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FAQs about flea, tick and worming your pet

FAQs about flea, tick and worming your pet

With a myriad of information available online about flea, tick, and worm treatments for pets, it can be daunting to figure out the facts from the fiction.

In this comprehensive guide to flea, tick and worm treatment for dogs and cats, we’ll break down some myths and provide information on signs, symptoms, treatments, and prevention while answering your most frequently asked questions.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time Pet Owner, we have all the answers you’ll need to provide your cuddly companions with the best flea, tick and worm treatment.

Worms in dogs and cats

How can I tell if my dog or cat has worms?

The most apparent sign of worms is wriggling white specimens in your pet’s faeces. But your pet could still have worms even if none are visible in their stools or vomit. Here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Vomiting or diarrhoea (that may contain blood or mucus).
  • Scooting (dragging their bottom across the floor) or chewing at their behind.
  • An unhealthy appearance, weight loss, bloated belly, or a dull coat.
  • Lethargy, weakness, or a general loss of energy.
  • Worms (these look like grains of rice) around their bottom.

Do pet worming tablets work straight away?

The speed at which worming treatments work varies depending on the worm type and the infestation’s severity. Generally, you can expect the medication to start working 2-6 hours after administration. While most cases can be treated in as little as 24 hours, your pet could continue to excrete the worms for as long as a week.

How many treatments does it take to get rid of worms?

One treatment should be enough to eliminate worms, though this depends on the product and severity. If you think your dog or cat requires more than one treatment, you should consult a vet beforehand.

How do I know if my pet’s worms have gone?

Keep an eye on your pet’s faeces. If you can see worms for a few days after treatment, it’s a good sign that the dewormer works. Still, this process should take at most 1-2 weeks. 

If you continue to see worms in your pet’s stool or live worms, it’s advisable to visit your vet.

What is the best time of day to give pets a worming tablet?

The best time of day to administer a dewormer to your pet can vary by product. For example, some modern dewormers can be ingested at any time of the day. Still, some need to be taken on an empty stomach, so first thing in the morning tends to be the best time to give your cat or dog their treatment.

How often should I treat my pet for worms?

One of the best ways to prevent worm infestations in your pet is to keep up-to-date with regular treatments. One treatment every three months should be adequate for an adult cat or dog. But there are some exceptions:

  • Kittens require more frequent treatments than adult cats. You can begin administering treatments at three weeks old, though it’s best to consult your vet for a treatment plan.
  • Kittens between 6 weeks and six months old require a monthly treatment.
  • Adult cats (6 months and older) require treatment once a season (i.e. every three months).
  • Puppies require fortnightly treatments from 2-12 weeks of age.
  • You can reduce once a puppy is three months old to once every three months.
  • Dogs or cats who spend a lot of time outdoors, live on farms, or interact with other animals may require additional treatments.

If you have any concerns, consult your vet for a personalised treatment plan that suits your pet.

My pet isn’t showing any signs of infection. Should I still worm them?

Regular worming is essential for your cat or dog. 

Early signs of infestation are often mild and may go completely unnoticed by you. If you withhold treatment until you see worms in their faeces, the infection may be more severe.

Do worming tablets treat ringworm?

It might sound like worming tablets would treat ringworm, but ringworm is a fungus, not a parasite (worm). If you suspect your pet has ringworm, you must discuss treatment options with a vet.

Do pets experience any side effects from worming tablets?

Many pets do not react to worming tablets, though mild symptoms such as lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhoea are not uncommon. These symptoms can last between 4 to 10 hours following treatment.

However, you should contact your vet for advice if your pet displays severe forms of these (or any other symptoms).

What can my pet eat and drink after worming?

Most dewormers – especially modern products – don’t have dietary restrictions. However, you should reduce portion size, particularly if you’re aware that your pet feels nauseous when they are dewormed.

Requirements can differ for ageing animals, those with health conditions, or those with special dietary requirements. You also need to check for allergies to certain types of products.

Is it necessary to worm an indoor cat?

It’s a myth that indoor cats aren’t susceptible to worms. There are numerous ways that they can contract these parasites; one of the most common is exposure via outdoor clothing or shoes. And, like any parasite, such as ear mites, these critters are easily transferred between animals.

So yes – worm your indoor cats.

Fleas in dogs and cats

How long should you leave between flea and worm treatment?

Setting up a treatment schedule is great for monitoring your pet’s needs. Ideally, you should leave 2-4 weeks between flea treatment and worm treatment.

This is because a double dose of medication can increase the chances of your pet experiencing side effects. And, if they react, you won’t know which medications they responded to.

How does my dog or cat get fleas?

Your pet can contract fleas from pretty much anywhere! These pesky little critters can jump long distances and attach to any object. That’s why indoor cats can still contract fleas if you inadvertently carry them in on footwear, clothing, or other objects.

Infested animals leave eggs behind, which will hatch when they sense the warmth of a host. This is why regular flea treatments are crucial.

What is the best way to eliminate fleas?

As soon as you see signs of fleas (or flea eggs), you must take action immediately to avoid an outbreak in your home.

First, treat your pet using flea shampoo and a comb. Your vets or local pet stores are the best places to ask for product advice. Secondly, treat their environment; wash their bedding, use a powerful vacuum cleaner and spray a veterinary-approved flea spray around your home.

How long does it take for flea treatment to work?

With treatment, a few fleas on your dog or cat are easy to eradicate. Most topical preventions clear fleas within 12-48 hours, while oral options can be effective in as little as 2-4 hours.

However, if you have a flea infestation, completely eradicating them from your home could take a few months. In this instance, carefully follow the directions of any flea medicines and sprays, vacuum often, change bedding regularly, and monitor your pet’s fur.

What age should you start flea treatment?

You can usually treat your puppy or kitten for fleas at around eight weeks. However, some medications are only appropriate for those three months old, so you must check the packaging information and consult your vet for more clarification.

How often should you flea your pet?

Providing your pet monthly flea treatments is a great way to stop unwanted infestations. Still, not all products are the same, so it’s worth checking with your vet.

Do fleas pose a serious threat?

Fleas may look harmless, but they seriously threaten your entire family if left untreated. Flea bites can be severe – and in some cases fatal – because of the diseases they carry.

There’s no need to panic if you find a few fleas – most bites are harmless, but allowing an infestation to spread through your home for a prolonged period would put your household at unnecessary risk.

Ticks on dogs and cats

What should I do if I find a tick on my pet?

If you find a tick on your pet, you’ll need to remove it first. You can do this using a tick remover or your hands. You’ll want to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible, then slowly slide it out.

Keep yourself safe by wearing gloves, then clean your hands and your pet’s affected area with an appropriate antiseptic. 

When should I be concerned about a tick bite on my dog?

In some cases, pets may develop a tick-borne illness. Symptoms of which include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Swollen joints or lymph nodes
  • Lameness

Keeping an eye on your pet for a few weeks after removing a tick is vital to ensure the area is not infected.

General questions about parasites and your pet

How do I administer a flea, tick, and worm treatment?

Choosing an all-in-one treatment makes the process much easier than having to administer the flea, tick and worm treatments individually. Look for a treatment that has a proven high palatability so that your pet is more likely to think they’re getting a treat as opposed to a treatment!

How long after application can my dog go into the water?

Many dogs love to swim, and they require regular baths, too. Still, keeping them out of the water for 48 hours following a topical treatment is best. This is because exposure to water can weaken the treatment and lessen its effectiveness. If you’re administering a treatment orally, then your pet can go in the water immediately after!

What is the best flea, tick, and worm treatment for dogs and cats in Australia?

The best product? It depends on several factors: species, age, and treatments.

For example, if you have an 8-week-old puppy just about to venture out in the world for the first time, try a combination treatment that protects them against fleas, ticks, and worms.

Conversely, if you have an 8-year-old cat who catches fleas, you’ll want to look for an appropriate flea shampoo. If you’re stuck, you can always consult with a vet who can discuss the pros and cons of the products available to you.

Browse our wide range of the best brands and choose the one that best suits you & your pet’s needs.

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