
These are extremely common in cats that hunt a lot as they can be infested from mice, birds and rats. Stronghold is normally used to protect cats from most parasites, but it does not stop tapeworms, so you will need to be given another product.
Products used to treat or prevent parasites in dogs and cats are not suitable for use in other pets such as rabbits and can even kill them. See our pages on other pets for information on how to protect them.
Monday 09.00 - 18.00
Tuesday 09.00 - 18.00
Wednesday 09.00 - 18.00
Thursday 09.00 - 18.00
Friday 09.00 - 18.00
Saturday 09.00 - 12.00
Village Vets Centre Ltd
65 Quarry St
Tel.: 0151 428 8600
Tel.: 0151 428 8600