An unknown author once said, "Sometimes the best medicine is unconditional love from your pet." Their love for us knows no bounds, so it's equally important that we return the favour by caring for them. Part of this is by ensuring they are healthy and free from nasty parasites. With all the various parasiticides on the market, however, a customer will need assistance from their veterinarian and/or pet expert on what to choose.
Helping Pet Owners Understand Pet Health - Dr. Michelle Enslin
Three Questions Every Pet Expert Should Ask Before Providing Assistance
According to Boehringer Ingelheim's Resident Veterinarian, Dr. Michelle Enslin, there are three qualifying questions that every pet expert needs to ask their customer before providing advice and assistance.
First of all, it's important to identify the breed and age of the animal in question. "For example, a young puppy or kitten might not be able to take certain treatments due to being under eight weeks," Dr. Enslin says, adding that parasiticides for cats and dogs will also differ.
The second question needs to be about the pet's weight. "Treatments are specific and tailored to an animal's weight," Dr Enslin explains. "A large Labrador will need a different dosage to a small Chihuahua or even a Jack Russell."
Pet Healthcare Question:
We would like to understand why the veterinary medicine industry has not yet come up with a dosage limit for vaccinations.
How and why do they prescribe the same size vaccine dosage to a rottweiler as they will be giving to a teacup-size dog?
Lifestyle & Environment
The final question is about the pet's lifestyle and immediate environment. "We need to know if there are other pets in the house or how many animals they come into contact with on a regular basis," Dr. Enslin says. "Many people make the mistake of only buying treatment for the one pet that shows signs of ticks and fleas; however, this won't help the overall problem since parasites are likely to spread from pet to pet." In other words, treatment will be required for all the pets, or else it'll become a reoccurring issue.
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The Use Of Antiparasitic Medication And Its Benefits
As per Dr Enslin, the use of broad-spectrum parasiticides, such as Broadline Spot-on for cats, is the most effective since it'll target both internal and external parasites in one application. Most importantly, these products are safe for use as long as the guidelines are followed correctly. Instructions clearly state if the treatment is a spot-on application or administered orally via a chewable tablet. "It's also advised that only reputable products are used since these products go through rigorous testing and protocols to ensure they're safe to use on pets," Dr Enslin says.
Another factor to keep in mind is the animal's stress and anxiety levels when receiving the parasiticide. Cats, as an example, could experience trauma if their mouths are forced open to receive treatment, which could see them run away or develop attachment issues with their owners. To prevent this and to preserve the human-pet bond, less evasive treatments can be administered. Dogs are more likely to respond well to a beef-flavoured chewable such as NexGard Spectra, while a spot-on application like Broadline should be less stressful for cats.
Ultimately, pet owners should always reach out to their Veterinarians for advice if they're unsure about treatments or their pet's health. "As pet owners, there is a responsibility to ensure their pets are looked after and safe from harmful and potentially fatal parasites," Dr. Enslin says. "The good news is vets should be able to advise on the best course of treatment since they'll understand the pet's history and individual qualities best."