\\\ Pet Routine Treatments
What exactly are routine pet treatments?
Routine treatments are generally those treatments that can be provided regularly by the pet owner which includes flea treatments, worming treatments, lice and ticks, and dental care for their pet cat and dog. Rabbits get fleas, generally from other pets in the household, particularly if they live indoors.
- Flea & Tick
- Lice and Ticks
- Dental Care
Does my insurer pay for them?
Most UK insurers will not pay out if the pet becomes unhealthy needing veterinary care that could have been prevented had the owner adhered to providing their pet with routine treatments. So it can be a costly mistake not to maintain regular treatments. This may also include if the following had not been administered
- Digestion & Stomach – Correct Diet and Foods
- Skin & Coat – Grooming
- Ear & Eye Cleaning
- Joints & Mobility Needs
If you are a new pet owner and unsure, it is best to consult with a vet and make sure that you are aware of your obligations to your pet. Many insurers offer free online veterinary care live chat and this is highly recommended to ‘get it right.’
What are fleas?
Fleas are nasty tiny parasites that jump. They can jump enormous distances and can be picked up in all kinds of places.
They are as small as a pinhead, and dark in colour and the first that you may know that you have them in your home is when you see them jumping on a surface or you’ve been bitten.
The other alternative is that your pet has started scratching itself, non-stop 24/7. It will be scratching around the back of the head, ears, scruff and back end with a vengeance.
Fleas jump onto the pet and attach themselves causing much discomfort, continuing to live on them, in their fur, whilst feeding off their blood.
They can live anywhere between 14 days and up to a year and produce up to 50 eggs a day, so definitely need eradicating as quickly as possible. If action isn’t taken, the pet can develop other health symptoms.
Rabbits may not show signs of fleas and young rabbits can develop anaemia due to the blood sucking by fleas so if new to keeping a rabbit as a pet, it may be best to visit your veterinarian to discuss treatments.
There’s a 3 step treatment programme
- Eliminate fleas and ticks on your pet
- Treat and protect your home
- Further prevent and treat worms
Frequently answered questions
How do I know my pet has fleas? Your pet is very likely to be scratching and biting themselves vigorously. Sometimes sitting down for minutes on end trying to scratch these tiny animals out of their coat and off their skin. It can cause hair loss, creating bald patches, areas of redness and irritation, thickened skin around ears in particular. Regular grooming of your pets keeps their coats cleaner and will show if your pet has any fleas or ticks being caught in the teeth of the comb.
What pets catch fleas? Fleas can be caught by dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals. The can be transferred from wild life such as foxes, rabbits, squirrels and hedgehogs whilst your pet is outside in the garden or in parks and walking areas.
Indoor pets can catch fleas just as much as those that go outdoors. Fleas can be transported into the home on owners clothing and bags. Fleas simply jump onto these textiles and then jump onto a host when arriving in the home.
How do I get rid of fleas? Vets advise prompt action using ‘spot on’ products, regularly applying products and to also take the opportunity to worm your pet.
Do I need to go to the vet? No, regular treatments can be done at home with treatments suitable for your pet. If you are unsure, either contact your local online vet to discuss your concerns or visit your vet who will examine your animal. They will establish if they are just fleas, or other insects, by doing a physical examination by flea combing and analyse what other parasites are present such as skin mites. They will want to determine whether your pet is suffering from other allergic reactions and whether ear mites are present.
Am I insured? Most insurance companies will not cover you for your animals’ routine treatments such as flea treatments and worming and dental care. Nor will they cover you if your pet develops other associated health conditions which could have been prevented by these types of regular routine treatments.
Does my home become infected? Yes. Fleas can drop off the pet’s coat and can be on your furniture, sofas, curtains, and furnishings. It’s very important that at the time of taking action, you clean your home thoroughly, and regularly, hoovering well and throwing away the dust bag. Cleaning skirtings and floors and all furniture tops and work surface.
Pets bedding materials will also need a thorough clean, preferably by using a very hot wash, where possible, making sure the parasites are killed.
If one pet is infected are all the rest of my pet household? Most likely. It’s important to treat all pets together using the specially formulated treatments. Do not use the same treatment on a dog as well as a cat as treatments are different and specially prepared.
How often do I need to flea pets? Regular treatment is a must, not just for fleas, but worming, and lice and ticks at the same time. Treatment times differ according to the size of the pet, type of pet, and treatments being used, but generally start around monthly intervals.
What are the treatments available? Products can be in a powder, liquid or capsule form. Full instructions are naturally provided by the manufacturer and they differ between products so always double-check before applying a new brand. The market claims to be larger than 440 million pounds a year, (2019) with new firms offering ranges of preventative products, such as monthly subscription services tailored to your pets delivered to your door are handy. These sorts of plans mean you always have the right treatment to hand.
Cats also have the option of wearing flea collars but vets advise against these as they can help to cause baldness around the neck areas.
Where can I buy treatments? Products can be purchased at all major pet stores, shops, supermarkets and online specialist companies. Most providers can produce customer service records and satisfaction for their products. Remember to ask your pet friends what they use. Personal recommendations can be extremely helpful.
How do I know it’s been successful? Your pet will quite quickly stop showing the signs of discomfort, stop itching and biting itself, some product firms believe that care is instantaneous and others state up to 24 hours. If you comb through your pets coat numerous ‘dead’ parasites will simply drop off, if they hadn’t already. Collect the flea dirt onto a sheet of paper and dispose of carefully.
Is summer worse than winter for fleas? Pets can become infested anytime. Applying treatments regularly means your pet becomes protected for weeks whether it’s summer or winter.
What other care treatments should be undertaken? Your pet may also suffer from other parasites that live within the pets body, particularly intestines. Lungworms, tapeworms and hookworms all grow rapidly when your pet may have eaten something containing a parasite. It is recommended to start a course of treatment the same time as flea treatments.
Regular house cleaning
Essential house cleaning is a must if your pet has suffered from an infestation.
Once treated, hoover several times during the next 24-48 hours and empty the dust bags outside as this will contain living and dead fleas, ticks and other parasites. Clean all floors, skirting boards, and surfaces to keep your house clear of these nasty creatures that may have jumped or fallen off your pet.
Fleas and other parasites may jump onto settees, soft fabrics such as throws and cushions, so an extra clean of these items is necessary. After the initial period of your pets treatment, you may find your pet becomes more relaxed but still carry on cleaning more regularly than you have in the past so that fleas and other nuisance parasites may be eradicated.
Cleaning your pet’s bedding
The bed or mattress of a dog and cat bed will have a range of nasty hair, drool, urine staining and faecal matters, along with outdoor matter such as grass, mud, ticks, fleas and other parasites.
Check the manufacturer’s washing instructions label before washing. Usually, they are machine washable. Machine wash using a soft detergent and a couple of tablespoons of vinegar which helps to remove stubborn stains and matter. If the cover can be dried in the tumble dryer, then use a hot setting to kill off any remaining parasites.
The inner – and generally made of foam – mattress can be gently washed in the bath using soft detergent and a tablespoon or two of vinegar, leave to soak for most of the day, 6-8 hours.
Allow draining water away from the foam, squeeze out excess water. Empty the bathwater and then refill with clean water and allow the foam to soak for 15 minutes. Remove excess water by compressing the foam. Repeat this action a couple of times and then leave out to dry and air.
This is essential when your pet has suffered an infestation to clean thoroughly at the time of the treatment being administered and continually afterwards.
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