Fleas and Worms

Fleas and worms are an unfortunate fact of life for pet owners. If you have a cat or dog, it is likely that at some point in their lives they will encounter fleas, worms or both.

Fleas

Fleas are one of the most common pests seen on dogs. There are many different types of flea, but we mostly see dog fleas and cat fleas. Cat fleas are by far the most common, and can affect both cats and dogs. Your pet does not need to be in contact with other animals or even go outdoors in order to encounter fleas, as fleas can hitchhike their way into your home on your clothing.

Fleas are most common in summertime, but our centrally heated homes mean that they now can cause a year-round nuisance. Fleas don't actually spend that much time on the dog, so they can be hard to spot in the coat. They jump on to the dog to take a blood meal, and spend the rest of their time in the environment. This is where they reproduce, laying eggs around the home. This is why it is important to choose a flea control system that also treats the environment. A single dose of flea control product will not be enough to prevent re-infestation - most products will need re-applying every month or two months.

We stock a number of different flea control products. The most effective products are prescription spot-on treatments which are only available from veterinary practices. They are safer and more effective than products available from supermarkets and pet shops.

Our vets, nurses and receptionists will be happy to advise you on the best methods of flea prevention. Sometimes, where a flea infestation has already taken hold, it can take some extra effort to stamp out the flea population in your home - in these cases, it is always best to speak to us for guidance on the best way to acheive this.

Our prescription flea products are available to pets registered at the practice that have been seen by one of our vets in the preceding 12 months. You don't need to bring your dog to the surgery to purchase them, and you can call in to the surgery when reception is open.

Worms

Worms are another parasite that your pet may encounter. They can cause illness in your pet, and some worms can be passed to humans.

Roundworm egg larvae can cause permanent damage to children's eyesight, so it is important to keep your pet up-to-date with worming treatments and to practice good hygiene by washing your hands after playing with your pet. Roundworm eggs can be picked up from contaminated ground (often on the park or areas frequented by other dogs) and carried in your pet's coat without you noticing. As soon as your pet grooms, they can ingest the roundworm eggs which will then hatch and continue their lifecycle. Tapeworm can be acquired by hunting and scavenging. Fleas can be infested with tapeworm larvae, passing them on to your pet.

Puppies are most at risk of worms, with many being infected before they are born. Infestation can cause serious complications such as weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea, and in extreme circumstances can even cause death. Puppies can be wormed from 2 weeks of age, and there are a number of suitable products - please ask for advice.

We recommend worming adult dogs at least every 3 months. However, there is no effective way of preventing worms, and any worming treatment will only kill worms present at the time of treatment. If your pet regularly scavenges or hunts, it would be worth considering a monthly worming programme.

We have a range of worming treatments available to treat all the types of worm your pet may encounter. Our prescription worming treatments are much safer, more effective and easier to use than products available from pet shops and supermarkets. Our vets, nurses and receptionists will be happy to discuss the most suitable worming programme for your pet.