Oral Flea Treatment – pt 3

Oral Flea Treatment is the easiest to administer out of flea treatment for your pets, and also the most effective. Oral flea treatment is 99.9% effective compared to the 88.4% effectiveness for Topical flea treatment. This makes it 11.5% more effective and gives a whole-body protection. Not only is it fast working – in some cases as fast as 15 minutes – it’s also out of your pets system in up to 3 days. This means you can use them in conjunction with other flea and worm treatments.

Different Oral Treatments

It’s important to read what you’re getting. What can seem like a bargain for £1 in the supermarket can actually be useless. This is because different treatments target different areas.

What to look out for:

  • If it treats just adult fleas or all ages
  • Whether it treats worms and what type – especially important as some only treat Roundworm or Tapeworm
  • If it’s for cats or dogs – dog treatment can be toxic to cats so keep an eye out for what you’re giving your pet
  • How long treatment works – some lasts up to every 2 weeks
  • Whether the tablets need to be swallowed or chewed

The main advantage of oral treatments is that there’s no sticky mess and the doses are better. This means that you won’t leave any dose behind like you do with topical flea treatment. However, oral treatment doesn’t include flea eggs and larvae which will fall off in your house and garden, so your house will need to be treated too to hopefully completely stop any further infestations.

How do you administer?

The key thing to remember when giving oral treatment is that the tablet shouldn’t be crushed. When the tablet’s crushed it becomes less likely to work or not even work at all, making the dose pointless. Try putting the tablet in their favourite food to get them to eat it in one. Equally, try giving hairball paste to your cat frequently. This way you can put the paste on the tablet to get your cat to eat it up with no problem.

Once the pill is consumed the chemicals enter the pets blood stream – which is non-toxic to your pet – and the blood becomes poisonous to fleas. This means that when fleas land on your pet and drink their blood the fleas will die shortly after.

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Spot-on Flea Treatment – pt 2

Spot-on flea treatment is normally applied to the back of your pets neck, this way the ingredients from the flea treatment can be absorbed into the skin without easy access for you pet. These usually last about a month, but can be different depending on the spot-on purchased.

Advantages and disadvantages:

Spot-on treatment costs less and lasts longer so can be great if you’re on a budget. It’ll also mean you won’t have to get a tablet down your pet’s throat, which to some owners will be a great relief.  Spot on treatment can also be applied any time of the month and only needs to be applied once every 4 weeks, compared to the every 2 weeks for tablets and is also quick to work and easy to apply.

Although it sounds like a winning product, spot on treatment takes a couple days to completely absorb so can be dangerous to children or other pets in the process and can cause skin sensitivities.

Some other examples of disadvantages to spot on treatment:

  • Very dangerous if your pet ingests it
  • Harmful to humans
  • Has to be places in exactly the right position otherwise it won’t work or your pet will be able to lick and scratch at it
  • Some treatments need your pets to be bather before and/or after treatment

Efficiency of spot on treatment

Flea spot on treatment is almost impossible to be completely efficient due to a couple of factors. The first hurdle is that the pipette is the perfect dose for an animal of that size, however you’ll never be able to completely get it all out making it inefficient. It’s almost like trying to get all the toothpaste out of a tube – virtually impossible. Also, if your pet gets wet within 48 hours of application the treatment can completely wash off. Treatment can also wash off partially if you wash your pet halfway through the course – even if it’s just a splash in the sea. For the treatment to work the most efficiently, be sure to follow the instructions as close as possible as instructions tend to vary on individual products and keep your pet dry for as long as possible.

varying spot-on flea treatments

Depending on where you buy your treatment will depend on how strong it’ll be and how quickly it’ll work, with vet prescriptions being the strongest and supermarkets being the weakest. It’s best to buy treatments on your local pet specialist’s advice as they’ll be able to sell you treatment that’ll best suit the type of animal you own, including the weight, and also recommend how many doses are needed per treatment.

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Fleas – The Basics Part One

The Fleas series pt. 1

What are fleas?

Fleas are flightless insects that live by consuming the blood of their hosts. Female fleas can consume about 15 times their body weight in blood every day. With an 8 inch vertical leap and a 3mm long body, fleas are both hard to catch and see and therefore can quickly become a problem.

The Flea Life Cycle

  1. Mating occurs on host
  2. Fleas lays 40-50 eggs a day
  3. ‘Flea dirt’ drops off host onto environment
  4. Larvae hatch from eggs
  5. They then consume ‘Flea dirt’
  6. Larvae go through 3 stages and then spin a silken cocoon
  7. Pupal development begins, taking anywhere from 8 days to 30 weeks
  8. Flea waits in place for a suitable host
  9. They begin feeding immediately and excrete ‘Flea dirt’
  10. Mating occurs on host

Average lifespan of a flea:

  • Ideal conditions – 12 to 22 days
  • Average conditions – 30 days
  • Poor conditions – up to 1.5 years

 

Why are fleas a problem?

Besides causing severe discomfort including scratching, chewing, biting and restlessness, fleas can cause a number of serious problems such as Anemia and Tapeworm infections. As well as this, a common condition among cats and dogs is Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), so it’s best to avoid fleas.

How to control your flea problem

  • Consult your local pet specialist – they’ll quickly be able to spot if you have a flea problem and will be able to give you a subscription to strong and appropriate flea treatments
  • Kill fleas on your dog/cat – getting rid of the fleas in your house is pointless if you still have fleas on your pet and vise versa, so it’s vital to rid all of them to stop the problem
  • Eliminate fleas in your home – either by contacting professionals to rid your house of fleas or doing it yourself, it’s important to clean every surface and everything thing in your house as fleas will be hiding everywhere and anywhere
  • Prevent future infestations – simply by taking tablets fortnightly or weekly in hotter periods, you can prevent another severe infestation

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Flea Tablets or Flea Spot-on?

dog

When we are choosing flea and worm treatments for our pets there are lots of things to consider. How effective they are, what other parasites they treat, how long they last and how much they cost!

But another important consideration that is often overlooked is: “How easy is this treatment going to be to give and will the lifestyle of my pet effect how well it works?” This falls under the umbrella of compliance and is arguably the most important factor when making a choice. It doesn’t matter how good a treatment is if it can’t be applied effectively.

The two most common forms of flea and worm treatment are tablets and spot-ons…

So which should we choose?

Many flea and worm tablet treatments now come in tasty treat form and so are less difficult to give. In many cases this makes them a much more convenient option for many clients but they still do not suit all pets. A minority of pets will vomit on tablet medications and if your pet has a history of this then trying a spot-on instead is well worthwhile. Similarly some pets have sensitive stomachs or are very suspicious of tablet shaped food items!

Spot-on treatments remain very popular. They are tolerated by most pets and are convenient to apply but like tablets will not be suitable in every case.

Some pets will have local skin reactions to topical treatments making tablets a better option. Frequent swimming and washing can also make some spot-on treatments less effective.

These factors mean that a tablet is not a superior choice to a spot on in every case or vice versa but rather a decision is made depending on individual circumstances and the patient’s needs.

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Flea season is coming

Fleas are going to start waking up soon as the temperature starts to rise outside, you will never cure fleas, you need to simply keep on top of flea treatment, even indoor pets can get fleas as WE go out side and bring them into our own homes, flea treatment must be done all year round, now humans and pets have moved from caves to houses, there’s no cold winter to kill fleas off like there was 1000 years ago, a warm house is like being out side in summer to fleas, fleas are now awake and active 356 days of the year, With ample food supply, the adult flea will often live up to 100 days. Newly emerged adult fleas live only about one week if a blood meal is not obtained. However, completely developed adult fleas can live for several months without eating, so long as they do not emerge from their puparia. to flea a pet all year will cost only £33.40 with tables or £31.00 with spot on, where as getting a flea infestation out of your house can cost £££, check out our flea products for cats,  dogs and home

fleas   Fleas are holometabolous insects, going through the four life cycle stages of egg, larva, pupa, and imago (adult). Adult fleas must feed on blood before they can become capable of reproduction. Flea populations are evenly distributed, with about 50% eggs, 35% larvae, 10% pupae, and 5% adults

Eggs-The flea life cycle begins when the female lays after feeding. Eggs are laid in batches of up to 20 or so, usually on the host itself, which means that the eggs can easily roll onto the ground. Because of this, areas where the host rests and sleeps become one of the primary habitats of eggs and developing fleas. The eggs take around two days to two weeks to hatch

Larvae-Flea larvae emerge from the eggs to feed on any available organic material such as dead insects, feces, and vegetable matter. In laboratory studies, some dietary diversity seems necessary for proper larval development. Blood only diets allow only 12% of larvae to mature, whereas blood and yeast or dog chow diets allow almost all larvae to mature. They are blind and avoid sunlight, keeping to dark places like sand, cracks and crevices, and bedding

fleaPupate-Given an adequate supply of food, larvae will pupate and weave silken cocoons within 1–2 weeks after 3 larval stages. After another week or two, the adult fleas are fully developed and ready to emerge. They may remain resting during this period until they receive a signal that a host is near – vibrations (including sound), heat, and carbon dioxideare all stimuli indicating the probable presence of a host. Fleas are known to overwinter in the larval or pupal stages.

Adult flea-Given an adequate supply of food, larvae will pupate and weave silken cocoons within 1–2 weeks after 3 larval stages. After another week or two, the adult fleas are fully developed and ready to emerge. They may remain resting during this period until they receive a signal that a host is near – vibrations (including sound), heat, and carbon dioxideare all stimuli indicating the probable presence of a host.  Fleas are known to overwinter in the larval or pupal stages.

 

Fleas on the pet dog https://www.shanklinpetstores.co.uk/product-category/dogs/health-hygiene-dog/

fleas on the pet cat https://www.shanklinpetstores.co.uk/product-category/cats/dentalfleaswormersshampoo/flea-tick/

fleas in the house  https://www.shanklinpetstores.co.uk/product-category/garden/fleas/

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Why do Cats have Whiskers?

Why do Cats have Whiskers?

Cat Whiskers, despite looking like Human Hair, are a sensory tool that are incredibly sensitive also known as vibrissae. These are connected to muscular and nervous systems to give cats a more heightened sense of feeling – allowing them to detect changes in their immediate surrounding and respond to them. They can be mostly
found on either side of their nose and upper facial lip, as well as above each of their eyebrows, with whiskers on their jaw line and front legs but they’re less visible.  At the root of these hairs there’s a follicle loaded with nerves.

Cats also use their whiskers to feel their way around tight spaces and visually measure distances and feel vibrations in the air when chasing prey. Without their whiskers Cats would be disoriented and frightened, highlighting the importance of NOT cutting your Cat’s whiskers, as they use them as we would our fingertips. If you have cut their whiskers already, don’t worry! They grow back over time.

Cats also aren’t the only ones with whiskers – most mammals have extrasensory receptors to help improve their sensing of environments at night.

Cat Whiskers Determining their Mood

In addition to this, Cat’s Whiskers also change depending on their mood – this allows others to gauge what mood a Cat is in. When the whiskers are still and sticking straight out of the head it means the cat is relaxed. When they’re pressed slightly forward it means the cat is either curious or on the hunt. If a cat is nervous or upset they’ll pin their whiskers back towards their face – this highlights the importance of whiskers for cats.

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Tear Staining in Cats and Dogs

What is Tear Staining?

Tear staining, also known as epiphora, is caused from an excessive tear production in dogs and cats and is normally just minor. Excessive tear production results in a red/brown streak under their eyes and is much more obvious in lighter-furred animals over their darker counterparts.

However, tear staining can also be due to a more serious health complication, such as:

  • An eye infection
  • Teething
  • Ingrown eyelashes
  • Tear duct and gland abnormalities
  • Ear infection
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Eye disease
  • Medication
  • Stress
  • Poor diet

Whilst it is unlikely that your pet might have one of these health complications, its recommended that you consult a vet to rule out any of these possible causes.

What causes Tear Staining?

The breakdown of red blood cells create a waste product called porphyrins. Whilst in most animals – and humans – these are removed in faeces, but in cats and dogs they are removed through urine, saliva and tears. When the porphyrins are on fur for a period of time staining will occur and will darken once exposed to sunlight.

In chronic cases, the stains will go brown indicating that your pet has developed a yeast infection from having constantly damp skin – highlighting the importance of going to the vet once tear staining has been noticed. This is because the constant damp skin causes skin irritation which is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and yeasts infections.

How do you treat Tear Staining?

Treatment normally depends on the cause of the tear staining and sometimes flushing out the eye will sort out the problem. Besides this and going to the vet there are other ways of treating tear staining in your pet. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Washing your pets face with a wet and damp cloth twice a day
  • Replace plastic food and water bowls as they can harbour bacteria with non-plastic bowls
  • Fresh filtered water instead of tap water – tap water contains a high mineral content which can be toxic to pets
  • A high quality diet – both a grain free and/or a raw diet can greatly benefit pets in many ways, see our other blogs to find out how
  • Regular grooming for both dogs and cats
  • Eye wash to gently clean any matted fur with a cotton ball

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What Causes Wet Tail in Rabbits?

Wet Tail in Rabbits

Wet tail is quite literally when a rabbit, or any other animal, has a wet tail or bottom. You should always seek veternary advice when a rabbit’s backside starts getting a foul odour, looks dirty or wet, as wet tail is a very serious condition. This is caused by a rabbit’s urine going down either one or both hind legs instead of being expelled backwards, clean of the tail. Over a couple of days this will become stressful and very painful to the rabbit as the urine will start hitting red and sore skin, making it incredibly painful for the rabbit to urinate, highlighting how important it is to keep an eye out for any symptoms of Wet Tail before it gets to this stage.

Other Symptoms include:

  • Fur falling out (due to bacterial infections etc.)
  • Fly strike (Wet Tail in turn causes Fly Strike)
  • Wet Fur

Causes of Wet Tail in Rabbits

There’s a range of causes for Wet Tail – such as arthritis and general injury causing the rabbit to be unable to urinate properly, but can be treated with a series of medication. However, mechanical injury has little that can be done to help solve the problem and are often put to sleep if the Vet believes the injury is inoperable.

Other causes include:

  • Obsesity – bulges of skin can grow around the abdomen causing urine to be trapped and run down their leg(s), treated by feeding diet rabbit food
  • Infection – both infections and anti-fungal creams and sprays can be great solutions to this, but still go to the vet to determine the best course of treatment
  • E. cuniculi – caused by parasites, it can effect different rabbits in different ways, and in some extreme cases its incurable, but its normally treated with Panacur and will undo most damage done
  • Post-castration complication – a rare complication that causes the urethra to constrict in size. Vets normally gently stretch the hole to reverse it to cure the complication

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Common Diseases in Fish

Just like Humans, there’s many different diseases that can affect fish. Some of the most common problems and diseases in fish are swimbladder, white spot, finrot and internal bacteria infections.

Swimbladder Disease

A goldfish with swimbladder disease will be found upside down, struggling to dive, or swimming on its side, and will otherwise appear healthy. The swimbladder controls the buoyancy of the goldfish and is often interferred with by food. Some food – such as floating flakes or pellets – causes the fish to take in air as they consume it due to them having to break the surface to get it. This in turn causes air bubbles within the fish, causing them to float and struggle to right themselves.

There’s various solutions for this problem. There’s swimbladder treatment that when added to the water kills bacteria that cause swimbladder, another solution involves not feeding the fish for 24 hours. The latter solution only works until you next feed the fish, unless the foods changed to a sinking variety.

White Spot Disease

Protozoa is a single-celled microorganism that causes white spot disease in fish. It does this by attacking and attaching itself to the body, fins and gills of a fish and causes breathing, mobility problems and death. Highly contagious, once one fish gets it the rest will also quickly get it and if left untreated will cause death. Besides the white spots, the disease can also be seen from behaviour changes such as fins being folded against the body, scratching against rocks and ornaments and disorderly swimming.

Treatments for white spot disease in fish vary depending on the symptoms shown.  When goldfish start swimming to the surface more often it could be caused by the pH level not being maintained, this can be treated using antibiotic anti-parasitic medicine specific to anerobes. Disoriented swimming can also be a sign of white spot disease in fish and a prevention for it is to boil new ornaments and stones before putting them in the tank, or equally using ornament-specific cleaner for the tank.

The most common symptom of white spots on the fins and body can be treated by using an anti-white spot solution that gets added to the water. Another way of preventing it is by quarantining new fish for a couple weeks before added them to the main body of water with the other fish. Protruding eyes can be prevented by replacing water with water of the same temperature, or by raising the tank water temperature just a little.

Internal Bacteria Infections

Internal bacteria infections in fish can affect many organs of fish and is normally caused by poor nutrition, sudden temperature changes, injury, seasonal changes or sanitation which can make fish more susceptible to infections. Red ulcers that cover the fish is a recognisable feature of the infection. In severe cases it can prove fatal.

Other symptoms include:

  • Enlarged eyes
  • Reddening of the body
  • Ragged fins
  • Kidney damage
  • Body ulcers
  • Accumulation of fluids in the abdomen

Treatments depend on the type of bacteria the fish have and a vet can determine the type and best treatment for the bacteria in the fish. An alternative is to add a bacteria control agent to the water to help relieve any infections such as King British Aquarium Bacteria Control.

Finrot and Fungus Disease

Finrot is a serious and deadly disease that’s normally caused by harmful bacteria in the water. It starts to occur when there’s a wound that causes the flesh to be exposed to bacteria present under certain conditions. Finrot is likely to occur in unclean tanks due to them being higher in inorganic substances such as ammonia. Its also possible to get finrot if the fish is stressed, overcrowded by other fish or plants.

Finrot is a progressive disease so some symptoms are more noticeable at the beginning/end of the disease compared to other symptoms. At first milky white patches will start developing on the fins and tail of the fish, progressing to a ragged or tattered look. The fins and tails will then begin to darken and will literally look like they’re rotting away, eventually leaving just the fin rays exposed and will start working up the body of the fish, also causing secondary infections.

Once the symptoms have been observed, an anti fungus and finrot can be added to the water to counteract any bacteria, treating any fish and preventing the disease from spreading.

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Anal Sacs in Dogs

Anal sacs are located either side of a dog’s anus and contain a fluid that dogs use to identify one another. This fluid is normally emptied from the sac each time a dog defecates, preventing a build up. However, when the fluid doesn’t naturally empty it starts becoming a problem and the sacs need to be drained another way, normally by a vet. A vet can show you how to do it to save a  trip and is easy enough to empty by hand.

Symptoms

The symptoms of unhealthy anal sacs vary and can be tricky to spot. It’s not unusual for a dog’s bedding to start smelling funny before washes and is nothing to be concerned about – it’s when you can smell the odour coming straight from a dog’s back  end that it can start being a problem.

Other symptoms include:

  • Scooting around on their backside
  • Biting around the anal area
  • Chasing their tail
  • Constipation and pain defecating/sitting

Anal Sacs Treatments

If it becomes a continuous problem a vet may suggest a diet higher in fibre to put more pressure on the anal sacs so they are more likely to empty naturally. If not, they may have to either be emptied by hand at home or at the vet depending whats causing the sacs to not empty. It can also be treated by antibiotics and pain relief in cases of infection within the sacs. If left untreated it can become more serious and life threatening so it’s best to go to the vet either way.

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