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Simplifying parasite control

We’re now in the height of summer when external parasites such as fleas and ticks are at their most prevalent. Internal parasites such as Lungworm, despite being hidden are not to be forgotten either as they rely on slugs or snails to complete their life cycle which are commonplace in gardens throughout the warmer months.

We’re now in the height of summer when external parasites such as fleas and ticks are at their most prevalent. Internal parasites such as Lungworm, despite being hidden are not to be forgotten either as they rely on slugs or snails to complete their life cycle which are commonplace in gardens throughout the warmer months.

What is the best parasite protection programme? This is a common question to be asked and unfortunately still does not have a simple answer in either cats or dogs. The problem being there is no one product that is effective against all parasites. This may change in the near future as there are products undergoing licensing right now which may cover all parasites with a single dose. However, until then we have to make do with a combination of products.

The following recommendations are what I feel currently represent the best options for dog and cat owners but they are not the only options.

Many of you will be using monthly advocate on your dogs or cats. Advocate was the first product to be licensed against lungworm so was a bit of a game changer. I still believe that if your pet does not pick up ticks it is still an excellent product. It protects against fleas, lice, mites and internal worms including Lungworm. It does not cover tapeworms which are a lower risk and can easily be treated with a 3 monthly wormer such as Drontal alongside your Advocate. But if we want to give complete gold standard protection against all parasites the following products are the ones I would currently recommend.

Think of parasite protection being two-fold: Internal parasites such as Roundworms, Tapeworms and Lungworm and external parasites such as Ticks and Fleas.

In dogs we can keep the internal parasite control quite simple with monthly worming with Milbemycin containing products such as Milquantel. For external parasites we have options: Advantix is a monthly spot on but is toxic to cats so we would avoid this if cats’ live in the same household. Bravecto is a tablet given once every 3 months, it’s effective and simple to administer. If you don’t object to your dog wearing a collar, Seresto offers good value and lasts 7-8 months.

So in dogs, I would recommend a Bravecto tablet or Seresto collar plus monthly Milquantel.

In cats, Bravecto has been recently released as a three monthly spot-on against fleas and ticks. Using this in combination with a three monthly wormer such as a Milquantel tablet or a Profender spot-on will provide our cats with all the protection they need and keeps our dosing interval to a minimum. I have a cat and I know how difficult they can be to do anything with so quarterly dosing of both products is a blessing! I would advise using different spot-on treatments at least one week apart.

So in cats, I would recommend Bravecto spot on and a multi-wormer such as Milquantel, both given every three months.

These products may be different to what you are using and they are certainly not the only options available but provide our pets with complete protection, with in my opinion the simplest protocols. These recommendations will undoubtedly evolve as new and better products come onto the market.

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