MSD Animal Health announced the Protect Our Future Too initiative (#Protectourfuturetoo) across more than 30 countries in Europe, Russia, North Africa and the Middle East to raise awareness of the risks to our household pets caused by seasonal changes, such as warmer months in autumn and winter as well as higher temperatures in general.
To gauge pet owner understanding of the impact and risks of seasonal changes, a survey was conducted among both pet owners and vets. This found that 70% of UK pet owners surveyed did not feel sufficiently informed about the impact of environmental changes such as warmer temperatures and humidity on their pet.
TV Vet, Dr James Greenwood who is currently starring on ‘The Pet’s Factory’ programme on CBBC is a spokesperson for the initiative, James describes the seasonal changes that owners should be vigilant of.
“There has been an increase in the number in fleas and ticks that we are seeing on our pet dogs and cats. With the changes to our climates where we are having warmer weather and shorter winters the flea and tick relations are able to survive pretty much all year round. Pet owners really ought to be using an anti-parasite treatment as a 12- month year-round treatment, rather than thinking of it as a seasonal worry.”
Even among owners who were using flea treatment on their pets, it is speculated that factors such as incorrect application of the product, or possible flea resistance to common medications are thought to be contributing to a worrying observation in vet practices that some animals who have apparently been treated, continue to have fleas.
“One thing that we know about fleas is that they can survive quite long in the environment without a host animal so even just a short break in the anti- parasite treatment routine can actually allow a flea infestation to establish itself relatively quickly. I think the key is to be vigilant by looking out for fleas and ticks on your pets as a year-round thing instead of only worrying about it in summer. I think it is also about really talking to your vet and really knowing what the risks factor in your area are.”
You can read more about seasonal changes in Issue 2 of Edition Cat. You can also watch Dr James Greenwood full interview on Edition Cat YouTube Channel.