Fleas are an all year round problem for both you and your pet, but they are easy to prevent. Dogs pick up fleas very easily and the female flea lays hundreds of eggs which fall off the coat into your home. These eggs develop in the carpet and furnishings into larvae, before hatching into adult fleas. They hatch all year round but the process speeds up at particular times of the year, such as the summer when it is warmer or in autumn when the central heating is turned on. 95% of the flea lifecycle takes place in the home environment. Flea eggs can survive up to 3 years in the environment.
It is important, if your dog has fleas, to treat both your dog and the house. One easy way to treat your dog is to use a spot on or tablet treatment (see below) and we recommend you treat the house with a spray called Indorex which lasts for up to 12 months.
It is also important to establish a regular worming routine as worms can cause illness in your dog.
There are several types of worms that may affect your pet:
- The most common particularly in puppies are roundworms. An infection with roundworms may not be obvious but can cause a pot belly, poor growth and coat, and intestinal upsets.
- Another type of worm is the tapeworm, and dogs can become infected when grooming themselves if they have fleas. They can also catch tapeworms from mice and other rodents.
- The other type but most important type of worm is lungworm which is picked up by eating slugs and snails, or possibly from contact with frogs. Lungworm is not very common but is potentially fatal so monthly treatment to prevent infestation is very important. We do see more cases of lungworm in this part of the country than other areas.
We recommend the use of Nexgard Spectra tablets monthly. These products are licensed to kill fleas within 6 hours and ticks within 24 hours. It is also licensed to cover against mange, roundworms and lungworm giving your pet excellent all-round protection in a single chewable tablet. We then recommend a Droncit tablet every 3-6 months to also cover your dog for tapeworm.
Other parasite prevention products are also available so please contact the surgery if you have any questions or to discuss your pet’s specific needs.