Health and Welfare

This information is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed vet, this information is given as a general reference.

Animal Welfare Act 2006 replaces the Protection of Animals Act of 1911 and has brought a significant change in that it has introduced legislation for pet owners. The law now gives pet owners and those responsible for animals such as those in charge of working animals, a legal duty of care by having to meet the five welfare needs.

The five welfare needs are:

  • somewhere suitable to live (suitable environment)

  • a suitable diet which includes fresh water

  • The ability to express normal behaviour patterns

  • To be housed with, or apart from other animals

  • Protection from, and treatment of, illness or injury

WormsThere are different types of worms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and other parasitic worms. The information below is to give you more of an understanding.

Roundworms, often called 'ascarids,' are the most common parasite of the digestive tract in dogs and cats.The adult roundworms all live in the small intestine of the host and an infested animal can pass millions of eggs in the faeces each day. Roundworms in cats have a more complicated life cycle and a very effective way of making sure its species will be passed from generation to generation. 
A Cat can be infected in several ways: ingestion of eggs, ingestion of a transport host, or by larvae through the milk.

Tapeworms are flat worms that are segmented. They consist of a head, neck, and then a number of segments. The head usually has suckers or muscular grooves that enable the tapeworm to attach itself to the animal's intestine.
Each tapeworm segment has its own reproductive organs. New segments are continually formed in the neck region of the worm while those at the end of the tapeworm are cast off as they mature. These mature segments contain large numbers of eggs which are often grouped into packets. The segments may often be seen near the anus of the cat. These segments may move if recently passed, or if dried, they look like grains of uncooked rice. Tapeworm infections are usually diagnosed by finding these segments on the animal

Often, eggs are released from the segments before they are passed. The intermediate host ingests the eggs which are immediately infective. In the intermediate host, the parasite embryo is released in the small intestine and the immature form migrates through the body to various organs, depending on the species of Taenia. The immature form develops a small fluid-filled sac, called a bladder, which surrounds it and provides nourishment. When the 'bladder' is ingested by the definitive host, the head of the tapeworm is released, attaches itself to the intestinal wall, grows, and segments. Cats and dogs may remain infected for a year or more, and the tapeworms can grow to be over 6 feet long.

Even in severe infections, there is little evidence of infection other than pruritus around the anal area and finding the segments attached to the animal’s fur. Rarely, intestinal obstruction may occur. In general, the intermediate host shows many more signs of illness than the definitive host.

Attempting to control fleas on your pet is a multi-step process. Adult fleas spend most of their time on an animal, but the flea eggs, larvae, and pupae are found in abundance in the environment such as in carpeting, rugs, bedding, and grass. For every flea that you see on your pet, there are likely to be hundreds of eggs and larvae in your home and garden. Therefore, a truly effective flea control program always includes treating the environment as well as treating your pet.

Indoor flea control involves mechanically removing all stages of the fleas, killing any remaining adults, and preventing immature forms from developing.

Start by vacuuming thoroughly, especially below curtains, under furniture edges, and where your pet sleeps. It is estimated that vacuuming can remove up to 50% of flea eggs. Vacuum daily in high traffic areas, weekly in others. Each time, seal your vacuum bag in a plastic bag and discard it immediately.
Use a product that will kill any remaining adult fleas and also stop the development of eggs and larvae. You will need a product that contains both an adulticide and an insect growth regulator (IGR), such as Nylar (pyriproxyfen) or methoprene. This can be in the form of carpet powders
Wash your pet's bedding weekly and treat the bed and surrounding area with a product that contains both an adulticide and an insect growth regulator.

Do not forget to also clean and treat your car, pet carrier, garage, or any other place your pet spends much time.

Now that we've taken care of the fleas in your home, it's time to eliminate the fleas that are on your pet. There are a number of flea control products for use on pets, including once-a-month topical products, sprays, shampoos, collars, powders. With any product applied directly to the pet, please remember that you may see some live fleas on your pet for a short time after spraying, shampooing, etc. In order for the fleas to die, they must come into contact with the insecticide, and absorb it.

Keep in mind that until all of the fleas in your home have died, you will probably still see some fleas, even on a treated pet, since some immature forms may continue to develop. This is especially true if you had a big flea problem to start with. Persistence is the key here. It is essential to keep following an effective flea control program for a long enough time to get rid of all of the fleas, in all life stages. This may take several weeks to 6 months or more, depending on your particular situation.

Ticks are a common external (on the skin) parasite of many animals, including dogs.
Ticks are not insects like fleas, flies, and lice, but are arachnids like mites and spiders. There are approximately 850 species of ticks worldwide. Scientists have classified ticks into two families based upon their structure: Ixodidae and Argasidae.

All ticks have three pairs of legs during the immature stage and four pairs as an adult. They crawl but cannot fly since they have no wings. Ticks possess a sensory apparatus called 'Haller's organ.' This structure senses odor, heat, and humidity. This is how the ticks locate their food source. They climb upon tall grass and when they sense an animal is close by, they crawl on.

A tick's diet consists of blood and only blood. The tick imbeds its mouthparts into the animal's (or human's) skin and sucks the blood. Except for the eggs, ticks require a blood meal to progress to each successive stage in their life cycle.

We recommend Drontal for worm treatment and Frontline for the treatment of fleas and ticks