‘Why should I buy it from the vets when the supermarket is much cheaper?’
Only veterinary surgeons are allowed to dispense prescription only medicines. The flea and worm treatments sold by the surgery are prescription only products. This is much more than a simple legal classification. Treatments that are only available on prescription have to undergo rigorous testing for effectiveness and safety. It is illegal to directly advertise prescription only products to the general public. There are numerous excellent flea, tick and worm treatments available and we are more than happy to discuss these products with our clients and formulate a specific parasite control regime which suits the owner and the pet. To be able to dispense these products we must have seen the animal recently, even if it is a repeat prescription for a particular product that has been dispensed before. This is a legal requirement and we cannot make exceptions. Consultations for clients seeking a new or repeat prescription for flea and worm treatments are free of charge.
‘My cat is fat, he does not need worming!’
Thankfully it is not common in this area to see cats suffering from the complications associated with severe intestinal parasitism, but regular worming is of vital importance. There are two broad groups of worms in cats-round worms and tape worms.
Round worm infection in cats has important consequences for human health. There is no way of telling visually if your cat is infected. One of these round worms, called Toxocara Cati can cause a condition in people known as visceral larval migrans. Young children and immunocompromised individuals are particularly at risk. In line with the current British Veterinary Association advice we advise that adult cats are wormed every three months.
The most common tape worm in cats is the dog tapeworm called Dipylidium Caninum. It is transmitted by infected fleas which are the intermediate host. This worm can also infect humans via the ingestion of an infected flea. Infection in children has been associated with diarrhoea and restlessness. Cats which hunt are also exposed to other types of tapeworm which utilises rodents as an intermediate host.