Tag Archives: UK

Flea Treatment: The Products

Today’s blog is written by our tame veterinary student Joanna Woodnutt. Jo is in her final year at vet school but still finds time to write our blog!

Flea treatment and prevention is one of those subjects that causes a lot of confusion. At least once a day somebody will come into the vets with flea troubles, and we get weekly questions about flea products on the Facebook group… so it’s time to dispel some of the mystery around fleas!

In this first blog, we will have a little look at what products are available to prevent and treat fleas.

Cheap Over-The-Counter Products

Over-the-Counter Products (OTCs) are those that you can buy from pet shops, pharmacies, and supermarkets. The price range for these products is huge and the products themselves are varied.

Unfortunately with flea products, there is such a thing as ‘too good to be true’. Cheap OTCs, such as Bob Martin or supermarket own-brand products often don’t work. Some may have been diluted to make them cheaper to produce, or may be ‘repellents’ rather than killers.

There are some good OTCs out there, and these will be discussed in the following section.

Good Non-Prescription Products

There are two well-known good non-prescription products in the UK. These are products which contain ‘fipronil’ (such as Frontline + Fiprospot), and products which contain ‘imidacloprid’ (such as Advantage). Both of these products are spot-on treatments and work well Although there has been no evidence documenting resistance to fipronil products, some anecdotal reports suggest it doesn’t work as well as it did.

The Best- Veterinary Prescription Products

The best you can give your pet is veterinary prescription products. These can often be prescribed by nurses, usually during a free consultation. The great thing about getting a product from the vets is that they can examine your pet, ensure that fleas really are the problem, and then give you good advice on which product to use to best suit your situation. For instance, they may be able to suggest a spot on that also treats worms, or a flea product that also treats ticks, if these are a problem. Some common products used by vets are listed below.

Stronghold (and similar products Advocate and Broadline)

Stronghold is a spot-on like many flea treatments. It is good because it doesn’t contain much liquid, so is easier to apply than some. It is released from the cat into the environment and so can treat some of the immature stages of the flea. It also treats many types of worms. It needs to be applied monthly to work to full effect.

 

 

Progam

Program is a flea contraceptive- it can prevent an infestation starting, but cannot control one that is already underway. It kills the immature stages of the fleas, but not the adults. To use Program effectively, all pets in the household should be on it. The advantage of using it is that it is an injection and it lasts 6 months.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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Travelling with your Cat: The Law

Today’s blog was written by our tame vet student Jo Woodnutt. Jo is one of our fosterers and is currently fostering ‘Sophie’- she’s very attached and we expect her to ‘fail’ sometime soon!

Welcome to the ‘Travelling with your Cat’ blog series. This first is about the law when travelling with your cat, and explains what your cat needs to do to be allowed to travel outside of the UK.

Photo by Amelia Hunt

Photo by Amelia Hunt

First, you must look up the entry requirements for the country you are visiting. Some will not allow any pets, others may allow pets under the P.E.T.S scheme. Others will have their own quarantine procedures. You don’t want to do a Johnny Depp and find the Australian Government on your back (read story here)!

Then there are specific rules to follow if you want your cat to come back to the UK with you. If you are going to an EU country or one listed in these guidelines, you must

  • Get a Pet Passport from a vet
  • Have a rabies vaccination (for your cat, not you!)
  • Have a microchip (plus read here for a lot of other reasons you should have one)
  • Use an ‘approved route‘ to travel back into the UK.

The Pet Passport

The ‘Pet Passport’ is a document that shows that your pet has had the necessary vaccinations and requirements for travel. Not all vets can provide one- they have to register as an ‘Official Veterinarian’ with APHA- but lots do, so check your usual vet practice and see whether they can help you. If not, your nearest APHA office should have the necessary details.

The passport becomes valid 21 days after the rabies vaccination and will remain valid for life provided subsequent vaccinations are kept up-to-date.

The Microchip

If you don’t already have a microchip, the vet will need to implant one. This is to ensure that each animal can be identified and tied to its passport- and therefore you can prove it has met all the necessary requirements to enter or re-enter the UK.

If your pet already has a microchip, the vet needs to read it and record the number on the pet passport and vaccination card. If there is a failure with the microchip, the vet can implant another but must fill out the necessary section in the passport.

The Rabies Vaccination

  • Your pet MUST receive a rabies vaccination before the passport is signed, even if they’ve had one in the past but no passport was produced.
  • Pets must be 12 weeks old or older at the time of the vaccination
  • Your pet must be microchipped BEFORE it has its vaccine, or it may have to be re-vaccinated!

An Approved Route

Sorry sailors, no private boats here- these routes have been approved by APHA to ensure they are safe and the appropriate customs officials are there too. A list of the routes is available from APHA. Please note that these routes are not obliged to carry your pet and this will be done at their discretion. Some will not allow more than one animal on at once, and others may restrict how many pets can travel with a passenger. Some routes may also require a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate from your vet, or a vet in the country that you have been visiting.

If you are not accompanying your pet (i.e if they are on a different flight), you must arrive within 5 days of your pet.

 

Travelling with your pet can be very rewarding if done in the right way. For more information please see this website which sets out all the rules and provides information about taking your pet outside of the EU, which carries its own set of problems.

Please head back in a fortnight to read the next in our series: Anxiety whilst Travelling

What to do if you think your cat is missing

It’s every cat owner’s worst nightmare. You let Felix out in the morning, and he doesn’t come home as usual in the evening. Or perhaps you realise too late that you left the window open and Badger has disappeared. Your imagination begins to run away with you and you envisage him trapped in a garage, lost in the next village, or -worst of all- in an accident.

But a little bit of knowledge will hopefully help you put these terrifying hours to good use. Instead of sitting worrying about what to do, follow these simple instructions to ensure that people are on the look out and you have the best chance of getting Kitty back.

Hints and Tips

1. It sounds stupid, but make sure your cat is actually missing. Check all the usual hiding places, and anywhere else you can think of. Try calling your cat and shaking a treat pack or tapping a food tin- anything you can think of to get them to come running.

2. Hopefully you got your cat microchipped. Phone your microchip provider and report him missing- this means he will get flagged up on their website and will be returned more quickly if he is found.

3. Report your missing cat on www.cataware.co.uk. Find a photo of your cat and post with details on the Petlog facebook page and any local rescue centres or lost and found pages- including us! There are many Facebook pages for missing cats, find a few that are local to your area and post there. You can also try Tweeting- many rescues local to you will retweet a lost cat post. Make sure you add as much information as possible- see the next tip for a template!

4. Call your local vets and rescue centres with a GOOD description of the cat. ‘Male tabby’ is not good enough as vets see these every day. If possible, give them the following information:

  • Name of cat
  • Age of cat
  • Gender and whether neutered
  • Colour- be descriptive! ‘Black and white’ isn’t as good as ‘mostly black with white feet, longhaired’
  • Whether she/he has a chip
  • Whether she/he was wearing a collar
  • Any distinguishing features (especially if not chipped!)- nicks in ears, eye colour etc

5. Walk door-to-door and talk to your neighbours. Ask them to check their garages and conservatories, or any other place your cat might have sheltered and got locked in. Don’t forget to take a photo so that they’ll recognise your cat if they see them. Leave them your phone number so that they can contact you if he’s found. It’s a good idea to take leaflets with you- sometimes people let in a cat they think is a stray and let it out again once they realise it has a home!

5. Chat to the local postman- remember he covers a large area, often on foot, and so may have spotted your cat around. Even if they can give you a rough idea of where your cat is it will help you to focus your search.

6. You could also produce posters and distribute them in local stores, post offices and houses. There are templates available for this online.

 

Most of all, remember not to give up hope. Cats are known to come back after months or even years of going missing, totally unharmed!

Good luck!