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Young puppies and kittens should be wormed with proprietary worming medicines as advised by your veterinary practice. Virtually all puppies and kittens are born with worms or acquire them from their mother shortly after birth. Up till six months of age use conventional wormers as advised.

Healthy adult cats and dogs with good immune systems rarely suffer from worms, in my experience. To keep your pet free of worms, therefore, keep your pet healthy! This means paying attention to:

  • Diet: Avoid processed food as much as possible; feed a diet of fresh food, preferably containing raw meat and bones.
  • Lifestyle and Environment: Ensure your pet has exercise appropriate to the breed and doesn’t become obese. Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, aerosol sprays and other household chemicals.
  • Medicines: Avoid frequent vaccinations, flea treatments and other conventional medications. Use natural alternatives where possible.

In addition to the above, there are natural remedies that can help ensure pets stay free of worms. Recommended are:

Verm-X

This is a safe and effective herbal product that comes in the form of tasty ‘crunchies’ that help keep your pet free of internal parasites. Available for cats and for dogs, they should be given daily to help keep your pet worm free at all times. (Dose rates are on pack)

Natural worm repellents

If you know or suspect that your pet has worms, always use a wormer as advised by your vet. The following remedies help keep worms away, but will not kill worms.

Garlic – either as fresh raw garlic, or as garlic tablets. Dose as follows

Cats – One tablet, or a quarter of a garlic clove, daily

Small dogs – One tablet, or a quarter of a garlic clove, twice daily

Medium dogs – Two tablets, or half a garlic clove, twice daily

Large dogs –  Three tablets, or three quarters of a garlic clove, twice daily

Giant breeds – Four tablets, or one garlic clove, twice daily

Because it is possible to overdose with garlic, it is recommended to give the regime shown above with breaks. One week on, one week off, is a safe dosage.

 

Homoeopathic remedies: Cina 30c, Granatum 30c, Filix mas 30c

These three remedies are given together, twice daily for three days, once each month. They help repel tapeworms and roundworms. Do not give garlic on the days these tablets are given. Give tablets away from food, by mouth directly, and avoid touching tablets of possible. For pets that are difficult to medicate, the tablets may be mixed with a little bland food (e.g. butter or white fish), but at least half an hour away from a main meal.

Does my pet have worms?

If you think your pet may have picked up worms, but are not sure, ask your veterinary practice to carry out a faecal worm egg test. You will need to take a small amount of fresh faeces to your vet, who can carry out a quick and simple test to check for the presence of worm eggs. Alternatively there is a company (wormcount.com) that offers a postal worm count service – they send you a kit in which to collect the sample and return to them.

Fleas:

Healthy adult cats and dogs with good immune systems rarely suffer from fleas, in my experience. To keep your pet free of fleas, therefore, keep your pet healthy! This means paying attention to:

  • Diet: Avoid non organic processed food as much as possible; feed a diet of fresh food, preferably containing raw meat and bones, or give a good quality organic proprietary diet.
  • Lifestyle and Environment: Ensure your pet has exercise appropriate to the breed and doesn’t become obese. Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, aerosol sprays and other household chemicals.
  • Medicines: Avoid frequent vaccinations, worm treatments and other conventional medications. Use natural alternatives where possible.

In addition to the above, there are natural remedies that can help ensure pets stay free of fleas:

Natural flea repellents

If you know or suspect that your pet has a large number of fleas, it is best to use a conventional flea treatment advised by your vet. The following remedies help keep fleas away, but will not cope with a severe flea infestation.

Garlic – either as fresh raw garlic, or as garlic tablets. Dose as follows:

Cats – One tablet, or a quarter of a garlic clove, daily

Small dogs – One tablet, or a quarter of a garlic clove, twice daily

Medium dogs – Two tablets, or half a garlic clove, twice daily

Large dogs – Three tablets, or three quarters of a garlic clove, twice daily

Giant breeds – Four tablets, or one garlic clove, twice daily

Because it is possible to overdose with garlic, it is recommended to give the regime shown above with breaks. One week on, one week off, is a safe dosage.

Homoeopathic medicine: Sulphur 200c

Give one single tablet each week. Do not give garlic on the day the tablet is given. Give tablets away from food, by mouth directly, and avoid touching tablets of possible. For pets that are difficult to medicate, the tablets may be mixed with a little bland food (e.g. butter or white fish), but at least half an hour away from a main meal.

Sol Dog Flea Repel

This is a natural ‘spot on’ based on Neem oil and Cedarwood atlas oil.

Apply a little of this product on the base of the neck and the base of the spine once a month, or more frequently if fleas are seen.

Essential Oils

Add three drops each of Lemon, Rosemary and Lavender essential oils to 150ml water, and comb this mixture through the coat daily during the ‘flea season’ (late Spring to early Autumn). This acts as a natural flea repellent.

Does my pet have fleas?

If you think your pet may have picked up fleas, but are not sure, look for signs of itching and scratching, or frequent licking of the skin. Search through the fur for any signs of adult fleas (small dark brown insects that run rapidly through the fur) or flea droppings (these look likes bits of grit amongst the fur, and will turn reddish brown if dampened on wet cotton wool).

Author Richard Allport BVetMed, VetMFHom, MRCVS

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