Looking After your Best Friend

My Father always had a soft spot for dogs, in particular Jack Russels. Growing up, we always had dogs at home and they had names like Tina, Tiny and Judy. Dad gave my Uncle Jim in Leitrim a little Jack Russell, and he was also called Tiny. He arrived to my Uncles house; with the little pup tucked up in a shoebox – the name fitted him well! My Dad also used to keep Canaries in the shop, but that’s another story for another day.

I haven’t had a dog in nearly 20 years at home. With work and a busy lifestyle it just wouldn’t be fair or practical to have one, but I’ve always wanted a pet corner in the shop for my animal loving customers. Recently, we did a training course on common conditions in animals which can be treated by over-the- counter veterinary pharmacy medicines.

I am no expert by any means on veterinary medicine or animals, but the training was really useful and your pet’s health is very important. Walking around Pearse Street, there are many people out and about with their pets, in particular, older people out walking their four legged friends. In a previous blog, I wrote about Personal Information Packs, and the added information about pets. If a person is rushed into hospital, pets can be forgotten- but the PIP informs emergency services and carers in the house about the pets, and its one less worry for the patient, knowing their best friend will be looked after in their absence.

Fleas and ticks are a curse for the animal kingdom, they can make the animals sick, and they can affect humans. One of the products we stock is called Parex. This contains an insecticide called Fipronil which can prevent both. There are two different types, feline and canine. It’s simple to use, application is via a pipette at the back of the neck- the animal can’t reach that spot, and their body does the rest. For dogs, there are four different types, depending on the size of the animal. Treatment lasts six weeks and covers fleas and ticks. I have attached a short video below showing you how to apply it.

If your animal has been infected, the Parex will kill the fleas and the ticks, but it is equally as important to treat their bedding and house area. This is a must, otherwise you will leave the animal open to re-infection, and the nightmare starts again. For this reason, we stock Parhome, a powder treatment for their beds and sleeping area.

Parex is a Licensed Merchant (LM) product. This means, the customers details must be recorded on a register. By recording the details, this helps remind us and our customers when the next application is due. I love this idea, not only are we building a relationship with our customers, but we are getting to know their pets as well! Animals are like family to most of us, and in a way the role of the Pharmacist is similar with them as it is with people! Hopefully we can help, and if we can’t, we are able to refer the pet owner to a vet who can. I am delighted with this opportunity and it’s another important service we can provide our community.

In my next blog, I will talk about the products we have to treat the dreaded worms, how to clean dog’s ears safely, and how to help look after their skin. Much like humans, animals can suffer from skin conditions triggered by allergies and stress.

I would love to hear some feedback on your own experience with your pets, and how you cope with their health issues.Please feel free to comment below!