Thursday, 17 January 2013

Hints to save you some time....& perhaps embarrassment

So I thought it was time to write a wee blog to save some of you endless hours researching things I do everyday, it make even save you some embarrassment at your local vets.

Ok so first to the taboo subject of fleas.....! Now come on people if you own an animal the likelihood is at one time or another they're going to have fleas, its just what happens. Time and time again I have clients coming into my practice telling me how they have treated with a flea product and they just can't seem to get rid of them.

  • First the basics, a handy tip to see if your pet has fleas is to have a look. Sometimes they will be riddled in the critters and it will be pretty obvious as you see them hop swiftly by your finger. However 95% of any flea out break in your home won't be on your pet but instead in your home (I know gross!). If you can't see any live ones, get a piece of white paper, hold it next to your animals fur and give the animal and good old stroke. On your piece of paper may appear tiny black specks, now for the fun bit why not try dropping some h2O onto that same bit of the specks turn red? If so I'm afraid to say that will be flea dirt....otherwise known an flea poo (fleas eat blood so their poo is in fact partly blood). Ta daaa ok so your pet has fleas.
  • Next - At this point I would ask what type of flea product your using. If at this point you tell me it's some tesco's own jobby or other cheap brand you will see me pull some sort of a face. So I can't slander these products but I will politely tell you I certainly don't back them either...hint....hint. So many people on a budget pick the cheapest product, look I can't knock you for trying I'd probably so the same, but in the long run it's going to cost you much more. Time after time I get told so your telling me if I'd come to you originally I'd now have more money in my back pocket and no fleas? Pretty much, yes!
  • Back to my previous point 95% of fleas don't live on your animal but in the environment. So not only do you need a treatment for your animal but you may also need a household flea spray. Basically if you don't break the life cycle of the flea it will just keep coming back. So regularly treat your pet, depending on product cats are normally every 4-5 weeks and dogs tend to be 6-8 weeks.
  • If you do have an infestation in your house as well. Boil wash anything you can that your pet could sleep on, ok so this is limited to the basics I mean I can't advise you to put a mattress in the wash now can I! Treat your pet and give everywhere a really good hoover. Then apply your household flea spray - make sure you vacate the house at this point for a few hours.
  • Another handy hint that a lot of people don't know is that the flea and tapeworm life cycle interact, so if you have one the likelihood is you'll also have the other. You see the flea carriers the tapeworm egg and then can be ingested when grooming....gross I know.
  • There are lots of good products on the market, but as in life the more you pay for something generally the better it is. Although you may think your vets are pricey there's a reason, we only stock POM-V flea products normally. This means they can only be prescribed by a veterinarian whilst the animal is under their care, not a supermarket or pet superstore or anywhere else. This is generally because the strength of the product is higher and it has also undergone at lot more rigorous drug testings to get it's licence!
Did you know that fleas are blind? No me neither!

That's it for now but check in later, I'll think of lots more don't you worry! I probably should have just titled this flea help, ahh what the heck :)!

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