On Saturday we will be joining FRONTLINE at Paws in the Park in Kent. Since I came back from kennels in January with fleas and we subsequently spent a month and far too many pounds getting rid of them, Mum had declared war on fleas. It therefore makes perfect sense for us to join the FRONTLINE tour and help educate other responsible dog owners as to the dangers of fleas and ticks and therefore help them to avoid the pain of flea infestations.
Fleas are nasty little things. Very, very itchy, trust me you don’t want them. Not only are they itchy but they can cause more serious health problems which luckily we avoided in our recent outbreak but next time we might not be so lucky. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common ailment associated with flea bites, this allergic reaction to the saliva of fleas can cause severe hair loss due to excessive scratching which is commonly seen in neglected dogs where flea infestations have been allowed to get out of control. In small puppies, severe flea infestations can be even more dangerous, causing a disease called flea bite anemia which can lead to the need for blood transfusions, iron supplementation and hospitalisation. In addition to these more severe ailments, fleas can be a vector for tapeworm. When a dog grooms themselves they ingest the fleas and therefore if the fleas are carrying the tapeworm larva they are also ingested. After ingestion the tapeworm develops in the dog’s intestinal tract where they will remain until treated. Gross right? Fleas can also cause issues for your humans too, fleas are fussy about who they bite and those bite are itchy no matter what species you are!
Not only are fleas totally gross but they are also very hard to get rid of. An adult female flea can lay up to 500 eggs per day which hatch into larva and burrow into any soft furnishings or carpet in your home. Due to their rate of reproduction and short lifecycle, once fleas are in your home they are very difficult to get rid of, as we experienced. I’d like to add that I was treated with a flea treatment spot on before I went into kennels, not FRONTLINE though, FYI. Once Mum discovered our fleas (and yes I had generously shared them with Rhapsody by then) she went straight down to the local supermarket to buy any and every flea product they sold. Flea shampoo, flea spot-on, flea spray, you name it, she bought it! She spent nearly £20 and a week later, they were back! Eventually, through trial and error of different products, excessive hoovering and washing everything we’d touched every day for a week we managed to get rid of them. Luckily for us, if there is a next time, FRONTLINE have the answer. Their new product FRONTLINE Plus not only treats the fleas on us pups but also has IGR technology that stop flea eggs and larvae from developing in your home. Now that sounds like a useful thing to have up your sleeve!
On to the second, and even more dangerous, of the two evils. Ticks. Luckily we get so many cuddles and are groomed so often, that Mum notices ticks on us pretty much as soon as we pick they up but if she didn’t they could be potentially life threatening. Most tick-borne diseases will take several hours to transmit to a host, so the sooner a tick is located and removed, the lower the risk of disease. The symptoms of most tick-borne diseases include fever and lethargy though some can also cause weakness, lameness, joint swelling and/or anemia. Signs may take days, weeks or months to appear.Some tick-borne diseases can cause permanent organ damage and even death. Common tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Babesiosis. Different ticks in different areas will carry different diseases. It is worth checking out which tick-borne diseases are prevalent in your area and protecting your pets accordingly.Some ticks can cause a temporary condition called tick paralysis, which is manifested by a gradual onset of difficulty walking that may develop into paralysis. Sounds like fun right? Not so much. Luckily for us, ticks are easy to get rid of. As long as you use the proper technique to remove them or a special tick removal tool, ticks will not cause a problem. The risk of ticks is reduced by using a product such as FRONTLINE Plus but you should still check for ticks regularly, especially after walks in wooded areas.
To read more about FRONTLINE’s new product you can head over to their website, http://uk.frontline.com or check them out to social media http://twitter.com/FrontlineSpotOn or http://facebook.com/FrontlineSpotOn
That’s all from us today, keep an eye on our social media channels to keep up with our day at the FRONTLINE house, we can’t wait to get moved in!