Tommy and Missy are housemates. Missy weighs 12 pounds, which is pretty big for a female cat. Tommy weighs 21 pounds which is too big for his frame. In fact, his size makes it difficult for him to groom himself adequately. So, despite the fact that their environment is the same, and that they both have fleas, Tommy’s flea population is exponentially higher.
Here’s Tommy next to the pile of dead undercoat I combed out of him in about five minutes. I often say that I don’t care how a pet looks in a bathing suit, but when their weight begins to affect their health, that’s a different story. You think that grooming is just about looks, but when there is this much dead hair hanging around, that’s not good for the skin underneath. Plus since he can’t groom, he can’t do much about his flea population.
Here’s a close-up of some of that wad of hair. All the little black specks are flea-droppings (aka nasty flea poo-poo mess). The white junk is dandruff. There are probably some flea eggs in there, too, but they are much smaller and more difficult to see. Obviously, we need some flea control here, but we also need a little help with personal hygiene, i.e. brushing this guy once or twice a week. That’s pretty do-able (compared to getting his weight down, which is frequently not so easy, and certainly can’t be done as quickly). We like Revolution for flea control on our cat patients. It’s about the same trouble and expense as other products, but it also gives you ear-mite protection, de-worming for hookworms and roundworms, and heartworm prevention.
Note to self: I need to become much more lovable if I’m going to ask people to help with my personal hygiene.