How Do I Prevent Fleas, Ticks And Heartworm?

Dog getting medication

Small parasites can lead to big problems for your pet that are difficult to treat. So, when it comes to fleas, ticks and heartworm, it’s important to prevent them altogether.


Fleas are small brown parasitic insects that infest the coat and skin of your pet. Many people think fleas are just an irritation but, if left untreated and in severe cases, they can be fatal to your pet.

Fleas will cause skin irritation, tapeworm infection and anemia, especially in puppies and kittens. They also transmit harmful bacteria to your cat that in turn can be transmitted to us humans.

Paralysis Ticks

Paralysis Ticks are small, round-looking parasites that burrow into your pet’s skin to feed. While doing so, they inject a toxin that causes progressive paralysis of all muscles which requires anti-toxin treatment.  Dogs and cats can invariably die from paralysis without antitoxin treatment.

There is no one-stop-shop prevention method, however tick collars, top-spots, chews, tablets and spray products will all reduce the likelihood of a tick latching onto your dog.  Cats are also susceptible to the paralysis tick and there are treatments also available as there are for dogs. Some tick treatments designed for dogs may be harmful to cats, so always read the label. No treatments are 100% effective and you must conduct a thorough daily tick search of your pet. To learn how to search your pet for ticks, visit your local Greencross Vets .


Heartworm is a parasite that is transmitted by mosquitoes and infects both cats and dogs. The parasite matures for approximately six months, becomes a worm, and then migrates to the heart and the blood vessels of the lungs.
Heartworms live in the heart and physically damage it. They also clog the vessels leading from the heart.
For dogs, there are almost no signs of heartworm infection. Cough, lethargy or reduced exercise may be seen. Not only is this condition highly fatal, but treatment for cats and dogs can be complex and expensive – so prevention is key.
For dogs, chewable tablets and top-spot treatments are available. However, the most effective prevention method is to take your canine companion to Greencross Vets for a yearly heartworm injection. For cats, monthly tablets and top-spot treatments are also available. As heartworm is carried by mosquitoes, there are certain geographical areas they are more prone that others.

Your local Greencross Vets are able to advise you on the best possible treatment for parasites affecting your pets.

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