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Protecting your pets against fleas and worms

A question I often get asked by family and friends is what heartworm, intestinal worming and flea prevention products are the best for their pet? Choosing which products to protect your pet with can be a difficult task when there are so many on the market to choose from. I also understand how hard it can be to keep track of what they cover! We have written this blog to make it easier to safeguard your pet.

Firstly, it is recommended to protect against all 3 of these categories of parasites.

Heartworm is carried by mosquitos from animal to animal and results in large worms invading the blood vessels and heart. Heartworm is not usually detected as a problem in an animal until it is causing severe life-threatening illness. Treatment for heartworm disease is also very expensive but preventing it is much cheaper and easy to do.

Intestinal worms come in 4 varieties in pets; tapeworms, whipworms, roundworms and hookworms. These worms can make both pets and humans unwell. In pets they can cause weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea and blood loss. Intestinal worms can also affect people, particularly children. They can burrow under the skin causing dermatitis, invade the eyes causing inflammation and blindness and invade the liver causing fever and inflammation. It is also important to note that worming your pet is the only way to stop people becoming infected with these worms. Human worming products do not treat these worms.

Fleas are nasty critters that bite both you and your pet. They are also very good at hiding so even if you cannot or have never seen fleas on your pet it does not mean that there are not fleas around. There are 4 life cycle stages of fleas, of which, the adult fleas that you see on your pet only form 5%. Also, some animals are hypersensitive to fleas and even one flea can cause significant irritation.

So how do I protect my pet from all of this without missing anything important? A few examples of treatment options that cover heartworm, fleas and intestinal worms are given below. Some of these products also provide additional benefits like protection against mites, lice and ticks. For people living in or travelling into tick prone areas please discuss with your veterinarian the best option to protect your pets against this additionally.

Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive as new products are introduced all the time. Please contact your veterinarian to help determine the best combination for your pet.

For dogs

  • Proheart injection (every year) + Milbemax tablet (every 3 months) + Simparica (every month)
  • Revolution spot-on liquid (every month) + Canex (every 3 months)
  • Nexgard Spectra chews (every month) + Virbac tapewormer tablet (every 3 months)

For cats

  • Revolution spot-on liquid (every month) + Virbac tapewormer tablet (every 3 months)

Additionally in individual cases such as dogs and cats with severe or chronic flea problems or heavy worm burdens, other medications may be recommended additionally and your vet can assist you with this.

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