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  15-Apr-2021 17:16
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Parasite Prevention - Worming and Flea Control

Regular worming of all dogs is essential both for the animal's optimal health but also human health. Only with a large burden of worms would you expect to see clinical signs (weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea, anaemia, poor coat) but smaller numbers are still important to prevent the cycling of these parasites in the environment. Repeated worming is particularly important for puppies and pregnant bitches because the life cycle of the roundworm is such that they increase dramatically in numbers around birth to infect the puppies.

A puppy becomes infected with roundworms in the uterus and subsequently from their dam's milk and faeces in their immediate environment from litter mates and the dam. A dog becomes infected with tapeworms from eating raw meat or grooming and swallowing fleas.

Puppies should be wormed roughly every 2 weeks (from 2 weeks old to 12 weeks of age), then monthly until 6 months. Our recommended wormers include Milpro (a broad spectrum worming tablet which can be used from 2 weeks old), Panacur (a comprehensive 3 day wormer in liquid form which can be used from birth) and Prinovox (a combined worm/flea/lungworm spot-on product).

Dogs over 6 months should be wormed with a broad-spectrum wormer every 1 -3 months routinely, and we usually recommend Milpro or Prinovox, as these products are also able to prevent LUNGWORM infestation.

Fleas are by far the most common cause of skin disease in dogs and are not always that obvious to the owner. With a dog that is allergic to fleas it is USUAL to find FEW or even NO FLEAS on the animal at any one time as the dog is exquisitely sensitive to flea saliva and it may only take one flea bite per week whilst out on a walk to perpetuate the scratching. Therefore do not be surprised that when presented with a scratching dog, our first priority will be to treat for fleas EVEN IN THEIR ABSENCE!! The best way to diagnose flea allergy is to eliminate fleas from the pet's environment using a combination of topical and environmental control.

Fleas spend 95% of their time in the animal's environment so for good flea control it is essential to treat PET and ENVIRONMENT:

Effective topical flea products (for the dog) include;
  • Advantix Spot on Solution (from 7+ weeks of age or 1.5kg of weight - lasts up to 4 weeks and kills ticks for 4 weeks)
  • Seresto Collar (from 7+ weeks of age lasts 7 8months and kills fleas, larvae and ticks
  • Prinovox Spot on
  • Bravecto Tablets (from 6 months of age and lasts 12 weeks killing fleas and ticks)

    An Effective environmental flea product for the house, kennel or car is;

  • Indorex Spray which when applied as directed can last up to 1 year. It is important to thoroughly vacuum the entire house/car prior to spraying, to empty the vacuum cleaner, and to follow the directions on the can.

    Other Parasites

    EAR MITES - commonly affect puppies and kittens. They are passed to the animal from the mother and are very contagious. They cause intense irritation of the ear canals which leads to the production of a large amount of dark wax which can usually be seen on examination. These parasites can be simply treated by your veterinary surgeon.

    HARVEST MITES - The adult mite is an eight-legged mite that lives in vegetation, but the six-legged larvae are parasitic and live on mammals (including humans, dogs and cats) and birds. The larvae feed on tissue fluid and often cause considerable skin itching and discomfort in the late summer and autumn. The orange larvae are around 0.2mm long. Larvae are initially only just visible to the naked eye, but they swell to about three times their original size when they have finished feeding.

    FOX MANGE MITES Mange mites spend their whole life on the host and are very contagious. They cause severe irritation, itching, hair loss and skin disease. They often affect the ears, tummy, elbows and hocks.

    DEMODEX - Demodex mites are microscopic normal inhabitants of dog skin. In a healthy animal, the mites are few in number and do not cause skin problems. In some cases though, the mites can take over, leading to a condition commonly called "mange" or demodicosis. Hair loss is the most common sign. In more severe or generalized cases, the skin presents as bald, infected, smelly and scaly.

    MOSQUITOES / SAND FLIES / STABLE FLIES biting insects that can carry disease.

    Combined Flea treatment and Wormer

    Prinovox Spot-on may be used in puppies over 7 weeks of age, it treats and prevents fleas for 4 weeks as well as treating roundworm, hookworm, lungworm and whipworm. A single dose treats ear mite infestation (Otodectes cynotis), two single doses 4 weeks apart will treat sarcoptic mange (caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var.canis), two to four single doses 4 weeks apart will treat most cases of demodicosis (caused by demodex canis)

    Prinovox also prevents heartworm disease if used for 1 month before and during exposure to mosquitoes this is therefore an important treatment if you are going to travel abroad with your dog

    Prinovox is not currently licensed for use with Milpro. Use of both treatments should be staggered by at least one month and only on the advice of your vet.

    Many other anti-parasitic products are available to order from the practice



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