Flea, Mite & Tick Control

 

FLEAS

 

Flea bites can cause itching and dermatitis in animals and humans.

 

If there is a big flea burden, your pets can develop anaemia.

 

Fleas are also the main carriers of tapeworm, which can infest your pets and also young children if fleas hop into their mouths.

 

We recommend oral monthly treatments with Bravecto or Nexgard or spot on treatments such as revolution and advantage.

 

In some cases, you may need to treat the environment as well if you have difficulty eradicating fleas.

 

Please drop in and discuss any issues with the staff.

 

We will be happy to give you all the advice that you need.

 

 

MITES

 

Mites or the common word “mange” is a specific skin disease due to two common types of mites; demodectic and sarcoptic mange.

The two mites are quite different.

 

Demodectic mange:

 

This is caused by the mite Demodex canis. Most healthy dogs have this mite present in small numbers as a normal inhabitant of their skin and it causes no problems.

 

It is only a problem when juvenile dogs or adult dogs have a weakened immune system which allows the mites to multiply and cause  patchy fur loss . Demodectic mange can resolve without treatment if there is only a few patches of fur loss.

 

However it can progress to a severe problem with generalized fur loss and secondary bacterial infection if there is a failure of the dog's immune system. These cases require treatment and it is best to consult the Vet as soon as possible. Diagnosis is made by taking a skin scraping and viewing under the microscope.

 

Demodex canis is species-specific and cannot be transmitted to humans. 

 

Sarcoptic mange:

 

This is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabei. The infection is commonly called Scabies. This mange is very different to Demodectic mange. Most dogs catch Sarcoptic mange from contact with infected foxes, wombats, or other dogs.

 

Dogs of any age may be infected. The areas most commonly involved are the ears (especially the edges of the ears) and the elbows, although any area of the body may be affected. These areas become red and intensely itchy. The fur usually falls out and the skin becomes flaky and sometimes crusty.

 

Scabies is highly contagious to other dogs, and may even infect owners if they are in close contact with their dog.

  

Treatment is always necessary. Scabies will not get better by itself and the intense itching causes dogs to mutilate their skin. Modern spot-on preparations, such as Revolution and Advocate, are the best current treatment.

 

 

TICKS

 

The paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus) are found mainly along the coast of eastern Australia. These ticks are not native to the Melbourne area, but they may enter the region in vehicles, camping gear, clothing, or on humans and animals returning from tick-prevalent areas.

 

These ticks normally live on the native bandicoot without any detrimental effect. They can prove to be fatal in dogs and cats, and very occasionally humans. The paralysis tick's saliva contains a toxin that affects the nerves of the host animal.

 

Clinical signs may occur as early as two days after the attachment of a tick, and include dullness or lethargy, vomiting, a change in your dog's bark, or a grunt when breathing. Staggering in the hind legs follows, and if the condition is left untreated, the paralysis progresses to the front legs, neck muscles, and muscles associated with breathing and swallowing. Death occurs with respiratory arrest. This is a progressive and eventually fatal condition if not treated early enough.

 

Prevention is most definitely better than cure!

 

Treatment for tick paralysis should ALWAYS be supervised by a veterinarian, and involves removing the offending tick(s), intravenous fluids, plus administration of tick antiserum and other medications. Until veterinary attention can be sought, heat, excitement and stress should be avoided, and food or water should not be given.

 

Prevention:

 

Bites from Paralysis ticks are extremely dangerous to your pets.

 

Fortunately, these parasites are not native to our area.

 

If you plan to travel up North, especially along the Coast or along the Murray River, please speak to our Staff about preventative measures.

 

A number of preventative treatments are available, Oral and Spot Ons.

 

Please speak to our staff about the options.

 

Where possible, completely avoid tick habitat.

 

Avoid walking your dog in coastal bush areas that are known to harbour large numbers of ticks.

 

Examine your pets daily whilst in tick country. Remove their collar, and then use your fingertips to feel through the coat down to skin level. Pay particular attention to the head, neck and shoulders, inside the ears, lips, around the bottom, and between the toes. Ticks or tick craters may be felt as lumps on the skin surface. Any unattached ticks should be rapidly removed, but attached ticks should first be killed by thoroughly saturating the area with Frontline® spray or a rapid knockdown insecticide (such as pyrethrin insect spray). After the ticks are dead they should be removed with fine tweezers, ensuring that the mouth parts of the tick are fully removed.

 

No product on the market will guarantee prevention of all cases of tick attachment. The current recommended prevention regime is the use of Frontline® every 2 weeks. It is applied to the coat and kills ticks within 24-48 hours after attaching. Thorough examination as described above is still required.

 

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