Parasite Control

Flea control, tick prevention and worming

Flea Control

Fleas make your pet itch, causing discomfort and in some cases lead to an allergic reaction (flea allergic dermatitis) which can develop into a severe skin condition. Fleas also bite people.

Our client care team is trained and on hand to provide advice and information on flea control throughout the year.

Flea life-cycle

A flea infestation can seemingly appear out of nowhere. Here’s the flea facts you need to know:

  • A single flea can lay 40-50 eggs per day and up to 2000 in a lifetime.
  • Eggs fall off the hair into the pet’s surroundings.
  • Within 1-6 days eggs hatch into larvae which live deep in carpets and soft furnishings.
  • Mature larvae form into pupae.
  • Adult fleas emerge within 3-5 weeks in ideal conditions but can remain dormant for up to 350 days.
  • A serious infestation can occur when thousands of adult fleas emerge simultaneously often months after the initial fleas were treated. This often happens when your central heating comes on in the Autumn. 

Treating an infestation
It is important to treat all animals in the household, with a product that kills all stages of the flea life-cycle. It is also important to treat the environment (your home) with a suitable product. Pet bedding should also be washed at 60°C. You need to treat both your pet(s) and the environment simultaneously to control an infestation.

Routine flea prevention
Most topical flea treatments need to be repeated monthly to give on-going protection. The practice can advise you on the most appropriate products, have access to the latest prescription flea treatments and offer these products through the Oban Vets Pet Health Plan.


Ticks are a blood-sucking parasite particularly prevalent in the Scottish Highlands. Most ticks feed from sheep or deer but will equally take a meal of dog, cat or human blood. Tick bites often become infected and ticks carry several infectious diseases, including Lyme’s Disease.

  • If you find a tick on your pet, they can be removed using an appropriate tool made for this purpose. However, this is not a substitute for prevention as ticks carrying infectious disease pass it on soon after biting the host (your pet).
  • If you remove a tick from your pet and see any signs of infection (swelling, redness, discharge) please contact the surgery for advice.

Tick Prevention

The practice stocks several prescription tick products. Most of these products also treat fleas. We stock collars, spot-on products and oral products so that you can find the most appropriate preventative treatment for your pet. Our Oban Vets Pet Health Plan includes a monthly spot-on flea and tick preventative.


All animals, domestic or wild are affected by worms, which inevitably affect their general health and well-being.

Where do worms come from?

  • From other infected animals.
  • From eating worm larvae or eggs (e.g. in infected stools or in grass).
  • From the bitch or queen via the placenta to puppies and kittens.
  • From raw meat, infected prey animals or infected insects such as fleas.

Often pets show no signs of being infected with worms, occasionally worms can be seen in stools or vomit. Some types of worm can spread between pets and people and cause disease in people. Therefore it is very important to have an effective worm control program in place.

It is best to assume that your puppy or kitten will have been infected with worms from his or her mother. We recommend that puppies and kittens are wormed three times with a two week interval as early as possible in life. Thereafter, monthly worming whilst your pet is growing (up to eight months) will help maintain optimal health. Adult dogs and cats should normally be treated every three months (individual at risk animals will benefit from being wormed monthly). There is a vast array of worming products available. The three-monthly protocol is built into the Oban Vets Pet Health Plan.


Lungworm has slowly spread across the UK from the South of England and cases have now been seen in Scotland. Unfortunately, the only sign of infection may be death of your pet. The condition has been recognised in Argyllshire but not within the practice. Oban Vets carry the products necessary to prevent treatment. Please contact us at the surgery for more advice.

For more information about Pet Parasites visit: