As Spring arrives and the temperature heats up, we need to start thinking about how to control fleas on our furry friends! A significant portion of the flea life cycle takes place off the pet, unfortunately this happens in their bedding and our carpets, as well as cracks and crevices in the home. For every 1 adult flea on your pet, there are roughly 99 flea eggs and larvae in the environment! Fleas also much prefer to feed on dogs or cats, fortunately for us, so if you do get bitten you can be pretty certain that there are plenty of fleas around. The presence of flea dirt, black crusty excrement often near the base of the pet’s tail is another indication of fleas. This is basically digested blood, and turns red if wetted.
There are some good pour on and spray on insecticides available to kill adult fleas, many of them now also contain insect growth regulators to inhibit larval development as well. Regular vacuuming of the carpets will remove many of the eggs before they hatch, flea eggs are a bit like cockroaches in a nuclear explosion, I don’t know of any chemical that can kill them before they hatch! A female flea is able to lay thousands of eggs during her lifetime. Alternate your insecticide use to slow down the development of resistance, and use them more frequently in summer. Remember that some flea products will also kill worms, these can be especially useful in cats that don’t enjoy worm pills. The health problems most commonly associated with fleas are flea allergic dermatitis and tapeworm infestation. This applies to both dogs and cats. If you have a dog or cat with a sensitive or allergic skin, regular flea control is essential to remove one of the most common irritants from their environment. Allergic animals become sensitized to a protein in the flea’s saliva, so their allergy is primed with each bite. There are many effective flea products available which we use in our parasite prevention programme, please contact us if you want to sign up. We can tailor make this to suit your needs, and use different products including internal wormers throughout the year. Typically we mail these out quarterly, so you don't have to worry about remembering to treat your animals for internal and external parasites.
Mites are also occasionally seen, Demodex is the most common in dogs (mange), and sarcoptic mange or scabies is a zoonosis as well, in other words it can affect us. Both cause very severe itching, and sometimes even bleeding. Cats’ most common mite is the ear mite. Cats and rabbits can get Cheyletiella, or “walking dandruff”, and this too is a zoonosis. Mites are arthropods (the adults have 8 legs). The macrocytic lactones like Advocate and Revolution will kill mites, and are available without prescription. There are many other dips and ointments, and even injections that we can prescribe which will get rid of the parasite.
Lice (6 legged white or near transparent insects) can be found on animals in poor condition, or very young animals. Fortunately they are fairly easy to kill, but are often a sign that your pet is run down for some reason.
We are fortunate in Canterbury in that we don’t get ticks on our pets. So far the only ticks I’ve seen on the Peninsula have been on white flippered penguins. If you ever see or suspect your pet may have a tick, please let me know! Ticks are arachnids with 8 legs, hard, and their abdomen swells up with blood after a meal, making for a very impressive show if you squash them.
We've created an online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions or pet food and other animal health products. You can also view invoices and statements as well as update your and your animal's details.
Now you can like us on facebook to receive regular updates (including the monthly news article) and interact with us online
Our new vet, Dr India Martin has started and we now offer an extra afternoon consulting in Diamond Harbour as well as home visits in Little River on Monday & Thursday afternoons for no extra charge compared to clinic visits. We have beautiful cat greeting cards available to help fund our kitten rehoming and stray cat desexing work. Thanks to Cat Rescue Christchurch who also generously pay for many of our surgeries on strays! You can hire stock signs for your car or to put on the road, as well as orange flashing beacons and hi-viz vests from us to comply with the new regulations when moving stock. We've put shingle down in the parking area and made it drive through so please park inside and tell us what you think! Also have you noticed our freshly painted roof?
We have a large of foods and animal health products, including the BlackHawk working dog food at great prices. Our cattery has proved very popular, and we've had many repeat customers. Masterpet has taken over the cattery's food sponsorship with BlackHawk cat and kitten food, we'd also like to thank Hills Pet Nutrition for their food sponsorship over the cattery's first 5 years.
We have an inhouse blood analyzer at the clinic, so we can run many tests while you wait. This allows us to offer pre-anaesthetic testing as well as health screening for older animals, and provide an emergency service afterhours and weekends when the Christchurch laboratory is closed. We also now have a portable ultrasound scanner, good news for pregnancy testing.
We once again have the cheap mismating injection available for bitches. This has been off the market for a few years now, but Paul has been able to have some compounded. We have some ideas to help you save on animal health expenses- ask us about very competitively priced BlackHawk farm dog food specially designed at Massey for NZ working dogs, and get to feed a premium, performance enhancing brand. Also the RFID electronic ear tags are now compulsory for cattle and deer. Ask us about ordering NAIT tags for your stock, or about the new tagging requirements. There is a lot more flexibility in what visible tags are acceptable- they don't all have to be yellow! We are able to procure eartags at below recommended retail prices.
We also have a large range of Acana/Orijen, Hills Science Diet and BlackHawk dog and cat food in stock. We can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and Thursdays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Animal health information - Archives
Please contact us if you’d like copies of any of these. Many are now available to view as posts on Paul's Linkedin page. Also let us know if you’d like to see any other topics featured here.
A different perspective, Animal welfare, Accidental poisonings, Arthritis, Allergies, Above & beyond, After Hours, Akaroa or bust
Becoming a vet, Birthing & midwifery, Be wormwise this Autumn
Calici vaccination update- rabbits
Dental care, De sexing, Dogs, sheep measles & farm etiquette
External parasites, Euthanasia, EID's, Equine deworming recommendations & autumn animal health advice
First aid in animals. FIV and Feline Leukaemia, Five Freedoms
Happy to be stuck with you, Human-animal bond, Heat Stroke
Internal parasites, Is it too late to spay or neuter my pet? Internet & Google- the good the bad and the ugly, It shouldn't happen to a vet, I don't vaccinate my animals
Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, Mycoplasma bovis , Microchipping,
Nutrition, Nutrition in pet rabbits, New Year Animal Health Checklist
Obesity in pets, Onwards & upwards
Poisons in the pantry, primary health care, Plant poisonings, Pigs rule, Pig's Ear, Pathology & blood testing, Pet statistics in NZ, Phamaceuticals- the NZ situation
Rabbit calicivirus, Ramped up rhino, Resistance-squandering a miracle, Road block
Senior wellness, Sheep measles
Tapeworm, TB in NZ, The nasties, The big move, The Challenge of Diamond Harbour, The thief, The Driving Lesson, Technology at work, Tom cat vasectomy
Urinary problems in cats
Vets’ cars, vaccination principles- ruminants, Vaccination of dogs & cats, Vet lifestyler
War wounds, Why vaccinate?, World veterinary year, World vaccination guidelines, Wild & stray cats
Yoghurtised milk recipe