Spring has sprung and so too have fleas, ticks and other warm-weather skin irritators. As it warms up, your pet will naturally spend more time outside, which means more contact with these parasites and more exposure to other skin allergens.
Here are some tips to help ensure that both you and your pet can start summer off on the right foot.
To prevent irritation and infestation from fleas, year-round protection is ideal. Want to know something scary? The adult fleas you see on a pet are actually only 5% of the total flea infestation!! This is why it is so important to use a product which also kills flea eggs and all larval/developing flea stages these stages make up the other 95% of the flea population and can be found in your home environment (think carpets, floorboards, pet beds, outdoor areas etc!).
Here at Lynbrook Vet, we use Simparica and Revolution for total flea prevention. If you prefer an all in one preventative product, we also have available Simparica TRIO and Nexgard Spectra which covers not only fleas and ticks but also intestinal worms and heartworm.
Paralysis ticks are found right down the East coast of Australia and have also been found in parts of Victoria. Pet owners who live in areas infested with paralysis ticks know how dangerous ticks can be. However, COVID travel restrictions might mean holidaying with your pet to new places in your home state – keep in mind that paralysis ticks may be prevalent in new areas you visit. If you are holidaying away from your usual spots, feel free to call our practice for some advice. Owners taking pets to coastal areas should start their pets on a tick control product at least two weeks before leaving home, to ensure the product is working at an effective level.
If you find a tick on your pet or if your pet shows any wobbliness, weakness or other unusual behaviour, contact us immediately for advice. Prevention is always better than cure, as well as being more cost-effective a pro-active tick prevention program can help your pet to avoid the dangers of tick paralysis.
We recommend the use of Simparica for tick prevention.
Other skin irritants
Grasses, plants and pollens can all cause skin irritations in our pets. The areas along the underside of your pet with less hair (groin, stomach, armpits) as well as their face and ears, can be most commonly affected.
Once touched, some plants and grasses can rapidly cause a severe allergy. Scratching at the area can cause a skin infection, which may require a visit to us for some anti-inflammatories and possibly antibiotics. To combat these potential irritants, owners can identify and remove problem plants from gardens and monitor their pets for any early signs of irritation.
Rinsing your pet’s skin with water will also help remove allergens from their skin/feet and can help sooth itching and scratching. Environmental allergies can be a pain to get under control, just like people with hay fever, some days may be worse than others.
For pet’s with chronic allergies, medication and topical treatments may be required. There are some fantastic allergy medicines out there which can make both your life and your pets’ life much more comfortable and enjoyable! If ever in any doubt contact us and remember that as well as being cheaper in the long-run, prevention is also better for your pet’s health and wellbeing.