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Puppies and Kittens - Parasite Prevention

Updated: Nov 30

Preventive care is an important part of your puppy or kitten’s overall wellness plan, ideally commencing at eight weeks of age and continuing through adulthood.


Puppies and kittens can become infected with parasites from the environment, from insect bites and by licking themselves or other pets. Fleas and ticks can cause two specific problems.


  1. They can cause discomfort and skin irritation through their bites and, in some cases, can cause severe allergic reactions in both pets and people.

  2. They both can carry diseases and can cause illness both in pets and people.


Some of these diseases can be deadly and others can cause severe, chronic, and lifelong illnesses.

Fleas


Flea-related diseases account for over 50% of skin disease cases reported infections.


Fleas not only cause a lot of discomfort for your pets, but they also carry Tapeworm. Tapeworm is transmitted to your pet when they ingest (eat) the flea carrying the tapeworm as they groom themselves.

Prevention and Treatment


Flea treatment options will differ depending on:


● The age and weight of your puppy or kitten

● Whether or not they have a current flea or worm infestation

● Lifestyle (e.g. swimming)

● Treatment for other pets

● Ease of administration at home


There are several different methods available for treating and preventing fleas, including:


● Spot-ons (such as Bravecto)

● Shampoos and sprays

● Tablets and chews (such as Nexgard)

● Flea and tick collars (Seresto)

● Flea Combs


Intestinal Worms


Did you know that there may be NO obvious signs that your pet has intestinal worms? For this reason, it’s imperative that you keep your puppy or kitten’s preventative treatments up to date.


Worms can cause anaemia (loss of red blood cells), weight loss and poor condition, dull coat and, in severe cases, intestinal obstruction. Some of these worms can also spread to people, particularly children.


The most common types of intestinal worms are:


● Tapeworm

● Roundworm

● Hookworm




Prevention and Treatment


Intestinal wormers should be administered every two weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age and then every three months for your pet’s lifetime.


Some topical “all-in-one” spot-ons provide protection against fleas, worms and ticks. Depending on which flea treatment you are using, you may choose to deworm your puppy by administering a monthly or quarterly tablet or chew.


Heartworm

Heartworm is a serious disease that results in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and is potentially fatal. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis and is spread through the bite of a mosquito.


Prevention and Treatment


Puppies


Preventative treatments include a once-a-year injection, monthly chews or spot-ons depending on your preference.

Kittens


Tablets and spot-ons are recommended for kittens and cats. Products will vary depending on your kitten’s age and weight so please speak to one of our qualified veterinary nurses about the best treatment for your kitten.


Ticks


Ticks are a type of arachnid (like spiders, scorpions, and mites) that are also parasitic.

Depending on their life cycle and feeding stage, ticks can vary in size. They can be as small as a pinhead or poppy seed or as big as a pencil eraser. Ticks can attach anywhere on the body, but prefer dark and hidden areas like the ears, armpits, groin, tail and between the toes.


Brown dog and bush ticks can cause skin irritation and heavy infestations may result in anaemia from excessive blood loss. Ticks can also transmit potentially fatal infections from one dog to another.


Paralysis ticks are dangerous parasites, causing paralysis and even death, harming thousands of dogs and cats in Australia every year. They are commonly found on the east coast of Australia and prefer bushland and scrubby areas. Once attached it begins feeding and starts producing a potent toxin that affects the animal's central nervous system and causes progressive paralysis and possibly death.


Prevention and Treatment


Tick preventatives for puppies and kittens include spot-ons, sprays and tick collars.

 

All-year-round parasite prevention is essential to keep your puppy or kitten protected against fleas, worms and ticks. Speak to our friendly nurses today about the best product for your puppy or kitten and how to keep them safe from parasites.

 

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