The Best Flea Treatments For Aussie Dogs – Our Vets Discuss.

The Best Flea Treatments For Aussie Dogs – Our Vets Discuss.

Did you know an adult female Flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day?

You read that right – 50 eggs a day!

And from egg to adult, Fleas can mature in a matter of weeks in the right conditions. So if your dog or cat is itchy, read on!

This article could prevent your home from turning into a flea circus. Full disclaimer: Our Vets run www.fleamail.com.au, Flea, Tick & Worming made easy for Aussies. However, we’re not backed by any pharma companies. We simply use the best.

What are Fleas anyway?

Fleas are small, wingless parasites that survive by feeding on the blood of cats, dogs, and humans. Because they feed on warm-blooded animals, Fleas are extremely good at surviving all year-round, from our harshest Aussie summers to our coldest winters.

A Flea’s entire body is made to eat, with a head that’s encompassed by sharp spikes, and with a mouth that’s designed to pierce through a host’s skin and feed on their blood.

What are the early signs of Fleas?

Given the size of Fleas, you likely won’t see them until your dog is “scratching an itch”. To check your dog for fleas, use a fine-toothed comb and brush while looking for small brown dots moving about. Extensive flea bites can also lead to anaemia and hair loss, so it’s important to get hem early.

Fleas can also gravitate to a dog’s ears and tail, so be sure to check there too.

Keep an eye out for “Flea dirt”, the poo fleas leave on your pet’s fur. If you moisten Flea dirt on a tissue it will turn red, since it is mainly ingested blood.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

How do dogs and cats get Fleas?

As the “circus” name eludes to, Fleas are capable of jumping nearly a foot in the air vertically!

This makes it easy for fleas to get onto a dog, cats or humans. Fleas love warm temperatures too, so in summer they’re everywhere, in winter they’re searching for your pet’s warm fur!

After a single feeding, Fleas can survive for months without a meal, yikes.

Let’s get to it, preventing Fleas!

Like EVERYTHING, prevention is better than cure when it comes to Fleas, and we recommend total parasite protection (like FleaMail) because Fleas can carry other diseases. FleaMail uses oral protection, but there are other methods available.

Here are your options:

1. Oral Flea treatments for dogs.

Many Vets (including our FleaMail Vets) prefer oral treatments as, depending on the product, also protects against more parasites than Fleas like ticks, heartworm, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.

It should be noted, no single oral flea treatment for dogs can protect against all parasites. At FleaMail we use a combination of leading Australian parasite prevention products for comprehensive protection.

2. Topical Flea treatments for dogs.

Applied directly to your pet’s skin, normally between at the base of the neck or shoulder blades, topical flea and tick treatments are often referred to as “spot-ons”, a parasite prevention liquid that’s spread over your pet’s entire body and sweat glands.

Due to the chemicals used, the unknown protection and the possibility of children coming into contact with your pets, we do not recommend spot-ons at FleaMail.

3. Flea Collars for dogs.

Flea collars are exactly what they sound like, a collar with a concentrated chemical to repel and kill fleas, and some ticks.

Flea collars intend to disperse the active ingredients over the animal’s entire body, but as you can imagine, there can be a large concentration of chemicals on your pet’s neck, and the rest of their body exposed. For these reasons, the FleaMail Vets tend to avoid Flea and Tick collars.

4. Powders, Sprays and Shampoos.

Another approach for controlling Fleas are sprays, powders and shampoos. These were more popular 15-20 years ago before oral treatments caught up. Flea powders and sprays need to cover your pet’s entire body, even between their toes, but always avoid their eyes and mouth (very tricky as all pets lick).

We avoid Flea shampoos and powders, they’re just inconvenient and can be very toxic.

A few notes about Flea and Tick treatments.

We should also note, that with all of these Flea and Tick preventions, and like every human medication, there can be side effects from preventive treatments, including vomiting, diarrhoea, skin reactions and worse in very rare cases. Please always consult your local Vet if you are at all concerned.

Looking for the right Flea treatment products?

We’ve prepared a list below, so you can do your research. If you’ve any questions, please just get in touch with the FleaMail team on our contact us page – and our Vets will get back to you!

1. FleaMail: www.fleamail.com.au
Comprehensive Flea, Tick & Worming by Aussie Vets.
The FleaMail protection plan includes:

– Monthly Simparica liver chew for fleas, ticks and mites.
– Monthly ValuHeart heartworming prevention.
– Every 3 months Cazitel liver tablet for intestinal, tape, lungworms and giardia.

2. Sentinel Spectrum: www.sentinelpet.com
NOTE: Does not cover Ticks and Mites.

3. Nexgard: www.nexgard.com.au
NOTE: Does not cover Mites and Tapeworms.

4. Bravecto: www.bravecto.com.au
NOTE: Does not cover Mites, Intestinal and Tapeworms.

5. Comfortis Plus: www.comfortis.com
NOTE: Does not cover Ticks, Mites and Tapeworms.

6. Advantix: www.advantagepetcare.com.au
NOTE: Does not cover Paralysis Ticks, Mites, Intestinal, Tape and Heartworms.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

Worried About Ticks? 7 Signs Your Dog Has One.

Worried About Ticks? 7 Signs Your Dog Has One.

Ticks are everywhere in Australia, and if you live anywhere near the coast, you’ll know all about our dreaded paralysis ticks too.

And while your dog or cat can get a tick at any time of year (they don’t die off or hibernate, see here), September starts official paralysis tick season in many areas of Australia. Come September, your pet should be fully protected against these nasties.

But what are ticks?

Ticks are oddly not related to fleas, but actually related to spiders (arachnids). Unlike spideres however, ticks require a “blood meal” from a host, most often an animal to grow and reproduce.

Australian ticks have 4 stages in their life: Egg, larva, nymph and adult. At all stages except the egg stage, a tick must take a blood meal.

What makes paralysis ticks so dangerous?

When a paralysis tick bites, or feeds, it injects a neurotoxin into the bloodstream of the animal. A paralysis tick’s toxin then causes paralysis of the animals muscles.

Because of this, paralysis ticks are the most deadly tick species in Australia, one bite can kill a large dog. There are two paralysis tick species in Australia, the Australian and the Tasmanian paralysis tick.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

How to spot a tick on your cat or dog.

1. Finding a tick in, or around your home.

If you find a tick on your carpets, curtains or anywhere else, your dog is likely the carrier and probably bought it in the house. Check your dog or cat straight away, using the next point.

2. Give you dog or cat a full rub down.

What you are looking for is a small bump, that could vary from the size of piece of sand to a small pebble. If you feel any abnormality, grab the torch and get as good of a look as you can. You can’t miss a tick when you find one.

3. Your dog acts strange.

After a tick bite, especially a paralysis tick, your dog may show symptoms of a fever, weakness or not wanting to play like normal, no appetite, different shivering (for small dogs who can do it for other reasons) and any unusual panting. If you notice any of these sign, please see a vet!

4. Excessively nipping or licking.

While ticks are often in places where dogs can’t reach easily, your dog may excessively nip or lick if it knows it has a tick. Pay close to attention if your dog keeps nipping one, or a few spots, and investigate with a flashlight immediately. Common areas are your dog’s ears, groin or under their front legs.

5. Unusual scabs or skin irretations.

A tick may have had it’s fill and left your dog already, however the signs are often still there. Many dogs excessively nip or lick at the bite site. If you notice this behaviour or find scabs on your dog’s body, make sure to conduct a closer examination.

6. Unusual head shaking.

Ticks can often crawl into a dog’s ear canal, as they like to hide in warm, damp places. If you notice your dog shaking their head more than normal, get out a flashlight and look very carefully for a tick. Note, the tick may be tiny at this stage as your dog will feel them in their ears more than other places.

7. Keep the tick for identification.

Once you’ve removed the tick (see video link below), keep the tick in a jar or zip lock bag so you can get it identified by your vet if need be. If you notice any signs in your pet, or are the least bit concerned, please contact your local vet straight away.

How to remove a tick.

Bush tick, paralysis tick or other species, here’s what you need to do if you find a tick on your pet. Firstly, try not to panic! When you panic your pet will too, and you may try to remove the tick the wrong way (if you’re in a rush), which can cause even more pain and complications.

Across is a video Dr Evan, FleaMail’s Vet recommends for remove a tick. AND REMEMBER, prevention like FleaMail is always better than the cure.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

Intestinal Worms, The 5 Myths You Need To Know.

Intestinal Worms, The 5 Myths You Need To Know.

Worms aren’t the most pleasant topic, but every pet owner should be aware of them. It’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure your pet (and your hooman family) are protected from these slimy, wriggly parasites.

The good news, most worm infestations can be prevented and if infested, properly treated.

You should also know about the wide range of worms including “roundworm, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, lung worms” and the one you really want to avoid, “heartworm”. You can read more about heartworm here.

It’s also good to know about the myths surrounding worms, so you can take control of any situation.

Myth 1: Indoors pets don’t get worms.

Pets can catch worms anywhere, from paddocks, parks to backyards and beaches. Worms are carried by wildlife, insects and regularly turn up in undercooked or raw meat.

Cats and dogs however, most commonly get worms from contact with infected faeces (or where faeces was).

Pets can also pick up worms by accidentally swallowing microscopic eggs and some worms can even infect pets by directly penetrating their skin, or transferred in the bite of an insect.

Pets that hunt and eat animals including lizards, mice and birds or scavenge animal carcasses are at higher risk of many intestinal worms. Studies have shown that around 25% of pets are infected with roundworm.

Myth 2: My pet doesn’t scratch their bum, so they don’t have worms.

There’s a commonly held belief that when a dog rubs its bottom along the ground (so-called sledging or scooting), the most likely cause is worms.

In fact, worms rarely cause this type of itchiness and there are dozens of other common causes of scooting. Some worms don’t even affect the digestive tract.

For example, a lungworm infection can be a serious health problem, especially for cats and pets can become infected after eating snails, slugs, rodents, birds or reptiles that carry the lungworm parasite.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

Myth 3: I can’t catch worms from my pet.

It would be nice if that were true, but sadly it’s not!

A “zoonosis” is a disease that can be transferred from animals to humans, and when it comes to worms, children are most at risk.

Children are often in closest contact with pets and the outside environment that can be contaminated with worm eggs. If larvae end up in the brain or eye of a child, there can be very serious consequences.

Make sure everyone washes their hands after playing with a pet and before eating, cover sandpits to prevent animals from using them as a toilet, and remove poo from the yard. Most importantly, treat all of your pets regularly with an intestinal wormer.

Myth 4: Puppys and kittens don’t get worms.

Most worms are picked up from the environment, but puppies and kittens can get worms from their mom even before birth or by feeding on mother’s milk.

Puppies and kittens also have a reduced immune system, and their bodies can’t fight off these worms like adult animals can. So ensuring they are wormed is essential.

Myth 5: My pet’s poo doesn’t have worms, so they’re fine.

Most pets with worms will not poop out the adults, just the eggs or larval forms, which we often can’t even see.

We should note, that almost all dogs and cats will have some level of worms, and a small number of worms in the gut of a healthy dog or cat can show no external symptoms. They may however still be pooping out eggs and infecting the surrounding environment.

If they are vomiting or having diarrhoea due to worms, that means that there is a very high amount of worms and therefore we are seeing symptoms in these particular patients.

What you can do to prevent worms.

  • Clean kennels and your pet’s bedding regularly.
  • Control pests that harbour worms including snails, slugs, mice, rats and fleas.
  • Regularly remove poo from gardens and kitty litter trays.
  • Avoid feeding your pet raw meat or offal.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after playing with your pet and before eating.
  • Cover your sandpit if you have one.
  • Treat your pets regularly with a veterinary grade wormer.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

5 Myths About Aussie Fleas And Ticks.

5 Myths About Aussie Fleas And Ticks.

The pet world is full of furfies, and as a Vet, I’ve had to treat hundreds of animals where the information found online has been incorrect. So today we’re looking at some of the more “popular myths” regarding fleas, ticks and the treatments that are out there.

Let’s start with fleas, a frustrating problem for pet owners.

Fleas can make your pet itch all over, some itch so badly, that they’ll scratch and chew themselves until they bleed! Some fleas also carry other parasites, that can include tapeworm, so fleas can actually lead to more dangerous parasite-related diseases.

Then there are our killer Aussie ticks.

Ticks can be outright killers, especially the infamous paralysis tick. Ticks also carry other diseases that cause weakness, lethargy and joint pain in cats and dogs if not properly protected (see our Fleamail parasite protection plans here). Now to the myths.

Myth 1: There is a flea or tick “season”.

While there are times of the year where fleas and ticks are more active, there is no such thing as a “season for parasites”.

Many people think that fleas or ticks die off in winter, however having treated hundreds of dogs in our coldest months, I can tell you that fleas and ticks can (and do) survive the winter quite happily. Your dog’s coat is the perfect warm spot in colder temperatures.

Myth 2: A few fleas are okay for pets.

Dogs scratch, it’s normal.

No, it’s not.

Imagine having lice where you head feels itchy all day, and no matter how much you scratch, you’re still itchy. It’d drive you nuts right? Fleas can cause irritation and unhappiness for your pet, even in small numbers. Some pets are even allergic to them, where a single bite can cause a condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis, a very expensive condition to treat.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

Myth 3: Supermarket treatments are the same as the veterinary grade ones.

If you’ve bought flea, tick and worming treatments from a supermarket, you may have wondered why they are cheaper than from a vet clinic. Perhaps it’s the bulk buying power of supermarkets?

Actually, that’s not the case.

The answer is, that not all flea and tick products are created equal. Store brands tend to contain cheaper, inferior ingredients or lower dosages to reduce costs than veterinary approved products. Some popular supermarket brands actually take three months to work! So saving a few pennies on the purchase price can cost you much more later.

Myth 4: Natural parasite preventatives work.

As a Vet and pet owner, I wish this was true. But garlic and rosemary extract (for example) should not be seen as a parasite preventive. If these natural alternatives worked, pharmaceutical companies would package them up and save billions in medical research every year.

The scary part, is that extracts come in various strengths, and some can be dangerous to your pet. If you are giving your pet alternatives, be very careful and ask your vet first.

Myth 5: Indoor pets don’t need protection.

While there is no doubt that outdoor pets face much greater exposure, it is important to recognise that fleas and ticks can (and do) infest indoor-only animals.

Where do these parasites come from then?

Most often they hitch their way into homes on people’s clothes, other pets and unwanted pests like mice, rats and possums that can live around your home. You can also carry them in after being outside or other people’s houses where pets have been. If you have an indoor pet, protection is hands-down better than cure.

What you can do to prevent fleas and ticks.

  • Groom your pet regularly and keep an eye out for any ticks and flea dirt or poo.
  • Clean your pet’s bed and anywhere they lay regularly.
  • Remove any unwanted scrub from your property and keep your lawn mown.
  • Vacuum regularly, especially under furniture.
  • Treat your pets regularly with a veterinary-grade flea and tick preventative.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

Heartworm, What Every Aussie Pet Owner Should Know.

Heartworm, What Every Aussie Pet Owner Should Know.

When it comes to Aussie dogs and cats, heartworm is a parasite you need to know about. Unlike other worms, heartworms are deadly as they travel in the bloodstream, and can end up living in and around the heart.

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, so indoor and outdoor pets are at risk.

Because of this, heartworming is a stand alone medication given at a different interval to a standard “allwormer”. While dogs and cats can both be infected with heartworms, they cause more severe disease in dogs.

And with heartworm, the first sign of an infection can actually be the last, and sadly cause a painful death. Keeping your pet protected is essential.

An “allwormer” does not cover heartworm.

Unfortunately the name “allwormers” is very deceiving. Most allwormers only treat intestinal, lung, liver and tapeworms.

The medication for heartworm is also administered in two different ways:

1. A monthly tablet/chew or a yearly, or

2. An injection called and SR12 (not to be confused with your pet’s vaccinations).

Heartworm is not only a wet-weather disease.

We all know mosquitoes thrive in tropical weather like North Queensland, but “mosquito season” can fluctuate from one region to another. For example, if you live in Victoria, it’s impossible to predict when the last mosquito will appear.

Mosquitoes are highly adaptable and will find places to breed, even during a drought. While some mosquitoes breed and hatch during rainfall, others prefer tires, birdbaths, or tin cans to reproduce. For these reasons, vets recommend year-round parasite prevention for all pets.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

Indoor pets need heartworm prevention too.

To a mosquito, your pet is like a Sizzler buffet. So even if you have just a few mosquitos in your home each year, your pet is susceptible to heartworm. Skipping heartworm treatments because you live in a dry climate is indeed false security.

Even the lower likelihood dry and cool regions of Australia are still highly susceptible to heartworm, and you only need to look at the heartworm fatalities of local foxes or feral cats to see how serious of a concern heartworm is, all over Australia.

Cats are also at risk of heartworm.

While dogs have the highest rate of heartworm fatalities, cats and other pets like ferrets are vulnerable too.

Cats are slightly more resistant than dogs as a heartworm host, but there are still thousands of cases each year in Australia.

What most people don’t know, however, is that cats act as a reservoir for heartworm transmission to other pets (like dogs) that are more at risk.

Heartworm treatments need to be on time!

One of the most common mistakes that many pet owners in Australia make, is forgetting to administer their pet’s treatments. Monthly heartworm prevention is the easiest way to keep your pet’s immunity at its peak.

Late doses, missing doses or not knowing that a dose needs to be given every month can leave pets at risk for contracting heartworms. If forgetting is a problem, your pet can go on a yearly injectable (SR12) or go on a home-delivered monthly heartworm treatment plan like FleaMail.

What you can do to prevent heartworm.

  • Remove standing water from your home like any buckets, tyres and pot plants that hold water.
  • Make sure your screens and doors are well maintained and shut at all times.
  • Ensure roofing drains and gutters are always cleaned.
  • Make sure any water feature has moving water, or you’ve fish in the water to eat the mosquito larvae.
  • Treat all pets monthly for heartworm with a veterinary grade heartwormer.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!