Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms are relatively common in many animal species including dogs, cats, rabbits, large animals, fish, reptiles and birds. Regular deworming is essential to ensure your pets remain healthy and to reduce the risk of some of these worms being transmitted to people.

Kittens are often the most susceptible to worm infestation. Intestinal worms are spread via dog faeces, so can be picked up anywhere. Kittens sometimes arrive at their new owner’s home with worms already present.

Frequent deworming will kill worms that are present but it is very easy for your pet to become reinfested and so it’s important to continue deworming your pet all year round. Some intestinal worm species can produce large numbers of eggs, for example roundworm can lay 200,000 eggs per day within five weeks of infestation. It’s important to maintain a regular deworming program for your pets to reduce eggs being shed into the environment. 

How to reduce the risk of human exposure to worms:
  • Routine deworming for all pets in your household

  • Prompt disposal of pet faeces on a daily basis.

  • Ensure good hygiene, encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets or prior to eating)

  • Prevent children from ingesting soil or pet faeces

  • Protect playgrounds, garden areas and cover sandpits

  • Prevent your pet from scavenging or hunting.

Flea and Tick Control

Flea Control

Fleas can be distressing for your pet, however they are more than just a nuisance. Fleas can cause skin disease and transmit infectious or parasitic diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans too. Fleas can also trigger an allergic condition called flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), a skin disease that is intensely itchy and can result in hair loss and skin infections. In pets with FAD, even a small number of fleas can cause intense irritation, meaning year-round flea control is essential!

The most common way pets pick up fleas is from the environment. Fleas rarely jump from pet to pet. Pets can pick up fleas from a walk or even in the backyard. 

Spotting fleas isn’t always easy – they are small and fast, and some pets can show signs of severe itchiness and irritation when only a few fleas are present. The other thing to consider is that the adult fleas you see on your pet are only part of the problem. You may be surprised to learn that adult fleas (the ones you see) make up only about 5% of the total population. The remaining 95% (eggs, larvae and pupae) are found in carpets and bedding - in fact anywhere in your house! Each female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day so it doesn’t take long for an infestation to take hold.

It is important to remember that fleas aren’t just a problem in the summer. Use flea control all-year-round. You, and your pet, will be happier for it.

Tick Control

Paralysis ticks

The paralysis tick (Ixodesholocyclus) is one of the most dangerous parasites that can affect your pet. Tick paralysis is estimated to affect tens of thousands of cats and dogs per year in Australia, with many animals dying. The greatest risk is associated with high numbers of adult ticks in spring and summer, but disease can be seen throughout the year. Paralysis ticks are found on the east coast of Australia, from northern Queensland to Victoria.

How does the paralysis tick cause toxicity?

After the tick has attached to the host animal it sucks blood and then secretes a toxin that can cause severe illness, or even death, in cats and dogs. Pets of any age can be affected.

Signs of tick paralysis include: loss of coordination in the hind legs (wobbly or not being able to get up) which may progress to the front legs, retching, coughing or vomiting, loss of appetite, or laboured or rapid breathing. Any of these signs may indicate the presence of a paralysis tick. If your cat shows any of these signs you should seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Tips for reducing the risk of tick paralysis include:
  • The year-round use of effective tick control products for all cats that are living in, or travelling to, known paralysis tick regions.

  • Search your cat daily for ticks - although tick control products will greatly reduce the risk of tick paralysis, it only takes one tick to cause tick paralysis. For this reason, it is important to also perform daily tick searches on your pet.

  • Reduce exposure to ticks in the environment (e.g. clean up leaf litter and debris, minimise or restrict your pet’s access to bushy environments)

  • If you find a tick, remove it immediately, and seek veterinary attention

We are more than happy to show you how to do a thorough tick search and recommend appropriate tick control products for your pet. Please call us to discuss.


Mites are small parasites that can live on, or in your pet’s skin.


Demodex mites

Cats have their own species of Demodex, however signs of disease are much less common in cats compared to dogs. A cat's immune system normally controls the number of mites, so that they cause no harm, but can develop signs of disease if their immune system is unable to control the mite population. This most commonly occurs in young or malnourished cats, or those with other diseases that compromise their immune system. Signs of disease due to Demodex mites include hair loss, thickening of the skin, and skin infections. 

Ear mites

As their name suggests, ear mites inhabit the ear canals and surrounding skin. Ear mite infestations can occur in cats and dogs, but infestation is more common in cats. Signs of infestation typically include skin irritation; scratching around the ears, head and neck; head shaking; the presence of an ear discharge that is dark and waxy (resembling coffee grounds) and an unpleasant odour from the ears. Your vet can diagnose ear mites by looking at a sample from the ear canal under the microscope.

Please contact us to discuss options to protect your pet against mites.