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18 Lamington Tce Nambour

Why doesn’t my pet’s flea product work any more?

I only put the stuff on the back of his neck last week and there’s heaps of fleas – why doesn’t this stuff work anymore?!

Sound familiar? It does to us – I hear this at Lamington Terrace Vet Surgery all the time.And yes, I do agree that some products don’t work as well as others and some maybe don’t seem to be working as well as they used to.

But… usually the efficacy of the product (or how well it works) is just fine – there is just some other contributing factor that may be affecting it. Some of the common things that can reduce the effectiveness are

  • Frequent swimming – especially in salt water
  • Frequent bathing – especially with medicated shampoos – if your pet has been prescribed a medicated shampoo for a skin condition, you should switch to one of the oral flea control tablets
  • Incorrect application dose or application technique – “splitting” tubes of spot on into 2 doses is a common problem; I actually find some spot on products can be difficult to apply really well especially in really short haired dogs – I find it tends to want to dribble off.
  • Incorrect re-application interval – the idea of regular application is to continue the level of the active ingredient at a concentration that will kill fleas before they get a chance to feed and lay eggs. If the flea takes a bit longer to die then it can already have produced a couple of hundred eggs that will all become fleas in a further 6 weeks or so.
  • Some dogs have a defective “barrier function” of their skin and this can affect how some spot on products distribute over the body. These patients need a different type of flea control.

More often than not, however, the fleas are “hitch hikers”! Yep, just looking for a free ride back to your place!They jump on your dog when you’re out walking, you notice them once you’re back home.If you’re flea control programme is a good one then these fleas will be dead before they get a chance to lay eggs. The problem with most hitch hiker fleas is that they come in on a friend’s pet or a stray cat that wanders through your yard.

If these animals don’t have good flea control then they act like little salt shakers and as they move, flea eggs fall off them into the environment. Then, depending on the weather, in a matter of weeks or months you have a big hatching of fleas into the environment.

Remember that 95% of the flea life cycle is spent OFF the animal, in the environment.

I hope this has given you some food for thought about flea control. There are so many products out there claiming to be the best flea control but what works best really does depend on your individual situation

Wet Weather Blues

When will we get some fine weather again? It seems like in the last 12 months it’s either been bone dry or soaking wet. There has been no happy medium.

Our pets all start to go a little “stir-crazy” in the wet weather – our dogs are sick of not being able to go for a long walk, the cats can’t sun themselves on a comfortable window ledge and we all seem to be a little down in the dumps when the sun doesn’t shine!

At my place, the dairy goats are most unimpressed. Dairy goats hate getting wet, they run for the shed at the first drop of rain and refuse to leave. The wet weather also brings its share of potential health issues for our pets and farm animals.

At Lamington Terrace Veterinary Surgery we have seen many cases of gastroenteritis and don’t forget the paralysis ticks are still there lurking in the background waiting for a couple of sunny days. For goats, the wet weather brings with it hoof problems like foot scald and soft feet that bruise and become overgrown easily. It’s important to have a dry sheltered area. Once the sun comes out, so do the worm eggs hatch so for grazing animals, especially goats, keep the pasture length a bit higher and monitor the faecal worm egg counts closely.

Next time, I’ll provide information on how to do a faecal egg count so you know if and when to drench your grazing animals.

Dental health for dogs and cats

Four out of every five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which becomes more severe with age. This can be a real problem for pets and owners because it can lead to more serious problems such as illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidney.

You should check your pet’s teeth regularly as pets often won’t show pain. Even pets with sore gums, an infected mouth or broken teeth will continue to eat so you may not notice they have problems.

Dogs are pack animals and showing weakness is not part of their nature. They need to eat to survive so won’t go off their food until the pain is unbearable.

Signs of toothache or an infection in the mouth to look out for in cats and dogs include bad breath, red and inflamed gums and stained teeth. Your pet may also start dropping food when they are eating.

It’s important that pets have regular health checks at the vet. Dogs and cats age much more quickly than humans, and it’s important to catch problems early if you want to ensure a long and happy life for your companion animal.

Checking your pet’s teeth will be part of your annual health check. Annual dental checks are an ideal opportunity for owners to find out if their pet has an existing problem which has gone unnoticed. Dental checks also help ensure bacteria and poisons from dental infections do not spread to the heart, liver and kidneys through the bloodstream.

Vets also recommend regular tooth brushing. Tooth brushing is safer and more effective than chewing and many dogs and cats can be trained to enjoy having their teeth brushed, especially if started when they’re young. Although bones are a popular treat that you may be using for dental care, they can cause problems such as broken teeth and gut obstruction.

Download the factsheet and checklist below:

Dental Fact Sheet / Checklist

Monitoring Heart Disease

If your pet has been diagnosed with heart disease it is really important that they are regularly monitored. At Lamington Terrace Vet in Nambour one of the things we recommend is a simple test that you can do at home – measure the breathing rate while your pet is sleeping. It should be under 30 breaths per minute.

If you are regularly measuring this then you will be alerted to any upward trend that could indicate your pet is developing congestive changes in the lungs. Dr Leisa has found a great App for iPhone that helps you measure and record resting respiratory rates. It is called Respiratory Rate Calculator and it allows you to enter the pet’s details, the target breath rate and to schedule reminders.

It has handy information on how to measure and calculate the breath rate and will display the results in graph form. You can even send the results straight to us!

For more information about heart disease, contact us at the clinic. Also check out the articles on “Heart Disease”, “Changes Due to Congestive Heart Failure” and “Do you know if your best friend is at risk of heart disease”.

Is your dog eating your home

Or overly agressive? Is your cat leaving smells where it shouldn’t? Or worse?

Your pet’s behaviour matters. It can cause embarassment for you and frustration and annoyance for others too …. We can help you!

Our proven behavioural imporvement process can change this for you fast:

  • We quickly identify the main trigger of the pet’s behaviour – this is the key to success
  • You will quickly have more control over your pet
  • You’ll learn to love them again and avoid any more embarassing slip-ups

Don’t suffer in silence. If you are having behavioural problems with your pets, don’t wait – don something about it!