At Algester vets we recommend protecting against heartworm, fleas, paralysis ticks and intestinal worms as part of your pet's basic healthcare regime. Our friendly vets and nurses are more than happy to discuss the different products we have available that will best suit your circumstances.
Heartworm is a parasite spread by mosquitoes and can affect both dogs and cats but with different symptoms. In dogs, heartworm mainly causes severe damage to the heart and in cats, the lungs are mainly affected. Sometimes, it can cause collapse and death in our pets. Prevention, therefore, is certainly better than cure. All pets should start on heartworm preventatives before 12 weeks of age.
Please note in dogs: As the treatment for adults, heartworm is different from what we use to prevent heartworm. Your pet should be tested for adult heartworm if they miss more than 3 months of preventatives and they are over 3 months of age.
In Brisbane, due to our tropical climate, we have fleas all year round. Also, some of our dogs are very allergic to fleas biting them, in fact, this is our most common allergy. For these two reasons, we recommend year long flea treatment. There are many different products available but the most effective products are the ones that treat both the environmental fleas as well as the ones on your pet.
Paralysis ticks are normally found on our native wildlife - mainly possums and bandicoots which cause them no harm. However, our pets do not have the same natural immunity to the paralysis toxin as our native wildlife. The toxin causes paralysis of all muscle groups and these can be seen as wobbliness or paralysis in the hindlimbs, progresses to the forelimbs, breathing difficulties, collapse and then death.
There are several preventatives on the market available for our dogs and only a few for our cats. However, none of these products is a guarantee that will prevent tick paralysis. Therefore, we recommend you couple this with daily tick searches of your pet's entire body surface.
Intestinal worms can affect dogs and cats of any age and in puppies and kittens can be fatal. Some worms can also cause diseases in humans particularly children. So we recommend good hygiene and regular worming of pets. There are many worming products on the market but we recommend those that cover all of the following worms: roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm. A good worming regime means1. Puppies between 2-12 weeks are wormed fortnightly2. Puppies between 3-6 months are wormed monthly3. Dogs over 6 months of age are wormed every 3 months for life.