Flea and Tick Treatments
The most common parasite of domestic animals, is the flea which infests both cats and dogs.If found on a pet, fleas and their earlier life stages can also be found in carpets and pets bedding. Some individuals are especially sensitive to fleas and will scratch continually with very few fleas present; other cats and dogs appear to be able to tolerate large quantities of fleas without much scratching. Fleas will bite people and in some individuals cause a nasty skin reaction.
Ticks attach to dogs and other animals to feed and their presence can give rise to irritation and discomfort. While attached ticks can also transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. Ticks require an area of matted vegetation such as is found in moorland and woods in order to survive the winter. Although deer and sheep are commonly recognised as the major source of infection smaller wild animals can also be a reservoir of tick infection.
Lice are small wingless insects and are much less common than either fleas or ticks. They are generally host specific – in other words they can only be contracted from another infected dog or cat.
Surface mites such as ear mites cause intense irritation and can be passed on by close contact. Burrowing mites lay their eggs just under the skin surface and cause a skin disease known as mange. Mange and its equivalent in humans called scabies is a very itchy condition
Mosquitoes and Sandflies
These 2 insects found outside the UK are both blood sucking and can transmit blood borne diseases including heartworm. If you are taking your pet to any of the Mediterranean or Eastern European countries then please ask for advice on protecting your pet while you are abroad.
For adult dogs we recommend the treatment Vectra 3D. This gives very effective control of fleas and additionally prevents ticks from attaching to the body. This is especially important as it prevents ticks transmitting any blood borne diseases. The product is effective for 28days. Additionally it can kill fleas in the pets home as any hairs and skin scales shed through the house have the active ingredients within them.
Unfortunately the product we use in dogs is very toxic to cats. For that reason we use the product Vectra Felis. This product has no activity against ticks but ticks are less of a problem in cats than they are in dogs. Vectra Felis is also active for 28 days and again provides environmental control by being present in any skin scales hairs that are spread through the house by the cat.
Kittens and Puppies
As a routine when worming puppies and kittens we use the product ADVOCATE for its excellent control of round worms. This product is also very effective against fleas, which can be very useful when a new kitten or puppy is brought into the house. Similarly the second dose of Advocate is given at the point where the puppy is first taken out for a walk or the kitten is first allowed out in the garden, thereby providing protection against fleas for that first month in the great outdoors.
Flea and Tick Collar
Seresto is a novel treatment in the form of a collar which is applied around the neck and releases 2 “proven” active ingredients for up to 8 months. It has a number of advantages over spot ons:
- no need to reapply at monthly intervals
- up to 8 months treatment for less than the cost of 6 spot ons
- this is the first tick treatment for cats that repels and kills ticks ie prevents them attaching
Kennels and Catteries
Boarding kennels and catteries are very busy places during the peak summer holiday periods. Under such conditions, even in the best-run catteries and kennels, the flea population is likely to increase. In order to prevent your pet taking fleas into the cattery or kennel, or bringing them out we would advice that you use a good flea treatment/ preventative such as Vectra Felis, Vectra 3D or ADVOCATE prior to entry to cattery or kennel.
The PETS travel scheme is aimed at preventing disease brought back into the UK. In order to protect your pet whilst abroad, depending where you are travelling you will need to consider the use of Vectra 3D, Advocate or other treatments.