Parasite Control

Fleas, ticks, mites and worms can be irritating and harmful to your pet. If left untreated they can even be fatal in some cases. It’s important to treat your pet regularly with a combination of products that are effective against parasites.

 

Fleas

What are fleas?

Fleas are small, wingless, blood-sucking insects that measure 1-3mm in length. Nearly all dogs and cats will suffer from a flea infestation at some point in their lives.

 

What are the signs that my pet has fleas?

Symptoms can vary from no signs to; itching, scratching or chewing, especially around their lower back or tail-base. Other symptoms include red skin and hair loss. Closer inspection may reveal small black dots in your pet’s hair which is flea faeces.

Why do I need to treat my pet for fleas?

In addition to making your pet uncomfortable and itchy, fleas can transmit infectious agents such as tapeworms as well as harmful diseases affecting both humans and animals, e.g. Myxomatosis in rabbits. If your pet is hypersensitive to flea saliva they could suffer an allergic reaction. Flea infestation can cause aneamia, especially in young and debilitated animals.

The answer is year-round veterinary flea treatment. The advantages of veterinary standard products are huge. They are extremely effective at killing fleas and they kill them before they lay their eggs, thus preventing house infestations.

Flea treatment comes in various forms such as a tablet that can be taken orally, a liquid spot-on which goes onto the skin at the back of the neck, and an injection which can be given by a vet. Many products available from pet shops and supermarkets have limited efficacy as these outlets are not licensed to sell veterinary prescription only medications.

Treatment

  • Fleas can survive for months without a host, making it important to treat both your pet and your home.
  • Only give your pet flea treatment that has been recommended for them. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best product for your pet.
  • Frequency of treatment will depend on your pet’s age, weight and the product
  • Vacuum furniture, floors and skirting boards, and clean bedding regularly. Throw away the dustbag from your vacuum after each cleaning session.

Mites

Whilst fleas tend to cause a myriad of problems in dogs and cats, mites are often a common problem in rabbits.

Fur Mites cause a thick scurf to form on the skin, patchy hair loss and they can be very itchy; affected rabbits can scratch themselves raw. It is often not possible to identify where the mites came from, but it I often a bad batch of hay or bedding. Also, there is a variation in how sensitive rabbits are to the mite and often one in a group will be very badly affected but the others will be fine.

Ear Mites can cause very severe problems in rabbits. Infestations can be in one or both ears and the main clinical signs are a thick, flakey crust in the ear and a great deal of discomfort.

If your rabbit is showing signs of scratching or itching, please see us for a check-up!

Worming

Regular worming will prevent your dog or cat from becoming ill with a worm infection which may result in illnesses such as skin irritations, diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss and respiratory problems. If left untreated, worm infections can be fatal. Some worms can be transmitted from animals to humans, so it is important to have an effective treatment programme in place.

Worms in Cats

Endoparasites live within your cat and include roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms.

As a guideline, kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks from 3 weeks of age until 8 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age. Adult cats should be wormed every 3 months, depending on environment.

Worms in Dogs

Endoparasites live within your dog and include roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms.

It is almost impossible to stop your dog from coming into contact with worms throughout its life and worms can live within your dog without your knowledge. A regular worming programme will help protect your dog’s health and your family.

Where do worms come from?

Animals can be infected by worms in a variety of ways:

  • From other infected animals; also from mum to kittens/puppies
  • From eating the larvae or eggs of worms, e.g. in infected faeces, in grass, from fleas
  • From scavenging and eating raw meat, infected prey animals or infected parasites

What to Look For

If your pet has worms, you may find worms in their faeces, vomit, or around their bottom. You can wrap these worms up in damp cotton wool and take them to the vet.

Other symptoms include:

  • weight loss
  • dry, course fur
  • increased appetite
  • weakness
  • diarrhoea
  • distended abdomen

Reducing the Risk

  • An effective worm control program will reduce risk of infection
  • Using flea treatment regularly will help prevent tapeworms as fleas can carry tapeworm eggs
  • Disinfect housing, bedding, and food & water bowls regularly, using a pet safe disinfectant
  • Place rabbit housing so that exposure to wild rabbits and rodents is minimised
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before you eat
  • Clean up after your pet and dispose of faeces carefully

Treatment

We can send you a FREE worming reminder every 3months!

Ash Tree Vets commonly uses a broad-spectrum wormer that offers protection from tapeworm, roundworm, lungworm and heartworm. Prevention is definitely better than cure with only vet strength wormers able to effectively tackle infestation. Many products available from pet shops and supermarkets have limited efficacy as these outlets are not licensed to sell veterinary prescription only medications.

Please contact us and we will be happy to advise you on the best treatment programme for your pet. Products are available that can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets or rabbits. Always read the label and only use a product licensed for the species intended.