With all of the things there are to worry about with looking after you furry family members, you would be forgiven for being a little confused about all of the possible parasites that can cause problems for your pet! There is so much information around which can make it even more confusing, so we’ve decided to bust some myths about fleas, ticks and heartworm.
You only need to treat your pet for fleas in the summer months – NOT TRUE! Because most homes are heated in winter, fleas can be active all year round. And remember, once you have a flea infestation it can be very difficult to clear and sometimes even take several months! Prevention is a much more efficient way to control fleas, and works out more cost effective in the long run.
Shampoos are a good way to treat fleas – NOT TRUE! Shampoos may wash off any fleas actually sitting on your animal’s coat, but will have no residual effect, allowing a flea to jump on later that day to feed and breed. Good quality topical (a liquid applied to the skin on the back of the neck) or oral (tablet or chews) treatments are most effective because they will kill adult fleas and also stop eggs from hatching.
Heartworm is not a problem in Australia – NOT TRUE! In the past 2 years, 965 dogs were diagnosed with Heartworm disease in Australia. A high proportion of these cases were being given monthly preventatives – which can easily be forgotten to give! This is why a Proheart injection (which lasts a whole year) is the preferred choice for heartworm prevention, and can be given easily at the same time as your dog's annual vaccines.
It is easy to tell if a dog has heartworm disease – NOT TRUE! Heartworms live in the bloodstream, so the only way to tell if your dog has a heartworm infection is by doing a blood test. By the time a dog shows symptoms of heartworm infection, the disease is very advanced and treatment is not always successful. Heartworm disease is potentially fatal so you can never be too careful!
Removing ticks every day from my animals’ fur is enough to prevent tick problems – NOT TRUE! By the time you find them on your animals' skin, it is likely that they have already caused skin irritation or even transmitted disease.