With increasing day length and warmer weather, most of us, including our pets, will be enjoying more time spent outdoors. It’s always important to ensure your four-legged friend is up-to-date with routine disease and pet parasite prevention, but especially so at a time of year when insects are more prevalent and more animals are out and about.
Pet parasite prevention tips
1. Know what vaccinations your pet shoiuld be getting
In South East Queensland, dogs should receive a core C3 vaccine to protect against canine parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis. They should also be vaccinated against Canine Cough.
At Happy Paws, we follow the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) vaccination guidelines.
It is recommended that every pup receive a primary course of vaccines every two to four weeks (from six to eight weeks of age) until they are at least 16 weeks old. This is followed by their first adult vaccination one year later. From this point, they need annual vaccines with alternating components (as not every component needs to be boosted every year).
All cats are recommended to be kept up-to-date with the F3 vaccination – this helps protect them against cat flu and feline panleukopaenia. Depending on your kitty’s lifestyle, they may also need to be vaccinated against FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV (feline leukaemia virus).
We recommend that every kitten receive a primary course of three F3 vaccines (from six to eight weeks of age), two to four weeks apart until they are at least 16 weeks old. All kittens with outdoor access are recommended a primary course of three FIV vaccines. Both of these injections need to be boosted annually.
2. Know what pet parasite prevention you should give your four legged friend
There are lots of product options for parasite control in dogs and cats, and generally at least two products need to be used per pet for a thorough parasite prevention routine.
Any cat or dog should regularly receive products to protect against ticks, fleas and intestinal worms. Dogs should also be on routine heartworm prevention, but this is optional in cats, as they are not the preferred host for heartworm, so are less susceptible.
For puppies and kittens, we recommend an intestinal all-wormer every two weeks up until 12 weeks old, and then continuing worming monthly until six months old. From this point, your pet should be wormed every three months. In rural areas where pets have access to livestock, it may be recommended to give your pet a tapeworm treatment every month in-between quarterly all-wormer doses.
Flea and tick treatments can be covered by combination products. For dogs, there are a range of effective preventative products, including a variety of chews that last between one and three months, veterinary-strength medicated collars or topical products that last up to six months. For cats, there are topical products that last up to three months.
For heartworm prevention in dogs, the gold standard is an annual injection administered by one of our vets. This can be synced up with your pet’s annual health check and vaccination. Monthly chews and tablets are available as a silver standard alternative.
As a general rule, pets should be seen for an annual vet check, where we can assess your cat or dog’s general health and discuss which vaccines are required each year to maintain their protection. At this time, we can also discuss the best options for thorough parasite prevention based on your pet’s requirements.
If you’re unsure whether your pet is properly protected, seek advice from our friendly team!