Parasites on our dogs and cats come in the form of fleas, ticks, worms and mites. They can all affect our pet's health and happiness.
Fleas and Ticks
All flea infested pets suffer form constant irritation for flea bites, then endure thefrustration of not being able to catch and kill them. Fleas are easy to overcome with appropriate long acting flea control at the right time of year. Fleas are often found in really high numbers under houses, especially in dirt, though they can also be found in lawns and carpets.
Ticks are parasites that do not irritate the dog as a flea would, but attach and feed a blood meal. Close to the coast, paralysis ticks are present, which are life threatening to your pets. We do not have these here in Dubbo, but they are a concern if you are visiting a costal area. Ticks present here (such as the bush or dog tick) can cause significant blood loss when present in high numbers, and can occasionally transmit some disease to your dog.
Effective flea and tick control is available in the form of monthly spot ons and monthly tablets for dogs and cast, or a three monthly chewable for dogs. These products provide long lasting protection against fleas (and in some cases against ticks as well). Flea shampoos, powders and collars are not quite as effective as the systemic therapies above.
Worms are internal parasites that are very commonly encountered. There are 6 types of worms we see commonly , including intestinal worms (roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm), heartworm and lungworm. The signs we see in pets suffering from worm infestations can cause coughing, and can be life threatening.
Worm control can be achieved using a 3 monthly worm tablet, or a monthly spot on (these often combine flea control as well). Heartworm can be controlled using monthly chewable tablets, or a yearly injection which is often performed at the time of annual vaccination. Lungworm is less common, but is often included in the spot on treatments.
Mites are external parasites that can be intensely irritating, even though they are microscopic. There are a number of different types of mite, and each mite affects different areas of the body. For example, ear mites affect the ears )most common in cats), fox mange (sarcoptic mange) in its early stages targets the skin around the eyes, ears and elbows, and demodex mange can affect any part of the body. The longer the pet is infected with any of these mites, the more these sites blend into one another and diagnosis becomes more difficult. Early intervention and treatment produces the best results.
Treatment of most of these mite infestations is again, a monthly spot on (which often includes worming and flea control). There may be more specific treatments for certain cases, for example ear drops for pets with ear mites.
If you feel your pet has signs of parasites (especially if you don't have a regular prevention schedule), or you have some questions relating to parasites, the please don't hesitate to contact us.
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