Like with all matters at Chichester Vets we like to provide an open and honest approach to the use of flea and worming treatments in our client’s pets.

Our aim is to ensure your pets are well protected against any unwanted parasites, some of which can carry illness. However, we as a practice want to ensure we are acting responsibly, much like the safe and sustainable use of antibiotics, ensuring we are not using pesticides and worm treatments unnecessarily. There are also resistance, environmental and human health concerns over consistent and high level use.

Clinically, we feel it is absolutely appropriate to use flea and worming treatments on a risk-based preventative protocol as well as a treatment basis, however this should be tailored to your individual pet rather than blindly offering a healthcare plan which is giving them unnecessary medication and costing you money.

In the Chichester area we generally have a moderate risk due to the climate and rural location, although some animals in particular may be at higher or lower risk depending on their life style as outlined below. Note: If your pet travels outside the UK or is a recent import to the UK, there may be addition parasites that we need to consider.

Fleas

Cats are at much higher risk of getting fleas, and if you have a dog that lives with cats/ is around cats the risk to them is high as well.

Ticks

The risk is moderate, however the risk is high in other areas such a New Forest.

Lungworm (Dogs)

The risk is high if there are foxes in your garden, or your dog drinks from puddles or eats grass/ slugs/ snails. For anyone considering treatment against slugs/snails- DON’T! Chemical slug poisons are extremely toxic and often fatal in dogs and cats.

Roundworm & Tapeworm

These do not often cause serious illness to dogs and cats in the area, however treatment is recommend for breeding animals, for dogs that are coprophagic (eat poo), or fed raw meat that isn’t human grade.

Product options available at Chichester Vets

We stock a wide variety of options including: Nexgard Spectra, Bravecto, Stronghold Plus, Seresto collar, Advocate, Drontal, Milbemax, Profender, Frontline Spray, and Indorex.

Speak to one of the team for which is the most appropriate.

Treatment

For treatment against any parasites please speak to one of our vets as protocols will differ from preventative measures. If you treatment is required, you may want to consider one of our preventative options below.

Prevention

For all prevention protocols please discuss this with one of our vets as the risk will vary based on where you live, your pets life style, and the other pets you have in your household.

We recommend all dogs who undergo elective surgery have lungworm treatment or test 1-4 weeks prior to surgery.

Having review all the latest evidence and advice, if you wish to provide preventative routine treatment we would recommend the following:

Dogs: Nexgard Spectra every 1-3 months & Droncit every 6 months.Frequency of Nexgard Spectra will depend on risk, so again please speak to a vet.

Cats: Stronghold Plus every 1-3 months & Milbemax every 3 months if hunting, and 6-12 months if outdoors but not hunting.

Preventative treatments and the licensing of these medications for preventative use is currently being looked at by the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and VMD (Veterinary Medicine Directorate), to which debate on this matter may alter our recommendations in the future.

Monitoring

Preventative treatment doesn’t always sit right with every client, and we do tailor for those clients who wish to monitor instead.

We urge all clients who opt for this to monitor closely and speak to one of our vets to ensure you pet is not at risk of preventable disease.

Fleas and Ticks – this can be easily done at home with a flea comb and feeling over your pet’s body at least monthly.

Lungworm- we recommend doing this every 3-6 months, particularly in the autumn, for at risk households, and certainly if any concern. This can either be done with blood test in house, or this can be done via faecal egg count along with Roundworms and Tapeworms.

Roundworm and Tapeworm- check faecal egg count every 3-6 months. This can be done by collecting 3 days worth of faecal samples and sending them off for a worm egg count (see below). There are some instances of high risk (e.g. if your dog eats faeces) then we may consider more regular treatment, but again please speak to one of our vets.

Faecal Egg Counts

For those clients who wish to treat for worms based on their presence, we recommend sending faecal samples to an external laboratory for monitoring. Contact www.wormcount.com for a kit to send the sample to them. Treat only for species identified as a concern, and at levels indicating a concern. In all cases where worms are found in quantity investigate for concurrent disease that might have an impact on the immune system. For more information on this, please contact the practice.