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MSD Animal Health invited Michaela Strachan and seven high profile social media influencers to a cat café in London to educate them on the importance of effective flea control through the Big Flea Project. MSD Animal Health Veterinary Advisor Sian Stockford and wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan gave an interactive talk where they explained the results of the research and the importance of seeking advice and support from veterinary practices for effective preventative care for cats. Attendees also got the opportunity to take part in a Q&A with Michaela Strachan who shared her experience as a pet owner and lifelong animal lover.

Nikki Barclay, Senior Product Manager at MSD Animal Health explains: “These influencers have over 135,000 pet-loving followers and support us in communicating the importance of pet owners visiting their vet, particularly when we see new companies promoting preventative medicine without going through a veterinary team. It’s vital that we communicate the importance of good preventative healthcare to as many pet owners as possible and social media influencers allow us to reach an important audience across the generations. Furthermore, the exposure we get through this fun event means that we can reach pet owners that don’t necessarily understand the importance of visiting their vet and regular healthcare checks for their pet. This is an essential message as part of all our preventative healthcare programmes.”

The results of the Big Flea Project research funded by MSD Animal Health and run by Bristol University found that 1 in 4 cats and 1 in 7 dogs* in the study were carrying fleas, despite coming into the practice for different issues. The research highlights the need for better pet owner education, around preventing fleas continuously throughout the year, to avoid infestations.

All the social media influencers have a high number of followers across Twitter and Instagram. This event follows MSD Animal Health’s attendance at Dog Fest this summer and forms part of a larger intiative to encourage more pet owners to visit their vet for advice about the health and welfare of their animals.

*Abdullah et al. (2019), Parasites & Vectors, 12:71.