As the name suggest, heartworm is a parasite that lives in the large
blood vessels and heart of the dog. Its prevalence varies
throughout Australia with the climate, as it is transmitted by
mosquitoes. Whilst heartworm is fairly uncommon in Central Victoria, we generally
recommend prevention as the disease is so serious and treatment
dangerous, compared with an easy once a year injection, or monthly
spot on treatments (drops on the back of the head) or tablets.
INTESTINAL WORM PREVENTION
Worms are extremely common in the animal population, especially in
young puppies and kittens (The hormonal changes in a pregnant animal
cause larvae in the muscles to come out and get transmitted to the
unborn pups/kittens) Worms cause a variety of symptoms in animals, but are
easily prevented with a tablet every 3 months (for adults) or spot-on
treatments. Worms also pose several risks to humans.
Fleas are also common and can cause Flea Allergy Dermatitis, anaemia
and itching. They are easily treated with monthly spot-on treatments,
or a monthly tablet.
Getting on top of a flea problem is tough, but not impossible! The key to eliminating a flea problem is to attack the fleas at all stages of their lifecycle. The fleas you see (adults) account for only about 5% of the total flea population. The other 95% are not visible to the naked eye. These are the eggs, pupae and larvae. The majority of these are found in your carpet, pet bedding, in the couches, and even your bed! Outside they like to live in shady cool areas like under the veranda, in the soil under the trees and in the garden beds.
Since the adult female flea can lay up to 40-50 eggs per day, ridding your home of fleas is a very long and tedious process once an infestation occurs. Hence, the best plan in prevention!
Step 1: Treat your pet
Blood to a flea is like fuel to a car – without it they cannot survive. Therefore, treating your pet with a veterinarian recommended flea product is the first step in eliminating the flea population.
Revolution is the best product on our shelves for eliminating fleas as it kills all stages of the flea lifecycle. Other products such as Activyl, can be used later for prevention, once the flea infestation has been eliminated.
Step 2: Treat the environment
Removing the fleas from your house is the toughest step. The checklist below breaks up this tedious process to help you tackle this problem once and for all!
- Flea bomb the house (make sure to read the instructions on the product carefully, remove anything with a heartbeat from the house and bomb every room even if your pet doesn’t enter some of them –fleas are good travellers!)
- Vacuum the entire house, including under the bed and under the couch
- Vacuum couches and cushions – make sure you bin or burn the vacuum bag straight after!
- Throw out any bedding or cushions you don’t want that might be infested
- Wash any rugs or mats on the floor
- Wash pet beds for at least 10 minutes in water over 60oC
- Clean out the pet beds
- Clean out the kennel or basket
- Vacuum the car
- Wash your own bedding for at least 10 minutes in water over 60ºC
Step 3: Prevent Re-infestation
Once you have rid your house and pets of fleas it is important to prevent re-infestation by following these simple rules.
Apply Revolution or Activyl once a month for the entire year
- Wash or replace your pet bedding regularly
- Be aware of potential opportunities for re-infestation due to contact with untreated animals
- Aim to keep untreated animals out of your home
- Regularly vacuum and dust your home, paying extra attention to the areas your pets spend their time.