Most people know that it’s best to worm your pet…. Simple, right?

Most people, however, start to get confused when they realise how many products are available, and that not all products treat all potential worm infestations…. Not so simple.

I hope this makes things more clear….

  • Heartworm.

Heartworm is the most dangerous worm across the lifetime of a dog. It’s transmitted by mosquitoes, and adults grow quite large, living in the heart, causing serious damage, and finally death. Cats can be affected but it’s rare.

 It’s vital to give your dog heartworm prevention therapy…. How?

The best way is “Proheart SR12”, a yearly injection, which you can have done at the same time as vaccinations. We send SMS reminders to all our patients that have annual heartworm injections, so you can’t forget to do it. How easy is it to forget monthly treatments?….Very.

The next best option is a monthly tablet or chew, BUT make sure the monthly tablet you are buying actually kills heartworm!!!  A good choice would be the new product, “Nexgard Spectra”. There are a lot of other monthly tablets that kill fleas, ticks, and other worms but not heartworm.

  • Intestinal Worms

There are 4 types of worms, Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm and Tapeworm, that live in the gastrointestinal tract of dogs and cats. They damage the lining of the gut and potentially cause diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss, anaemia and lethargy. Intestinal worm infestation is more dangerous for puppies and kittens than for adults.

We most often use “Milbemax” every 3 months to treat intestinal worms in dogs and cats older than 6 months. “Drontal” is also a good choice. Be careful when choosing an intestinal wormer because a lot of products don’t treat Tapeworm. For puppy and kitten worming schedules, see Puppy Care or Kitten Care.

  • Fleas and Ticks

These are NOT worms, of course, but a lot of the monthly tablets and chews available kill fleas, and some may also kill ticks, and/or heartworm, and/or intestinal worms. Yes…. now it’s definitely confusing.

It’s really important to know what you want from a product and make sure you purchase one that suits your needs. Let’s face it…. None of the products are cheap, no matter where you purchase them, so it’s smart to do a bit of research so you don’t waste your money.

We understand that it can be difficult to remember all the bits of advice you are told by the vet during a consultation, but you can always call us, on 3284 5133 or drop in and see our lovely vet nurses, who are the experts on worming advice and products.