Hi folks. I know it’s a bit out of the traditional “tick season” in Lennox Head, but there’s been some important recent developments in the control of these horrible parasites that everyone needs to know about.
Firstly, when I say “out of season”, that’s not strictly true. As far as Paralysis Tick prevalence is concerned the period from late July to late December is the main risk period to our pets (and us). Traditionally August, September, October and November are the most hair-raisingly evil months of the tick season.
However, ticks can be found on our pets any time of the year. This means that some unlucky pets and their owners have to deal with the devastating consequences of tick paralysis even in mid-winter. At the Lennox Head Vet Clinic we are still pulling multiple ticks off some pets even in May.
It also means that many owners stop using prevention during some of the perceived low risk periods and may forget to start tick prevention even when things get ugly.
Added to the tick issues, there is also the relentless and ubiquitous presence of fleas and the associated misery they cause our pets. Fleas are bad all year round, they just get particularly prevalent in Summer and Autumn.
So, anyhow, what of these new treatments? Well, for fleas on cats and kittens theres a new spot-on called Activyl, and a chewy tablet called Comfortis. Both products are extremely effective against fleas and are given once a month.
For ticks on cats theres still only one effective safe product, and thats Frontline applied every 2 weeks to the back of the neck. Frontline isn’t registered for this use, but its safe and relatively efficient (though not 100%, so you need to check your pet every day).
Dogs are the lucky ones, since as well as the above products for fleas, there’s two fantastic new oral chews that will control Fleas AND Ticks in the one convenient dose!
First of these to be recently released in Australia (although used in over 20 million dogs overseas) is Nexguard. Nexguard is a tasty soy chew given once a month to pups and dogs that controls fleas and Paralysis ticks for a full month. Being an oral chew, it treats all nooks and crannies of your dog that a flea or tick might crawl.
Now a similar, but even more awesome, oral chew has been released that will control Ticks and Fleas in dogs for over 3 full months with one single dose! Having the slightly cumbersome name of Bravecto, this product has been extensively trialled in Australia (especially in the Casino area) and has been extremely effective at controlling fleas and Paralysis ticks.
It should be noted that neither of these products uses any insecticides that are a derived from the Agricultural industry. Also, the cost amounts to about $4 or $5 a week for most pets, which is about the same as previous products but much more effective, especially in swimming and long-haired pets.
So my advice is use one of these products all year round and check them daily to keep your pets safe, comfortable and well. Feel free to ask us any questions about these products.
Bye for now!
EVAN KOSACK, LENNOX HEAD