CASTLE VETERINARY CENTRE

61 - 63 Castle Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 1FD see map

Telephone 0115 9417894

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Fleas & Worms

The most common flea in Britain today is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, but it will live quite happily on dogs, rabbits or humans. The last few years have seen a great increase in fleas, partly due to warm summers and mild winters, and partly due to central heating and well-carpeted floors.

Parasitic problems such as intestinal worms and fleas are best prevented and we are keen to advise you about just which products will be the most effective in your particular circumstances: we offer a special service to clients, free of charge, enabling you to discuss parasite control with a nurse, who can, if necessary, medicate your pet for you.

Fleas have developed a clever life cycle which enables them to survive and thrive all year-round. Understanding the life cycle helps in choosing appropriate flea products; 1 adult flea can lay up to 300 eggs in 2 weeks!

For your interest we have included several highly magnified images; just click on the link under each heading, and you will see highly magnified pictures, but be warned, they are not pretty!

Flea Eggs

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Eggs fall off the pet and lie on the floors.

Flea Larvae

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Larvae hatch out from the eggs.

Flea Pupa

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The pupa stage can last from a few days to a few months. Adults hatch out of the pupae and jump onto the pet again.

It has been estimated that only 5% of the flea population at any one time are adult fleas; the others remain as eggs, larvae or pupae in the carpets. This means that to get good flea control owners must treat the house as well as the animals. We can provide all that is needed to treat both pets and the house effectively and safely.  

Household Treatment

Regular vacuuming will help keep fleas at bay. Use a good quality household spray designed to kill larvae.

Animal Treatment

There are many methods of doing this, but the ones we recommend are either the new-generation "spot-ons" which are silent and easy to apply, or the sprays, which are equally as good but rather noisy, especially for cats! New to the veterinary market is 'Bravecto' for dogs, which is a palatable tablet given once every 3 months.  We prefer to avoid powders which tend to dry the coat, and we find that flea collars often go missing. The flea products we recommend are extremely effective, and nearly all of them are "prescription" products. This means that they are available only from veterinary surgeons, and we can only provide them to registered clients.

Worms

There are two main types of internal worm that dogs and cats can get. These are roundworms and tapeworms. It is not always obvious if a pet has worms at all; vets recommend that all animals should be wormed on a regular basis as a precaution against infestation.

Roundworms

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Roundworms, or to give them their proper name Toxocara canis, are very common in dogs in particular, and may be seen even in new-born pups, as the worm can pass from the dam into the pup before birth. This is why it is important to start worming puppies and kittens at an early age. This helps to keep young animals healthy. Roundworms look like long, thin earthworms. There is also a human risk from these worms; it is not a major health problem, but children in particular can be infected with them, and we recommend that all dogs and cats are wormed at least twice yearly. We will provide a worming schedule for young pups and kittens on request, and can also recommend the best - and safest - drugs to use.

Tapeworms

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There are several different types of tapeworm that can infect dogs and cats, and it can be a major problem. It has been estimated that up to 60% of cats in the U.K. have tapeworms at any one time!

The two most common tapeworms are ;

  • Dipylidium, often known as the flea tapeworm, as it is carried by fleas; if an animal swallows a flea when grooming, the tapeworm starts to grow in the animal's digestive tract.

  • Taenia tapeworms (of which there are various types) are caught from rats and mice; so in particular cats which are great hunters will often show signs of this tapeworm. Owners will often become aware of tapeworms in their pet if they see tapeworm segments, which look like grains of rice, around their pet's rectum.

Fortunately there are some excellent products available now which are very effective at killing both roundworms and tapeworms in dogs and cats. Like the flea products mentioned earlier, they are prescription drugs, and we can only supply them to registered clients. Tablets are usually given with food, although if you have a cat that is difficult to worm we are pleased to do this for you. It should be emphasised that worming a pet should be done at least twice a year, because wormers do not prevent an animal from re-infestation; and if there is an underlying problem like fleas this should of course be treated at the same time.