With the summer rains . . . Print E-mail
News - Rubrieke
Monday, 24 November 2014 23:58
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With the summer rains . . . 

Ticks love the heat of summer and good rains. And with our mild winters they are not really knocked back, so we see biliary throughout the year. Cats also pick up ticks, but we do not see feline biliary in Gauteng. It is a problem in Mpumalanga and along the Cape coast, so watch out if you take your cats on holiday.

Tick control in dogs is vital in the summer months, and should in my opinion not really stop in winter; it is just too mild these days. A tick can pass on biliary parasites within 48 hours after biting your dog. The parasites are dormant in the salivary glands of the tick and mature once the tick starts feeding. This is what gives the lag period of two days.

Tick bite fever parasites (Ehrlichia canis) can, however, be transmitted within a few hours. So the point is that you need to use a product with a repellent or a very rapid kill time to avoid transmitting disease.

It is important to understand what the product you are buying does. Tick and flea powders and shampoos are basically useless to control ticks on your dogs if they are in a high-risk area. These are effective for control of ticks and fleas in bedding and in the vacuum cleaner to kill the flea larvae that have been sucked up.

The spot-ons are ideal for monthly application. Here the problem is that frequent swimming will cause dilution of the active ingredient and more frequent application will be necessary.

Practic® is more resistant to water leaching and Revolution® is absorbed systemically, so water will not be a problem from two days after application.

Some of the spot-ons are effective as repellents as well (Advantix®, Certifect®). They should stop ticks from even climbing onto your dog and will also work against biting flies and fleas.

Then we have the collars – not ideal in puppies and chewing young dogs, as they are toxic and will cause some mild to moderate neurological signs if swallowed, although these are transient with the veterinary brands.

The Preventic® collar is shorter acting – three months – and is extremely effective against ticks, but not at all against fleas. Frequent submersion in water will affect efficacy.

The Seresto® collar is designed to last for eight months, slowly releasing the active ingredient in daily doses. The collar is designed to only release the daily portion of the dose, thus swimming will not leach the active ingredient. Additionally, handling by children will not transfer insecticide to their hands.

The correct placement of the collar is essential to efficacy. Read the instructions. I am always amazed at how much customers are willing to spend on a product and then not read application instructions so that they can use it correctly.

We do not recommend the Seresto collar on very thick-coated woolly dogs, such as chows, because skin contact is essential for release of the active ingredient.

The newest product available is a tablet, which is highly effective against ticks and fleas with a very rapid onset of action. This tablet, Bravecto®, needs to be given only every three months, which is also nice and convenient. 

With long periods of rain and wet ground and grass some cats are reluctant to go to the toilet outside. This can lead to bladder inflammation and signs of cystitis. A simple way to prevent this is to keep a litter box or two in a dry area in the garage or stoep where they know about it and can use it when they don’t want to go outside. This will prevent stress and urine retention.

You just need to remember about it and give it a clean, especially when in use. Obviously the more cats you have, the more litter boxes you will need. Do not place them all in the same spot, because to the cat this constitutes one big litter box.


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