All pets are susceptible to various internal and external parasites. At Northgate Vet Surgery we are committed to recommending the most effective prevention and treatment protocols for your pet(s). Several parasites can affect humans too, but it is simple to protect yourself and your family with the correct use of products from the wide range now available. The number of options can be confusing to get your head around; so please ask any of our professional staff for advice, information or clarification.
Some of the more common parasites are listed below:
Roundworms (including hookworms) and tapeworms are a common problem in puppies and kittens. Roundworm infestations are transmitted as eggs in faeces. Infective eggs can remain in the environment for many months. The most common tapeworms in dogs and cats are transmitted by fleas, so animals with a flea infestation will most likely also have a tapeworm infestation. Intestinal worms are best treated with tablets. Puppies and kittens are routinely treated fortnightly until they're 8 weeks old, monthly until they're 6 months old and then every three months thereafter.Roundworm Photograph © Elanco Animal Health
This worm is transmitted in the saliva of mosquitoes when they feed. Dogs are especially susceptible, but cats can also become infected. Heartworm is a very serious illness and is extremely difficult to treat, so the best approach is to prevent infection. There are several different products available for use in dogs; we recommend annual injections for adult dogs, monthly tablets or top-spot applications for puppies until they are 6 months old or an injection at 3 months old, repeated at 6 months and thereafter annual injections. The injection provides year-round protection without the risk of missing a monthly treatment resulting in a period where your dog would be susceptible to infection. Cats are treated with a monthly top-spot or tablet.
Fleas are a common problem in warm, humid climates. They infest both dogs and cats and are responsible for transmitting tapeworms. Fleas can also cause anaemia, especially in puppies and kittens. Flea infestations can be treated but their eggs are laid in the soil and other areas around the home (e.g. carpets) and can be a real challenge to eradicate; prevention is definitely better than cure! There are several products on the market for treating fleas. We can recommend a specific product most suited to your pet(s) for preventing a flea infestation as well as an effective programme for treating an infestation.
Paralysis ticks are a serious and real threat to your pet. They transmit a toxin while feeding that causes a very serious paresis, paralysis and even death. Many animals can be treated and saved, however, it's far better to prevent an illness than to treat one and possibly lose your pet in the process. We can recommend the most suitable product for your animal.
Ear mites are a relatively common problem causing itchy ears. They're more often seen in cats, but can affect dogs too and will spread from one pet to the next in the same household. They can be prevented and treated by application of an appropriate product.