All puppies and dogs have worms, which is why worming is important to keep them healthy!
We recommend that your puppy is wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old, then once per month until 6 months old, then worm your dog routinely at least every 3months.
Flea Control For Dogs
We always say prevention is better than cure!
And this couldn’t be truer than with flea care for dogs.
Routinely protecting your dog from fleas will help stop an infestation occurring in the home.
We now have a number of products, including ‘spot ons’ and tablets that are given monthly or 3 monthly depending on the product, so they are able to cater to any lifestyle.
Although fleas are small, they can make your dog miserable. Once on your puppy or dog, fleas can bite every 5 minutes leaving your dog itchy and uncomfortable. You only need to bring one flea inside your home to start an infestation. One female flea can produce enough eggs to quickly escalate the problem in your home.
Fleas live on a variety of animals such as rabbits and hedgehogs, as well as cats and dogs so when your pet is outdoors, fleas from the eggs left behind by other animals can jump on your dog. Once on your dog, they feed on his or her blood and start laying eggs. Treating your dog with our vet-recommended treatment plan will effectively kill fleas and disrupt their life cycle.
Worm Control For Dogs
There are various worms that can infect your dog, and they can pose a threat to your family. Worms that target dogs include roundworms, hookworms, lungworms, and tapeworms, and they are prolific across the United Kingdom. Certain worms can produce more than 100,000 eggs per day, which are then passed in the pet’s faeces and spread throughout their living environment.
Your family can accidentally ingest worm eggs that have been passed through your dog's faeces. The eggs can then hatch in your intestinal tract, and the worms can travel to various tissues in the body, including the eyes and brain, potentially causing serious infections.
Worms are a year-round threat and the only way to keep your pet and family safe is through proactive actions to get the best products. Lungworm, which is passed on by slugs and snails, is potentially fatal and many over-the-counter products do not tackle this worrying parasite.
Please be aware that many products available elsewhere other than those sold at Woodward Veterinary practice may be ineffective at treating all the species of worms and fleas your pet could get. There are many ranges of worming treatments available including tablets, liquids, granules, and spot-ons.
Hazards in our local community
Fleas, worms and other parasites can be caught at parks local to Woodward Veterinary practice.
Parks are a breeding ground for parasites, especially in the warmer months from April to October. As a pet owner, you do not want to deprive your beloved pet of the chance to make friends, and you certainly do not want to limit the opportunity to be outside. But, if it seems like all the other pets are itching, scratching and playing with slugs and other parasite carriers, what is a pet owner to do?
Dog Flea and Worm FAQs
From What Age Can Flea Treatment Start?
Dogs are usually treated with their first dose around six to eight weeks of age, but for some products to be used, there is also a minimum weight. Some treatments can be given earlier if a very young puppy is heavily infested with fleas. We recommend using prescription-only dog flea treatments as these products are more effective and safer. Only Veterinary surgeons, by law, can prescribe prescription flea treatments classed as (POM-V) products following a pet health check.
How long does it take for your dog to be protected?
Once a product is applied, this can work within 24 hours. We recommend using a prescription-only flea treatment, dispensed by your veterinary surgeon. Prescription-only dog flea treatments can tackle the whole flea cycle, which includes eggs, larvae and adult fleas. Most over-the-counter products from pet shops or supermarkets only treat adult fleas and not larvae or eggs and use older, less effective ingredients.
If your dog already has fleas and you're not using flea treatment as a preventative, you will need to treat your house with a spray. A single flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day; this means that your house will have dormant larvae or eggs ready to hatch and emerge. Treating your dog with a product and treating your house is the most effective method for keeping your dog safe from fleas. Once a pet is treated, prevention is always better than trying to eliminate the infestation.
We understand that treating an infestation as well as using a flea prevention treatment can be costly; this is why our health plans are popular – they break down these costs into affordable monthly amounts. The plan also covers various preventative treatments, including vaccinations, worming treatments, anal gland expressions and discounts on neutering and much more; if you have not already signed up - click here to find out more.
How regular is flea treatments required?
This depends on which product is prescribed by your vet; usually, a bespoke plan is made that will best suit you and your dog. Most products are applied every four weeks; this is usually in liquid form and is placed onto the skin at the back of the neck or in tablet form. However, there are other product types; we would advise speaking to your vet to create a bespoke plan to suit you and your dogs lifestyle.
Are certain breeds of dogs more at risk of having fleas?
No - fleas do not prefer a specific breed of dog; however, there are various species of fleas that have a target host, such as the dog flea and the cat flea; this does not stop a flea from biting any animal it encounters whether that is a dog or a human.
What are the signs your pet may have fleas?
- scratching or itching
- nibbling or biting the skin from the irritation caused by a flea bite
- black or brown specks in the coat (often mistaken for soil)
- live fleas running through the coat – but often only seen in heavily infested animals, fleas can hide very well.
- having bites emerge on your own skin
- anaemia (in young animals) from heavily infested puppies or kittens with large blood loss from a flea burden. Young animals can become lethargic and have pale gums
You can use a flea comb to detect any flea dirt or adult fleas in your pet's coat. You can also check if the black or brown speck in the coat is flea dirt by moistening these on paper, if they go red, this is flea dirt. We would be happy to help if you are concerned that your pet has fleas, contact us today.
What are the signs my dog may have worms?
Worms (excluding tapeworm) are rarely seen, so it is difficult to know if your dog does have worms. Therefore, prevention is much safer for your dog. Tapeworms can appear as rice-like grains around the anus or in faeces. It is essential that you give regular treatments, especially if you have children. Puppies are also at a higher risk of worms. Worms are zoonotic meaning they can pass from animals to people.
Symptoms usually occur in high levels of infestation – these symptoms include:
- swollen abdomen
- nutritional deficiencies
- cough (in roundworm and hookworm infections).
- pneumonia (in serious cases of roundworm).
What types of treatment are available to treat fleas?
There are many products available as well as new products emerging each year. We are here to help with selecting the best-suited protection for you and your pet. We have the most up-to-date advice and treatments available. We only dispense prescription flea treatments. These are safer and more effective than over-the-counter treatments and are often combined to tackle other parasites in one medication.
Under UK law, only veterinary surgeons can prescribe prescription medications (POM-V) and a vet is required to health assess a pet before prescribing them. For flea and worm treatments, vets usually require a health check every 12 months, which can fall under your pet's annual booster health check. Please note other classes of medications vary with the frequency of health checks required.
- Spot on's – these treatments are usually given every four weeks. They need to be applied to the skin by parting the fur on the back of the neck. They can treat fleas, eggs and the flea cycle, but most treatments we recommend combine wormer, flea, and tick treatments.
- Flea tablets – these are tablet forms and are usually given every four weeks.
- Flea/tick collars – these usually last for eight months and can protect against fleas and ticks.
We can also demonstrate the application of a spot-on treatment or how to give a tablet during a consultation. You can ask us during your consultation or contact us today to book a nurse appointment.
Do I need to treat my house if my dog has fleas?
When treating an infestation of fleas, the house will need to be treated in addition to your dog receiving medication. A household spray will be recommended; depending on which household product you are using; the following may differ slightly. Read all instructions and warnings on the can carefully before use.
Please note – these are household treatments and should NEVER be sprayed directly onto a pet.
How do I best treat my home for fleas?
Treating the house for fleas usually involves vacuuming the home fully, including outdoor buildings that your dog has access to (cars included). The vibrations and warmth from a vacuum can also encourage fleas to emerge from hidden areas deep beneath the surface. It is best also to move furniture to ensure you cover the whole floor. Following vacuuming, all pets (including rodents, birds, fish, reptiles and insects) and people should be removed from the house or treated rooms. Next, the spray is used throughout the house, covering all surfaces on the floor, soft furnishings, and pet bedding. Spraying a patch test on fabrics is a good idea to carry out before spraying on delicate furnishings. Following this, windows and doors are left open and the house is left for around an hour, longer if possible. The final stage is to vacuum the house again, discard or clean the hoover collection bag/chamber thoroughly and carry out a thorough vacuum the following day, then twice a week for two weeks.
Spread the cost of essential healthcare for your dog
The vets at Woodward Veterinary practice recommended being proactive before enjoying your local community. Our Wooward's Loyalty Dscount Plan provides pet owners with the support they need to help their pets stay fit and healthy.
Regular visits mean that we have the opportunity to administer the necessary vaccinations and dispense accurate and up-to-date worming and flea treatments. In addition, an overall clinical examination gives us the opportunity to carefully monitor the general health of your dog and offer advice, support and treatment planning, which in many cases may prevent problems arising in the future.