Concerned about your pet’s health and wellbeing?

Fleas, ticks and worms are the most common parasites affecting dogs and cats in the UK and “SCREEN my pet” is the place to come and find useful information and practical advice on treating and preventing these unwanted guests.

Quick Tips PROTECT my pet

POINTING DOG

Spot on flea treatment is just part of the parasite control strategy…

Fleas are a common problem for pet owners yet despite the multitude of products available, many struggle to get rid of these pests. It is important to appreciate that if you can see fleas on your pet, you are most likely to have an infestation in the home. An effective control strategy must include removing the life cycle stages in the environment. 

Fleas can also present other problems, some of which can lead to serious medical conditions such as Flea Allergy Dermatitis and tapeworm infestation. Therefore, it is important to use effective products to combat the problem and to use them regularly according to the instructions.

As our furry friends are a big part of our lives it is important to protect their health as well as our own which is why they should be treated with a de-wormer regularly – at least every 3 months. However, it is recommended that families with young children should worm their pets monthly to protect against Toxocara. 

Although the parasites themselves can cause problems, they can also act as vectors or carriers for the transmission of certain diseases. Veterinary advice must be sought before travelling abroad with your pet or importing animals from abroad to assess and protect against potential health risks.

dog standing

Quick tips for pet owners.

Here are some really helpful tips to help you keep your pet healthy.

flea

How to spot Fleas.

Fleas can move very quickly through fur, making them hard to spot.  They appear as dark brown, wingless insects with flattened bodies about 2mm in length and usually congregate around the neck, ears and tail base. Often the skin may be reddened and raised, particularly if the pet is allergic to flea bites and scratching because of feeling itchy. Repeated scratching and biting due to the irritation can lead to skin damage and infection and this can be very distressing for the animal if left untreated.

Sometimes these signs are present without a flea in sight, especially in cats that like to groom regularly. However you can carry out the ‘flea test’ to be sure. This involves combing your pet and collecting the scurf and dander onto a damp piece of cotton wool or kitchen towel. If fleas are present, you will see the dark, dried specs of flea dirt dissolve to form brown-pink spots on the paper – which is your pet’s blood!

Flea (close up)
flea

How to get rid of a Flea infestation.

95% of a flea problem exists in the home environment as eggs, larvae and pupae, therefore it will take some time to eradicate an infestation. The strategy is to break the flea life cycle by killing fleas on the pet where they lay their eggs. 

Here’s a checklist of the key measures to take:

  1. Make sure you treat all pets in the household with a licensed veterinary product that kills fleas on the pet such as FLEA SCREEN combo.
  2. Do not confine your pet(s), allow them continued access to where they usually go about the house.
  3. Thoroughly vacuum and clean carpets, soft furnishings and bedding, including your pet’s bed. You can arrange for the house to be fumigated or use a household flea spray to kill eggs and larvae.
  4. Be patient! It could take weeks or even months to completely get rid of fleas depending on the degree of infestation.

How to avoid Tapeworms.

If your pet has fleas, there is a risk that they could get tapeworms. Fleas act as intermediate hosts in the lifecycle of a particular species of tapeworm called Dipylidium caninum. If your pet grooms and swallows a flea containing this tapeworm’s egg, they will become infected. Therefore to avoid a tapeworm infection here’s some rules you need to follow:

  1. Regularly check your pet for fleas and use a licensed veterinary product to prevent them – remember, prevention is much easier than a cure!
  2. Deworm your pet at least every 3 months with a suitable licensed veterinary product such as WORM SCREEN
  3. Keep a watchful eye on your dog when going for a walk and don’t let them scavenge on dead animals or sniff around the faeces of other animals.
  4. Don’t forget the poo bags! Always clean up after your pet both in the garden and outside in public areas.
ticks

How to tackle Ticks.

Ticks are spider like creatures that typically crawl through long grass and shrubs waiting to jump on your pet as it passes by. The most common type in the UK is Ixodes ricinus which is also known as the Sheep Tick, Castor Bean Tick, Forest Tick and Deer Tick.

Here are some useful tips to tackle ticks:

  1. Be extra vigilant walking your dog in ‘tick’ areas during the spring and autumn months which are the peak tick seasons and try to keep away from long grass and deep vegetation if possible.
  2. Thoroughly check your pet regularly for attached ticks, particularly around the jowls, behind the ears, tummy and between the legs. We recommend ticks are carefully removed with a tick hook.
  3. Nymph and larval tick life stages can be difficult to see and therefore it is recommended to treat your pet with a suitable veterinary licensed product for extra protection.