Vet Services Hawkes Bay Ltd

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Fleas and Worms. The Itchy info....

Fleas and Worms. The Itchy info....

Fleas and Worms. the itchy info
Rachel Muir


Worms are a concern for all cats and dogs but the risk is much higher for puppies, kittens and immunocompromised animals (due to illness, age or medication). In puppies and kittens, severe worm burdens can be life threatening due to underdeveloped immune systems. Wormy puppies and kittens will often be weak, have a swollen tummy, not feed well, and possibly have loose faeces. We recommend an intensive worming regimen in the first year of their life, to assist with immune development and good lifelong health. At VSHB, we advise owners to worm their puppies and kittens from 4 weeks of age and to do so as follows: every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks, then monthly until they are 6 months of age, then 3 monthly for life. For older animals, we recommend treating every 3 to 6 months to ensure they stay protected. Why do we bother, you might ask? Firstly because we want your pets to be healthy and to live well! But did you know that you can get worms too? Any cat or dog that has a worm burden poses a risk to human and especially children, who can be infected through consumption of worm eggs. Roundworms and tapeworms are the main worms we want to treat. For farm pups and dogs, sheep measles (hydatids) are also of concern. To provide coverage for all of these, we recommend Drontal®/Endoguard® for dogs and Milbemax/Milpro® for cats. Most worming products are given orally but some can be applied on the back of the neck, these are usually in combination products which also provide flea treatment.

Despite the common belief that fleas are only a concern in summer time, these little critters can be found on your furry friends all year round. The lifecycle is affected by environmental temperature but it has to be very cold for them to not survive! Therefore, at VSHB, we recommend flea treating your pets regularly (ideally every 28 days) and all year round to prevent issues with fleas. This is the same for puppies and kittens as it is for adult cats and dogs. It doesn’t take long for 1 flea to lay eggs and a heavy burden to then arise. Many cats and dogs are allergic to fleas and excessive scratching can lead to a condition called flea allergy dermatitis, which is seen as excess scabbing and redness along the ridge of the back and at towards the base of the tail. This often requires a visit to the vet and medication. Therefore staying on top of flea treatment really helps both your pet and your pocket! We have a variety of options for flea treatment and many products now also cover for ticks, ear mites and other common parasites. At VSHB, we recommend products such as Advantage®, Advocate®, Nexgard® and Bravecto®. Similarly to worm products, we have oral and topical forms (to be applied on the back of the neck) to accommodate for all of your cats and dogs.

Come see us in clinic to discuss and purchase the best product for your pet. 



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