Know Your Enemies

With an ever-growing number of flea and tick prevention products on the market it is not surprising that pet owners are often a little confused.

The common questions we are asked regarding preventative products:

        -Which products treat which parasites?

        -Does a new product mean it is better?

        -Which flea prevention is the most effective?

        -Which is the safest?

Finding the right combination of products for full protection can be confusing.  We need to understand what we are trying to prevent before choosing the best product for the situation.

Know Your Enemies-

Fleas – Small wingless blood-sucking insects that live on your animal’s body.  They cause intense itching and dermatitis.

Ticks – Another wingless bloodsucking insect, however unlike fleas, once engorged from feeding, will drop off the dog.  Paralysis ticks inject a toxin when feeding which is lethal.

Heartworm – Parasitic worms transmitted by infected mosquitos that travel through the blood vessels to the heart and lungs.

Intestinal Worms – Worms that exist in the gastro-intestinal tract including whipworm, hookworm, roundworm and tapeworm. 

There is no true “all-in-one” preventative product in existence.  The name does get used a lot by manufacturers, but each product will still need an ‘add-on’ to provide full protection.

For animals in Melbourne, there are many products on the market that cover fleas, worms and heartworm, but just don’t have tick coverage. When families are traveling or holidaying along the east coast with their dogs we recommend also using a tick prevention product.  Within our clinics we recommend Advocate that is a monthly spot-on that treats fleas, heartworm and intestinal worms.  This product only requires a tapeworm tablet in conjunction, every 3 months.  We also use Sentinel Spectrum which is a monthly oral dose. This protects against heartworm, adult fleas & all intestinal worms.  In some areas your pets will need protection from other irritating insects.  This may include sand flies, ticks, mosquitos or mites.  As always, an informed opinion is always best. Ask any of our staff as to which is the most effective product for your pets’ individual needs.

During January, we can offer 20% off all 6-month packets of Advocate.  These purchases can also go towards the Bayer loyalty cards, purchase 12 months of Advocate in the same size & receive a 3-month packet as a bonus.