The importance of choosing the best antiparasitic medication for your pets

While there are treatments available to combat these pesky rascals, it’s important to choose the right one that’s appropriate for your pet. Picture: Pexels

While there are treatments available to combat these pesky rascals, it’s important to choose the right one that’s appropriate for your pet. Picture: Pexels

Published Mar 18, 2022

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There’s nothing better than watching our pets expressing and enjoying themselves through play and exploring their surroundings.

That said, there are external dangers that pet owners need to be aware of, among them parasites. While there are treatments available to combat these pesky rascals, it’s important to choose the right one that’s appropriate for your pet.

There are two main groups of parasites that target cats and dogs: external and internal. External parasites include ticks, fleas, and mites, while internal parasites are normally what are referred to as worms.

The treatment for these are antiparasitic medication or parasiticides. “Antiparasitic medication consists of a group of molecules that are engineered to be safe for cats and dogs,” says Dr Michelle Enslin, Resident Veterinarian at Boehringer Ingelheim.

“They’re highly effective at keeping our pets safe from parasites. However, it is essential to note how these treatments are administered to our pets and what parasites they protect against, as some might be for external or internal parasites only,” she warned.

“If the application process isn’t smooth and seamless, the animal might develop a negative connotation when you approach them in the future. If a dog doesn’t respond well to tablets or receiving medication orally, for example, it might be best to use a spot-on antiparasitic solution that can be applied on their coats – or even the chewable NexGard Spectra that’s disguised as a tasty treat for them, Enslin said.

Similarly, most cats find it quite traumatic whenever an owner tries to force-feed them. As a result, almost any type of oral antiparasitic treatment will likely be rejected or spat out by them. This is why a broad spectrum spot-on solution like Broadline is useful for cats as it combines a dewormer and flea, tick, and mite control all in one topical application.

A pet’s lifestyle will also influence the type and regularity of the antiparasitic treatment required. Some areas of South Africa are more susceptible to certain types of worms and other parasites, so it’s another key factor that needs to be taken into consideration as well.

“If you have a dog that goes with you everywhere and interacts a lot with other animals and goes to various parks, they might be exposed to more parasites than the dog that stays mostly in the yard

“A pet like that will often require treatment more regularly, such as monthly, versus every second or third month, simply due to it being exposed to more potential parasites,” Enslin added.

Every pet owner should discuss antiparasitic treatment with their local veterinarian, since they’ll know which parasiticides are best and can consult on the options available and the regularity of treatment required.

“As a pet owner, it falls part of our responsibility to look after them and ensure they receive their antiparasitic treatment to keep them safe from the potential health hazards,’’ Eslin said.

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