We can advise on the best products and routines to keep your cat healthy, happy and free from pests.
The Facts on Fleas
Only the adult flea lives on your pet.
A single flea can lay 30-50 eggs each day, eggs which will fall off into the pet’s bedding, your carpets, your bed or anywhere else that your pet goes.
The eggs take one to 10 days to hatch into larvae. The larvae will then become a pupa within a cocoon. The flea can remain as a cocoon for several months, depending upon the season.
Adult fleas on your pet represent only 5% of the flea population in your house – that means that the other 95% are hiding in your rooms!
The commonest flea affecting both cats and dogs in the UK is the cat flea.
Fleas are carriers of tapeworms so your pets easily become infected by swallowing a flea when grooming themselves.
Pets catch fleas from the grass. Fleas are only caught from another animal or from a contaminated environment.
Fleas are only a problem in summer. Fleas are around all year, they just breed much faster in the summer.
Fleas don’t bother the pet. Some animals get severe skin problems due to allergic reactions to fleas.
Pet shop spot-on products work as well as the vet’s. Older products often contain Permethrin which is no longer efficient against fleas and is toxic. You could spend a lot of money and still have problems! Fipronil is now widely available but there are concerns that resistance to the molecule is growing.
Insecticides alone will control a flea infestation. Unless insecticides kill each and every flea before it can lay eggs, eggs will continue to spill into the environment thereby maintaining an infestation. No spot-on insecticide, even the best, can kill each and every flea within 24 hours for a full month.
Puppies should be wormed from two to three weeks of age, with the dosing being repeated every three weeks until they reach 12 weeks of age, and thereafter once a month until six months old.
We prefer to use a drug containing Fenbendazole, given as a three-day course, which will kill both adult worms and migrating larvae. Pet shop puppy wormers containing piperazine are far less efficient and will have no effect at all on the migrating larvae.
Adult dogs should be treated to eliminate roundworms four times a year. While there are some efficient products sold through pet shops, some of the multi-wormer tablets available are relatively old-fashioned drugs with very limited efficacy.
In the practice we prefer to remove both roundworm and tapeworm using a product which will reliably remove both forms of worm in a single treatment. Please contact us for further advice.
To date we have yet to hear of a confirmed case of lungworm in Carlisle.
However, should this worm become established within the local snail and slug population our advice regarding worming will have to change radically. To control the worm adequately we shall have to move all dogs to monthly worming with a product which has been shown to control the parasite.
We currently advise the use of the drug Milbemycin in a monthly combination product which controls worms, roundworms and fleas.
All dogs on our in-house healthcare schemes will already be receiving suitable monthly treatment which will prevent lungworm infestations.
Infestation with tapeworm will become evident as individual segments break free from the ‘tape’, passing to the exterior to be found stuck to hair close to the pet’s anus.
There are several forms of dog tapeworm, all of which involve an ‘intermediate host’.
As most dogs no longer have access to raw offal, tapeworm should only be a problem to those dogs which have suffered a flea infestation.