All dogs and cats will have worms at some point in their lives, with puppies being most at risk. An untreated infestation of worms can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weight loss, constipation and a dull coat. Some worms can be passed to humans, especially young children.
It is important that a regular worming routine is carried out to keep worm burdens to a minimum and to reduce potential risk to your pet’s health.
Common Types of Worm
The two most common worms to affect dogs and cats are roundworm and tapeworm:
Roundworms look like tiny strands of fine spaghetti and are the commonest type of worm. They may be seen in the faeces of infected animals, although symptoms and signs are not always seen.
They can be passed through the umbilical cord (puppies only); through the mother’s milk (kittens and puppies); contact with other animal’s faeces, or by eating prey contaminated with worms – usually rodents: large infestations in young animals can cause anaemia and can even be fatal.
Tapeworms are made up of segments which form long chains up to half a metre long. The segments look like grains of rice. Tapeworm segments may be spotted around the pet’s bottom, but not in all cases.
These are most commonly contracted by ingesting fleas, or by eating contaminated prey. Both worms can be passed to humans, and are particularly dangerous for children.
Worming treatments are not preventative (they only kill worms in the body at the time) and do not remain in the body for very long: for this reason, routine worming is essential at all ages.
Kittens and Puppies
Every 2 weeks until 3 months of age (acceptable to treat only for Roundworm at this age)
Every 4 weeks between 3 – 6 months
6 Months Old +
At least every 3 months for the lifespan of the animal
Not all wormers treat both Roundworm AND Tapeworm, a member of staff at Pets Corner can advise you on the best treatments.
Most of our branches are licensed to sell effective veterinary treatments such as Drontal and Panacur.Buy Drontal for Cats and Dogs
Fleas affect almost every dog and cat at some point in their lives; this is why we promote flea prevention, as it’s easier, kinder and cheaper than treating an infestation!
There are various products available to treat your pet and house for fleas. Read the packaging carefully as some treatments only repel fleas, they don’t kill them; others are also extremely dangerous to cats. It’s also extremely important to ensure you buy the correct product for your pet’s age and weight.
Step 1 – Treat the house
Fleas in the home make up 95% of the flea total. If the house isn’t treated, the fleas won’t be eradicated! Fleas live in your home as eggs, larvae and pupae; these then hatch into adult fleas and re-infest your pet.
- We always recommend using a Household Flea Spray with IGR (Insect Growth Regulator). Home treatments with IGR will help break the lifecycle of the flea and reduce risks of re-infestation.
- Every room needs to be sprayed even if the pet has no access, as eggs can be transferred.
- You may need to be spray more than once as most sprays don’t affect the pupae, first they have to hatch. Vacuuming regularly encourages hatching and helps eradicate eggs. Bedding must also be washed regularly at 60 degrees or higher.
Step 2 – Treat the Pet
Just because a flea hasn’t been seen, doesn’t mean there aren’t any!
There are lots of different products available for treating and preventing flea infestations. Our staff are trained to give you the best possible advice when choosing which product is best for you and your pet. You can choose from Spot On’s, Tablets, Flea Collars, Sprays & Powders and shampoos.
Most of our branches are licensed to sell effective veterinary treatments for flea protection, such as Frontline and Advantage.
Spot ons are applied by parting the fur at the back of the pet’s neck and squeezing the solution onto the skin. Spot Ons are easy to apply and long lasting (most last around 4 weeks, be sure to check the packaging), and many are very effective. Using a Spot On is a great way of preventing fleas.
If your pet currently has fleas then make sure you choose a Spot On that states ‘Kills Fleas’ and not ‘Repels Fleas’, as the latter is only a preventative. Some Dog Spot Ons are toxic to cats so ensure you use the correct product for your pet!Buy Frontline Spot On
Flea tablets are available for dogs and cats; they kill adult fleas on your pet and start working after only 15 minutes. As the tablets last 24 hours and only kill adult fleas it’s best to use them in conjunction with a Spot On.
Flea collars are a convenient way to deter fleas from your dog or cat, they usually last at least 4 weeks (collars vary, check the packaging), and come in a range of designs.
However, effectiveness does differ between products, many only kill adult fleas; flea collars can also cause irritation so they are best avoided if your pet has sensitive skin.
Sprays & Powders
We stock aerosol and pump flea sprays. Aerosol sprays are not ideal for cats as the hissing noise can distress them. Correct application of flea sprays and powders can be time consuming, and most kill and prevent fleas for less than a week.
Bathing the pet in a flea shampoo before applying a treatment is beneficial as it will help remove fleas and eggs from the coat. The coat must be completely dry before treatment is applied.
Flea shampoos should not be used solely on their own as flea preventative measure.
Step 3 – De-Worm the Pet
Fleas can carry tapeworm: when the pet grooms it ingests the fleas and contracts the worms.
Some pets are allergic to flea bites/saliva; this is known as FAD (Flea Allergic Dermatitis) and it is extremely uncomfortable. If the pet is suffering from flea related hair loss, inflamed skin or appears to be in discomfort then veterinary advice should be sought.
The Trick to Ticks
Pets usually pick up ticks during walks or when investigating the country side. They can transmit disease and cause great discomfort, so it always best to act quickly.
It is important to remove ticks within 48 hours to avoid disease transmission.
As with fleas, prevention is always better than cure. It is best to use a flea treatment that also repels ticks and kills ticks. This is the safest and easiest solution.
Ticks can also be removed with tick removers, specially designed to remove ticks cleanly and safely with minimal discomfort to your pet. You must be sure to remove the tick carefully, detaching the head without squeezing the tick’s body. If the head is left in it could become infected.Buy O'Tom Tick Twister Hooks