For the long-term health and wellbeing of your pet and your family, it is essential that you routinely use proven, preventative treatments against the most common parasites throughout your pet’s life. Remember that prevention is much easier and cost-effective than cure.
To determine the level of parasite treatment your pet needs, we will work with you to carry out a risk assessment based on your pet’s lifestyle and behaviour.
Fleas are one of the most common external parasites in pets and are the cause of many skin problems. Although you may only see fleas on your pet, they are continually shedding eggs in your home and can lead to a home flea infestation. Flea bites to you and your family can be costly and complicated to treat. Did you know the adult flea can stay in its cocoon for up to 6 months before it emerges?
Although fleas are small, they can make your pet miserable. Once on your pet, fleas can bite every 5 minutes leaving your cat or dog itchy and uncomfortable. You only need to bring one flea inside your home to start an infestation. One female flea can produce enough eggs to quickly escalate the problem in your home.
Fleas live on a variety of animals such as rabbits and hedgehogs, as well as cats and dogs. When your pet is outdoors, fleas from the eggs left behind by other animals can jump on your pet. Once on your pet, they feed on his or her blood and start laying eggs.
There are various worms that can infect your pets, and they can pose a threat to your family. Worms that target pets include roundworms, hookworms, lungworms, and tapeworms, and they are prolific across the United Kingdom. Certain worms can produce more than 100,000 eggs per day, which are then passed in the pet’s faeces and spread throughout their living environment.
Your family can accidentally ingest worm eggs that have been passed through your pet’s faeces. The eggs can then hatch in your intestinal tract, and the worms can travel to various tissues in the body, including the eyes and brain, potentially causing serious infections.
Worms are a year-round threat and the only way to keep your pet and family safe is through proactive actions to get the best products. Lungworm, which is passed on by slugs and snails, is potentially fatal and many over the counter products do not tackle this worrying parasite.
Please be aware that many products available elsewhere other than sold at Crofts Veterinary Practice may be ineffective at treating all the species of worms and fleas your pet could get. There are many ranges of worming treatments available including tablets, liquids, granules and spot-ons.
Protecting Your Pet From Ticks
Ticks are a common parasite that can affect pets, and at Crofts Vets, we urge pet owners to be aware of the risks associated with tick bites and to take steps to prevent them.
Ticks can transmit diseases to pets, including Lyme disease. These diseases can cause serious health problems for pets, and in some cases, can even be fatal. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures to protect your pets from tick bites.
Here are some tips for tick prevention in pets:
Use a tick preventative treatment - There are many different tick preventative products available, including spot-on treatments, collars, and oral medications. These treatments work by killing ticks before they have a chance to bite and can be a highly effective preventative measure.
Check your pet for ticks regularly - After spending time outside, be sure to thoroughly check your pet for ticks. Ticks can attach anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found around the head, ears, neck, and feet. If you find a tick, use tweezers to carefully remove it, making sure to get the entire tick and avoiding crushing it.
Keep your garden tidy - Ticks thrive in tall grass and other vegetation, so keeping your garden well-maintained and mowed can help to reduce the tick population.
Avoid walking in wooded or brushy areas - These are high-risk areas for ticks, and avoiding them can help reduce the risk of tick bites.
Talk to your vet - Your vet can provide guidance on tick preventative products and offer recommendations based on your pet's individual needs.
By following these tips and taking preventative measures, you can help protect your pets from the risks associated with tick bites. If you have any concerns or questions about tick prevention for your pet, be sure to call Crofts Vets today.
Parasite Control: Hazards in our local community
Fleas, worms and other parasites can be caught at parks local to Crofts Veterinary Practice.
Parks are a breeding ground for parasites, especially in the warmer months from April to October. As a pet owner, you do not want to deprive your beloved pet of the chance to make friends, and you certainly do not want to limit the opportunity to be outside. But, if it seems like all the other pets are itching, scratching and playing with slugs and other parasite carriers, what is a pet owner to do?
Spread the cost of essential healthcare for your pet
To spread the cost of routine worming and flea treatment for your pet, Crofts Vets offer the Pet for Life Health plan, which includes parasite control for your pet.
More information about prevention for cats & dogs
Frequently Asked Questions:
What happens to my pet if they don't have flea and worm treatment?
When it comes to worm treatment, there may be severe consequences if ignored. Depending on the type of worm your pet can experience irritation such as intestinal blockages, obstruction of blood flow in the heart, artery inflammation, anaemia, and even death if left untreated.
Can you get combined flea and worm treatment for pets?
There are combined flea and worm treatments you can get for your pets, also known as an all-in-one flea and wormer. However, it's always best to consult your veterinary practice as these treatments don't cover some types of worms. Your pet may also have complications that combined treatments don't cover.
How often does my pet need flea and worm treatment?
Once every month, you should treat your pet for fleas, and every two to three months, or even more frequently, for worms. Depending on your pet's lifestyle, talk to your vet about the best course of action.
How long should I wait between worming and flea treatments?
Many people wonder if they can treat their cats for fleas and worms at the same time or how long they should leave between treatments. Depending on the two treatments being administered you may need to wait either 48 hours or two weeks between treatments. Please ask your vet when picking up your flea and worm treatment how to apply the two treatments most effectively and safely.
Do indoor cats need flea and worm treatment?
Every cat, even indoor cats, need regular flea and worm preventative treatments. It is a common misconception that an exclusively indoor cat does not need these treatments – this is not true at all. Fleas commonly travel on clothes and bags and so may be brought into the house at any time. A cat could even pick up fleas during a trip to a vet, especially where other pets may not have been treated.
Does my rabbit need flea and worm treatment?
You must consistently employ effective, preventative medicines against the most prevalent parasites throughout the lifespan of your rabbit to ensure their wellbeing and long-term health, as well as that of your family and Rabbits. Keep in mind that prevention is much simpler and less expensive than treatment. Rabbits also suffer from several other parasites and conditions, such as Mites, Flystrike, and E. cuniculi.
Flea treament FAQ
From what age can flea treatment start?
Dogs and cats are usually treated with their first does around six to eight weeks of age, but for some products to be used there is also a minimum weight. Some treatments can be given earlier if a very young puppy or kitten is heavily infested with fleas. We recommend using prescription only flea treatments as these products are more effective and safer. Only Veterinary surgeons by law can prescribe prescription flea treatments classed as (POM-V) products following a pet health check.
How long does it take for your pet to be protected?
Once a product is applied, this can work within 24 hours. We recommend using a prescription only flea treatment, dispensed by your Veterinary surgeon. Prescription only flea treatments can tackle the whole flea cycle, which includes eggs, larvae, and adult fleas. Most over the counter products from pet shops or supermarkets only treat adult fleas and not larvae or eggs and use older, less effective ingredients.
If your pet already has fleas and you’re not using flea treatment as a preventative, you will need to treat your house with spray. A single flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day; this means that your house will have dormant larvae or eggs ready to hatch and emerge. Treating your pet with a product and treating your house is the most effective method for keeping your pet safe from fleas. Once a pet is treated, prevention is always better than trying to eliminate the infestation.
We understand that treating an infestation as well as using a flea prevention treatment can be costly; this is why our health plans are popular – they break down these costs into affordable monthly amounts. The plan also covers various preventative treatments including vaccinations, worming treatments, anal gland expressions and discounts on neutering and much more; if you have not already signed up click here to find out more.
How regular are flea treatments required?
This depends on which product is prescribed by your vet; usually, a bespoke plan is made and that will best suit you and your pet. Most products are applied every four weeks; this is usually in liquid form and is placed onto the skin at the back of the neck or a tablet. However, there are other product types; we would advise speaking to your vet to create a bespoke plan to suit you and your pets lifestyle.
Are certain breeds more at risk of having fleas?
No – fleas do not prefer a specific breed; however, there are various species of fleas that have a target host, such as the dog flea and the cat flea; this does not stop a flea from biting any animal it encounters that is dog or human.
What are the signs your pet may have fleas?
- Scratching or itching
- Nibbling or biting the skin from the irritation caused by a flea bite
- Black or brown specks in the coat (often mistaken for soil)
- Live fleas running through the coat – but often only seen in heavily infested animals, fleas can hide very well
- Having bites emerge on your own skin
- Miliary dermatitis (cats only) symptoms include scabby skin and fur loss down the spine
- Anaemia (in young animals) from heavily infested puppies or kittens with large blood loss from flea burden. Young animals can become lethargic and have pale gums
You can use a flea comb to detect any flea dirt or adult fleas in your pet’s coat. You can also check if the black or brown speck in the cat is flea dirt by moistening these on paper, if they go red its flea dirt. We would be happy to help if you are concerned that your pet has fleas, contact us today
What types of flea treatment are available for my pet?
There are many products available as well as new products emerging each year. We are here to help with selecting the best-suited protection for you and your pet. We have the most up to date advice and treatments available. We only dispense prescription flea treatments. These are safer and more effective than over the counter treatments and are often combined to tackle other parasites in one medication. Under UK Law, only Veterinary surgeons can prescribe prescription medications (POM-V) and a vet is required to health assess a pet before prescribing them. For flea and worm treatments, vets usually require a health check every 12 months, which can fall under your pet’s annual booster health check. Please note other classes of medications vary with the frequency of health checks required.
- Spot on’s - these treatments are usually given every 4 weeks. They need to be applied to the skin by parting the fur on the back of the neck. They can treat fleas, eggs and the flea cycle, but most treatments we recommend combine wormer, flea and tick treatments
- Flea tablets - these are tablet forms and are usually given every 4 weeks
- Flea/Tick collars - these usually last for 8 months and can protect against fleas and ticks. We can also demonstrate the application of a spot-on treatment or how to give a tablet during a consultation. You can ask us during your consultation or contact us today to book an appointment
How to treat your house if a pet already has fleas?
When treating an infestation of fleas, the house will need to be treated in addition to your pet receiving medication. A household spray will be recommended; depending on which household product you are using; the following may differ slightly.
Read all instructions and warnings on the can carefully before use
These are household treatments and should NEVER be sprayed directly onto a pet
Treating the house for fleas usually involves vacuuming the home fully, including outdoor buildings that a pet has access to (including cars). The vibrations and warmth from a vacuum can also encourage fleas to emerge from hidden areas deep beneath the surface. It is best also to move furniture to ensure you cover the whole floor. Following vacuuming, all pets (including rodents, birds, fish, reptiles, and insects) and people should be removed from the house or treated rooms. Next, spray is used throughout the house, covering all surfaces on the floor, soft furnishings, and pet bedding. Spraying a patch test on fabrics is a good idea to carry out before spraying on delicate furnishings. Following this, windows and doors are to be left open and the house is left for around an hour, longer if possible. The final stage Is to vacuum the following day then twice a week for the next two weeks.
Please read the instructions on your products as they may vary in step-by-step guides.
Flea Larvae – did you know?
Flea larvae can become infected with tapeworm eggs, If your pet has fleas, you should also make sure they are treated for worms. Therefore, we recommend treating pets with worm and flea treatments.
Fleas – did you know?
Fleas can also pass disease direct to your pets. For example, myxomatosis is a serious disease in rabbits that fleas can spread.