Parasitic Prevention and Treatment
Treat your puppy from 2 weeks of age fortnightly, until 12 weeks of age. Then monthly until 6 months of age. After this, an adult dog requires worming every 3 months for life.
Be sure that the worming product used covers ALL intestinal worms. There are 4 main types; Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm & Tapeworm. Always weigh your pup regularly as they grow, so you are dosing correctly each time.
Heartworm disease is debilitating and potentially fatal to dogs. The disease is transmitted by MOSQUITOES, not direct contact with other dogs. Therefore, it is essential for all dogs to be started on prevention as a puppy. If prevention is not started while your dog is a pup, they should have a blood test performed by your Veterinarian before commencing a prevention program.
There is a choice of monthly preventatives for dogs or a ONCE A YEAR heartworm prevention for adult dogs. Heartworm prevention injections (SR-12), are given at around 5-6 months of age (which will give protection for 6 months), then a booster injection at 15 months.
After this, it will then become every 12 months for life.
Flea Treatment and Prevention:
Remember that 95% of fleas live in the environment and can stay dormant for up to 6 months, so as well as regularly treating the dog, it is also important to treat the environment. Cleaning your dog’s bedding regularly by washing and vacuuming.
It is best to start flea prevention as soon as you welcome your pet into your home. This will minimise the chance of fresh flea eggs contaminating your environment. There are several flea products to suit your pet’s needs.
Tick poisoning, caused by the toxic saliva from the female tick “Ixodes Holocyclus”, is a serious condition in dogs and cats, and in fact all susceptible mammals.
The Ixodes Holocyclus (Paralysis Tick) species occurs only along the Eastern Australian Coast, so that means ticks are found just about everywhere in the Hastings region. They are blue-grey in colour and vary in size from 3mm to 20mm.
Ticks are most commonly active between the months of August and January, so daily searching of your pet is a must during these times. Most ticks are found on the front section of your pet. Usually starting from the shoulders, around the neck and head area. However, ticks can attach themselves ANYWHERE on your pets’ body.
Symptoms of tick paralysis:
The earliest signs seen in dogs and cats usually occur two to five days after the female tick commences to feed on the host. The signs are extremely variable and can include any of the following:
- Weakness or loss of coordination in the hind legs.
- Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing.
- Change in meow or bark.
- Progressive paralysis to include in the forelegs.
- Retching, coughing, gagging or vomiting.
Treatment of tick paralysis:
As soon as the symptoms of tick paralysis appear, the animal MUST receive immediate veterinary treatment to ensure survival.
NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ASSUME THAT AN ANIMAL WILL IMPROVE BECAUSE THE TICK HAS BEEN AND REMOVED.
Animals may continue to worsen for up to 48 hours following the removal of the tick/s. The longer the delay before treatment is commenced, the poorer the prognosis.
NEVER give anything by mouth as affect animals have difficulties swallowing and may choke. When removing the tick, it has been shown the best method is to simply use tweezers to remove from the head with being careful not to squeeze the body. It is not recommended to kill the tick whilst still attached.
Medical treatment consists of sedation, followed by the injection of anti-serum, which is specific for the toxin of the tick. The anti-serum will save most patients if given early enough. More advanced cases which are having difficulty breathing and swallowing, need intensive care and treatment to avoid fatal complications such as aspiration or asphyxiation. Insecticidal rinses and sprays are used to kill any remaining ticks and to aid in keeping the patient cool. Careful hospitalisation is an absolute necessity!
Despite the best treatment, complications can sometimes arise. These include heart failure, anaphylactic serum reactions and aspiration pneumonia.
PREVENTION against ticks:
No product is 100% effective against ticks, so it is still recommended to give you pet daily searches.
There are many tick preventative products on the market. The most common and most effective include: Nexgard and Bravecto chewable tablets for dogs & Bravecto for cats.