Fleas; easy to contract, tough to treat. They are one pesky pest for which prevention is better than cure. A frustrating, irritating nuisance for many pets, they can also be the cause an allergic dermatitis, exerting a debilitating itch that can significantly negatively impact quality of life. An allergen within their saliva leads to small, raised bumps upon each bite. Constant scratching worsens their impact as larger sores develop, which can even become infected. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Then consider that a single flea can lay 50 eggs each day and 1500 over their lifetime. Each of those eggs develop into adult fleas who each lay 1500 ‘babies’ themselves. These statistics really bring home the requirement for keeping these critters at arms-length from the get-go. It also explains how young pets can develop dangerous anaemia if left untreated since flea burdens get out of control, and quickly.
Ticks are no walk in the park either. They lay thousands of eggs themselves, and the ‘special’ thing about these arachnids (yep, they are indeed related to spiders!) is that they are not host specific. They’ll latch on to most mammals, including us humans. Some ticks carry unpleasant diseases such as Lyme disease, and lengthy ill-health and ongoing treatment plans can ensue.
So, as pet owners what are you to do? Our recommendation is to prevent them, and the handy thing is that products exist which will prevent both of these parasites in one fell swoop. There are differing legal categories depending upon the active ingredients and strengths of these ingredients within products, and we stock a wide range spanning all of these, feel free to browse our flea treatments and tick treatments via these links to our website.
Prescription Only Medicines – Veterinary (POM-V)
POM-Vs are medicines which require your pet to have been examined by a veterinarian to ensure that they are in good enough health to receive veterinary strength products. It is helpful to know however, that a written prescription may be obtained from your veterinarian, unlocking the ability to buy prescribed products elsewhere; a useful nugget of information especially where regular use of treatments is required and it’s a service we can provide. We stock a wide range of prescription-strength flea treatments for dogs and cats, and can usually fill the prescription from your vet.
Non-Food Animal- Veterinarian Pharmacist Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) (NFA- VPS)
These products can be supplied by veterinarians, pharmacists and SQPs. SQPs are people who have undergone the relevant training and certification under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.
The active ingredient fipronil is widely used by pet owners for treating ticks and fleas and is a solid choice for anyone opting to prevent and treat fleas and ticks. It provides up to eight weeks of protection against fleas, and up to four weeks of protection from ticks. Interestingly, as with many products of this nature, ticks can still bite a pet despite being treated; the ingredient works as an insecticide, damaging the tick (importantly) before they have had
chance to infect a pet with the above-mentioned tick-borne diseases. See here for more information.
When combined with Methoprene, this treatment really comes into its own. This combination is an excellent choice for treating and preventing fleas and ticks, as well as biting lice, in particular for its two-pronged effect on fleas. It kills existing adult fleas as you might expect, however it also renders any previously laid larvae inactive, thus breaking the cycle in two ways; especially helpful amidst an infestation. You can read more about these easy-to-use topical treatments here.
An alternative to this mode of action can be found in the active ingredient imidacloprid which repels ticks before they even bite. It also kills ticks upon contact, once again, prior to them biting. What’s more, it does so for up to eight months and is available in the form of a collar for ease of use.
Authorised Veterinary Medicine- General Sales List (AVM-GSL)
These products are often described as “over the counter medicines” requiring no prescription, and there are some worthwhile options within this category too. Once again showcasing the active ingredient fipronil. They commonly come in handy ‘spot on’ preparations which are easy to apply. We stock a range of these products including Frontline Spot On which you can find here.
An interesting category, which includes helpful products such as shampoos. Animology Flea and Tick Shampoo for example, removes debris left by fleas and ticks. Fleas in particular leave a great deal of ‘dirt’ in their wake. In fact, looking for brown deposits in the coat of a pet is one of the ways you can detect the presence of fleas in the first instance. Using a shampoo which is pet specific as well as gentle on the coat and skin is imperative for skin health. After all that work to de-itch a pet by ridding them of fleas, drying out their skin and causing further discomfort would most definitely be counterproductive.
Whatever you choose to use your pet will thank you for keeping their skin and coat clear of parasites. We are here to provide you with all the necessary tools to do so, leaving your pets to live their best, most comfortable lives.