Parasite protection for your pet

Sample plans for puppy/dog prophylaxis.

There are 2 main options when it comes to making sure you have all of your dog’s medications under control. Along with an annual trip to the vet, you will also need to give your pet medication on a monthly or a 3 monthly basis. We have given a sample of each protocol below. There is usually little in the way of price difference between the two regimes, and both are quite safe, so it really comes down to personal preference. Is it easier to remember regular, monthly treatments, or are you better off with just 3 treatments a year (and a reminder on your phone calendar)?

3 Monthly

  1. Annual health check, vaccination and heartworm injection at the vet clinic.
  2. 3-monthly treatment for fleas and ticks: Bravecto.
  3. 3-monthly treatment for worms.* For example: Drontal, Canex, Popantel, Cazitel. It is also safe to use Milbemax and Interceptor Spectrum as well.

Monthly

  1. Annual health check and vaccination at the vet clinic.
  2. Monthly treatment for heartworm, worming fleas and ticks. For example: Nexgard Spectra*, The Big 5 (which consists of 2 different medications).
  3. Additional tapeworm tablet as required every 3-6 months.* (Nexgard Spectra does not cover tapeworm).

OR

  1. Annual health check and vaccination at the vet clinic.
  2. Monthly treatment for fleas and ticks: Nexgard. 
  3. Monthly treatment for heartworm and worms.* For example: Milbemax or Interceptor Spectrum

FAQS:

Why aren’t there any spot-on options?

We generally find that spot-on treatments are not as effective for fleas and ticks as oral treatment. Additionally, spot-on medications that treat intestinal worms usually don’t treat tapeworm, and require extra tablets. They also overlap with other medication combinations and you usually end up worming or treating your dog for fleas with two different products. This is not usually harmful, but it does seem like a waste of money.

What about other combinations?

There are a lot of other combinations out there. We have not included flea and tick collars for example, as they are rarely effective against fleas, ineffective when taken off for swimming and bathing, toxic to animals in the waterways and should be avoided if children are handling your dog. However there may be situations where this is your best option. There are also ways to mix and match — particularly if your dog does not tolerate a specific medication. As long as all of the parasites (fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal worms) are covered, most of these medications can be used as required. There are some combinations to be aware of, so check with your vet before varying from one of these recommended programs.

*What was that asterisk about?

Some pets may require an extra strong dose of praziquantel to treat zipperworm (spirometra) if they are ‘hunters’. Lizards, geckos, snails, and frogs can transmit zipperworm if they are eaten. Speak with your vet if you feel your dog may need extra medication.