Parasites

We generally advise against using flea or worming products bought in supermarkets and pet shops as they are not effective at killing all worms and none of them contain an ingredient to kill lungworm. For this reason, we do not recommend the use of any pet shop or supermarket products for dogs living in this area of the country. Furthermore, many use older chemical insecticides which can cause serious side effects and result in a number of hospital admissions and deaths every year.

There is also a lot of evidence to suggest that fleas in this area have developed resistance to products containing fipronil (e.g. Frontline, Effipro, Eliminal, Bob Martin FleaClear) so we advise using alternatives to these.  We can advise on affordable medications which will be both effective and specifically tailored to your pet’s needs.

The newest and biggest threat to dogs in this area comes from lungworm (Angiostrongylus Vasorum) which is a real concern as it can cause fatal internal bleeds without any prior symptoms.

Recent media attention has also focused on the increasing disease threat posed by ticks so if you find that your pet is encountering a lot of these then your parasite control regime should include a product with proven efficacy against these unpleasant blood-suckers – see here for more info on the diseases that ticks can transmit to your pet.

Our current advice is as follows; please remember that these products are only available from your vet and are prescription medicines. This means that your puppy needs to be seen annually in order for us to re-prescribe them to you. This will be done at annual vaccination or free of charge with a nurse if we have not seen your pet previously.

Dogs:

Prinovox (Advocate) Spot-On pipettes every month plus a tapeworm treatment (currently Prazitel or Milprazon/Milpro) every 3 months

OR

Bravecto is a new tablet that offers THREE months control against ticks and fleas and is useful if you are finding a lot of ticks on your dog. Being a tablet is particularly useful if your dogs spends a lot of time in water etc.  The lungworm threat can be reduced by increasing the use of Milprazon/Milpro worming tablets to once a month if your dog is at higher risk e.g. scavenges.

A Seresto collar is another alternative that protects against fleas and ticks for up to 8 months.

Prinovox (Advocate) is one of very few for prevention and treatment of lungworm infection and also protects against fox mange as well as many other parasites spread by foxes. Milpro/Milbemax tablets are known to be effective in ‘reducing’ lungworm infection and are absolutely essential in dogs not regularly treated with Advocate.

Prac-tic (fleas and ticks) and ClearSpot (cheap but effective flea treatment) are alternative products that are also supplied at the surgery.

Cats:

Program Injection every 6 months plus a broad-spectrum wormer (Milprazon/Milpro) every 3-6 months

OR

Prinovox (Advocate) Spot-On every month plus a worming tablet (Prazitel or Milprazon/Milpro) every 3-6 months.

We recently changed from using Stronghold as our main spot-on product due to anecdotal reports of flea resistance in some patients.

For good, basic flea control in both dogs and cats we have an alternative spot-on product called ClearSpot which is less expensive but still much better and safer than most shop-bought flea products.

A Seresto collar is an excellent new alternative that protects against fleas and ticks for up to 8 months.  We are also using more of a product called ‘Comfortis’, a new palatable monthly flea pill from the US which seems to be very effective at eliminating persistent flea problems.

Rabbits:

Panacur rabbit paste every 3-6 months – prevents E.Cuniculi, an increasingly prevalent parasite that can cause fatal seizures.

F10 insecticide spray OR Rearguard – apply regularly to the rear of outdoor-kept rabbits to prevent attack by flies and maggots.

Chickens:

Worming twice yearly recommended. Chickens can be treated individually with Panacur liquid suspension or with a powdered feed additive – please phone for more details.

Ferrets:

Advocate and Stronghold spot-on pipettes are safe in ferrets for the treatment and prevention of most parasites of concern.

Tortoises:

Roundworms are a common and increasing cause of illness and death in tortoises, particularly during hibernation as this is when they are at their most vulnerable. All tortoises with access to the garden should be weighed at the surgery and stomach tubed with a worming solution as part of a ‘pre-hibernation check’ in the autumn before being allowed to hibernate.

Interestingly many of these infections result from the feeding of salad vegetables and leaves that are grown in the Mediterranean and North African countries from which many tortoise species originate.  The microscopic roundworm eggs are present in the soil in which the vegetables are grown and are then transported to the UK where they are fed to pet tortoises.



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