Worming, Flea and Tick Prevention

Worming, Flea and Tick Prevention


Flea Control

Fortunately, in Tasmania, fleas are most often only seen during the warmer months but we see fleas all year round. Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet. The fleas’ eggs and larvae live in the environment and can survive for up to a year, so it is important to not only treat your animal directly for fleas but also decontaminate the environment as well.  Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean carpets. We do not recommend flea collars or flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation.

Fleas will tend to jump onto your pet only to feed and then jump off again. Dogs and cats can have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition and veterinary consultation is recommended. Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:

  • Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
  • You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)
  • It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt.  Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your pet’s fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your pet has fleas.

Ridding your pet of fleas is a lot easier with the large range of products available which are effective and safe.  Please discuss flea treatments at your next consultation or drop in to see one of our trained staff.


Heartworm is a parasite that is spread by mosquitoes and is present throughout many areas in mainland Australia. 

Please call use to discuss heartworm prevention when travelling interstate.


The Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus) is the main cause for concern, as it can cause paralysis and death within 2-4 days of attachment. Whilst Paralysis Ticks occur naturally only in certain geographic areas (mainly along the coastal eastern seaboard of Australia) they can attach to pets who visit these areas during the warmer months, particularly if they are allowed to run through scrub.

If you notice a tick on a pet that is not displaying signs of tick paralysis, remove the tick straight away. If you are not confident removing the tick please call us immediately to make an appointment to have it removed. 

Seek immediate veterinary attention if your pet is showing any signs of tick paralysis as this is a genuine veterinary emergency.   Treatment of tick paralysis includes searching for and removing all ticks. This may include clipping the animal completely and/or the use of medication to kill remaining ticks. Tick antiserum is administered to counteract the toxin and supportive care is provided during recovery.

We are more than happy to show you how to do a thorough tick search, please call us to discuss.

Intestinal Worms

One of the first health care issues pet owners need to address is worming, as pups and kittens are the most susceptible. Intestinal worms are parasites that live inside your pet’s intestines. These worms range in size from small to quite large (up to 18cm in length) and  they all have negative, and potentially deadly effects.

Roundworm, Tapeworm, Whipworm and Hookworm and the most common intestinal worms in Australian pets.

If your pet has a large number of worms it may find it difficult to maintain body condition and it can lose weight. In some cases it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even anaemia  Occasionally, heavy intestinal worm burdens can cause death.

It is important to maintain a routine worming treatment for your pets, to reduce the incidence of infection and to reduce environmental contamination. There are many worming treatments available for the various worm infections that occur in our pets. These are available as tablets, spot-ons, chews or pastes. Re-infection is a common problem and a few simple precautions can help minimize re-infection:

  • Promptly clean up pet faeces, both at home and when you are in public parks and playgrounds 
  • Practice good hygiene, always encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets and prior to eating)
  • Prevent children from playing where the soil may be contaminated
  • Keep your pet’s environment clean

Please discuss worming treatments at your next consultation or drop in to see one of our trained staff.

Do you need more information?

We are open six days a week for consultation by appointment.  Please call our friendly staff to schedule your appointment. There is car parking with easy access to the hospital, however, if you do need assistance with getting into the hospital, please let us know. For Emergency after hours care – Contact AHVEC on 1300 302 912