Parasite Prevention

Parasite Prevention

There are three main groups of parasites we aim to protect our pets from.

  • Intestinal worms

  • Heartworm

  • Fleas & Ticks

Intestinal Worms

Dogs and cats can be infected with several different intestinal worms including hookworm, tapeworm, roundworm and whipworm. Infection usually occurs from walking, sniffing and licking contaminated surfaces such as grass or ground where another pet has toileted. Puppies and kittens can also be infected by their mother. Worm larvae can be found in lizards, birds, insects and mice, so pets who hunt can become infected this way as well. Intestinal worms can cause issues such as diarrhoea, weight loss and anaemia and can cause severe issues in high numbers, especially in young animals. Worms may also be transmitted to humans via licking or even just patting and cause illness. 


Heartworm is a parasitic worm spread by mosquitoes. These worms set up residence in the blood vessels around your pet’s heart and lungs, causing issues with blood flow through them. It can take years for symptoms to develop. The most common symptoms can be exercise intolerance, a cough, and lethargy in dogs. Cats will often show no symptoms, but can suffer sudden death. Treating heartworm disease is both difficult and lengthy. Therefore, the best path is prevention. If there has been a lapse in your pet’s heartworm prevention, a simple blood test can determine if your pet has a heartworm infection.

Fleas & Ticks

Ticks and fleas are both external parasites that suck the blood of your pets. Fleas cause discomfort and itching, may cause allergies, and in large numbers can cause anaemia. They can be difficult to get rid of as they lay their eggs in the environment and these eggs can lay dormant for some time before hatching. Both treating the animals in the household and treating the household itself (often multiple times) are required to eradicate fleas - prevention is definitely easier. 

Paralysis ticks are a huge concern in South East Queensland. These parasites can be picked up anywhere, including your own backyard, as they commonly drop off of our native wildlife. Paralysis ticks are more common in the warmer months but are still present during winter so year-round so prevention is highly recommended. When paralysis ticks attach to our pets, they release a powerful toxin into their bloodstream. This toxin causes paralysis, and symptoms can continue to get worse for up to 48hrs after removal of the tick. It is very common for pets to pick up more than one tick as well.

Symptoms of paralysis tick toxicosis include: 

  • Retching, gagging and drooling

  • Change in voice

  • Weakness in back legs

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Collapsing

  • Paralysis

  • Death

Paralysis ticks kill thousands of pets per year, and treatment is intensive and expensive. Prevention is better than treatment!

There are multiple products available for both cats and dogs now to prevent all of the above parasites. Different products will be more suitable for different patients and different lifestyles. Have a chat to our friendly staff about the right product for you!