Fleas are the bane of every pet and owner! They make dogs and cats scratch themselves non stop and annoy owners with their scratching. Fleas are most prevalent during the warmer months but are seen all year around (especially where animals spend large amounts of time in warm houses over winter).
95% of the flea population is actually in the environment with flea eggs and larvae surviving for up to a year in the environment. The other 5% are generally on your pets feeding. This is why it is important to treat both the environment and the pet for a prolonged period.
Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:
- Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
- You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)
- It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt. Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your pet’s fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your pet has fleas.
The way in which you manage a flea problem will depend greatly on your pet's lifestyle. We do not recommend the use of flea powders, shampoos or collars on your pets (especially on cats) due to their lack of impact on the flea population. Very rarely dogs and cats are allergic to flea saliva. This leads to the development of a skin condition known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis.
To find out what is the most appropriate form of management a flea problem in your household please contact us and make an appointment. In this we will tailor an individual plan for your household that will have every scratch free and happy!
Warning: Some non-veterinary brands of flea treatments for dogs are potentially lethal when applied to cats. Always seek veterinary advice about the best flea treatments for your pet.
There are may different kinds of ticks but not all cause paralysis in our pets. The main tick you need to be worried about is the Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus) as it can cause paralysis and death within 2-5 days of attachment. The paralysis tick doesn't normally live in Mansfield and its surrounds, however this doesn't mean your pet will not be affected. They are quite happy to jump onto your pet whilst they are on holidays with you, especially along the east seaboard of Australia. This risk is even higher if your pet goes running through scrub and bush. Ticks are also more than happy to hitchhike back with family and friends in luggage, cars and plants.
If you notice a tick on a pet that is not displaying signs of tick paralysis, remove the tick straight away.To do this, grasp the tick firmly where it attaches to your pet’s skin and give a quick sideways pull. It is better not to try and kill the tick first as the dying tick may inject more of its potent toxin into your pet. If you are not confident removing the tick please call us immediately to make an appointment to have it removed.
Once the tick is removed your pet should be kept cool and quiet whilst being closely monitored for 24 hours. Signs of tick paralysis include:
- Staggering/Unsteady when walking
- Difficulty breathing
- Change in bark
If your pet is showing any of the above signs, it is imperative that you contact us immediately as it is a life-threatening emergency that has the possibility to lead to death due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles.
Treatment of tick paralysis includes searching for and removing all ticks. This may include clipping the animal completely and/or the use of medication to kill remaining ticks. Tick antiserum is administered to counteract the toxin and supportive care is provided during recovery. This can be costly in comparison to what it would cost to use tick prevention initially.
No tick prevention is 100% effective and should always be used in combination with daily searches of your pet when in known tick areas.. Searching your pet shouldn’t cease once you return from tick-affected regions but should continue for at least 7 days after returning home. Use your fingers to feel over the entire body, especially under the collar, on the face and around the front of your pet. Don’t forget to check carefully between the toes, under the lips and in the ears.
We are more than happy to show you how to do a thorough tick search or discuss preventative options, just get in touch!