Dr Zoe Costigan and Dobby

Dr Zoe Costigan BVSc BSc(Hons) CERT AVP MRCVS and Dobby

Head Vet at Itch

Mostly writes about

Fleas, pet health and pet knowledge


Zoe is part of the founding team at Itch and is our Head Vet in a team of pet nutritionists, behaviourists and our SQP pet wellness warriors who are professionally qualified in veterinary medicines advice. 

A passionate and dedicated advocate for pets, Zoe makes sure that the products in the Itch range are vet approved, scientifically proven and would help pet parents solve the types of issues that most often (and most seriously) affect the pets she sees every day in her veterinary practice.

Zoe has more than 20 years experience in first opinion practice (she’s like a GP doctor) where she treats whatever walks through the door in the day. She consults and operates every day and works out of hours on emergency work - like a 3am Caesarean! Zoe has a postgraduate certificate in Advance Veterinary Practice and a Graduate Diploma in Law. She’s in the process of opening her own, independent small animal vet’s practice in Lancashire. She has a 5 year old Sphynx Cat called Dobby and is often joined by pets from the practice who are in need of a bit of extra TLC.

Latest Articles

Flea General

Everything you need to know about peak flea season...

As pet owners, we all know that fleas can be a pesky and persistent problem. These tiny parasites can infest our furry friends, causing discomfort and potential health issues if left unchecked. Fleas are most active during certain periods of the year, which we commonly refer to as the "peak flea season." Here, we dive into the crucial information you need to know about when fleas are most active, when they come out, and whether they prefer hot or cold weather conditions. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to protect your beloved pets and your home from these bothersome critters.

Itch Insights Pet Wellbeing

Labradors At 2 Years Old - Understanding Dental Disease

Hey Lab lovers! Let's talk about a crucial aspect of our furry friends' health: dental care. As our Labradors hit the ripe age of 2, they become particularly susceptible to dental disease. A dog's lifespan can be shortened by 1-3 years if they get dental disease, so it's essential to pay close attention to their dental health to ensure they lead happy and healthy lives. So, grab a biscuit (for you or your Lab, your choice!) and let's delve into the world of dental disease in Labs together!

Flea Treatment Issues

Why Does My Pet Keep Getting Fleas?

Fleas – they're the pesky little critters that can turn your pet's life into an itchy nightmare. If you've found yourself repeatedly dealing with fleas on your furry friend, you're not alone. If you’re sat wondering why does my dog keep getting fleas? Why does my cat keep getting fleas? Then wonder no more! In this blog post, we'll dive into the world of fleas, exploring what they are, what attracts them to your pet, and the various factors that contribute to this persistent problem. We'll also discuss how to treat fleas permanently, with a focus on Itch Flea treatment to help you prevent and protect your pets. By the end, you'll be armed with the knowledge to keep those fleas at bay for good.

Itch Insights Pet Wellbeing

How to Weigh Your Dog at Home

Keeping an eye on your dog’s magic number (the ideal weight for their breed and age) is super important.

If you know your dog’s weight, it's easier to work out things like how much food they should eat, or the amount of flea or worm treatment to give them. Getting the right treatment is the safest and most effective way to prevent your dog getting fleas or worms.

Flea Treatment Issues

Why is my pet still scratching after applying a Flea Treatment?

Not all flea treatments are created equal. Itch Flea is a double action spot on treatment that not only contains Fipronil but also (unlike lots of other flea treatments), (S) Methoprene. This means that it not only targets the adult fleas feeding on your pets and kills them dead in 24 hours (and ticks in 48 hours), it also targets flea eggs and larvae, stopping the fast and furious flea life cycle dead in its tracks.

We asked in-house Itch vet, Dr. Zoe Costigan to give us the lowdown on why your cat or dog might still be scratching after applying a flea treatment to your pet. Here's what she had to say:

“It’s fairly normal for there to be a period of hyperactivity amongst the fleas as the active ingredients in a flea treatment take effect and this can cause an increase in your pet scratching. It should settle down after 24 hours. If after 24 hours your pet continues to scratch, there could be other things going on. Your pet could be flea-allergic, it could have a skin infection or a hormone imbalance, or other conditions which can lead to itchiness.”

Ticks Treatment

How to Remove Ticks from Pets and Stop Them Coming Back

Knowing how to safely and effectively remove ticks from pets is key for their well-being. These parasites can cause a huge host of bother for us humans and our furry companions so it’s super important to have the right knowledge to sort those buggers out! Here, our in-house vet Zoe will guide you through the best treatment for ticks; the process of removing ticks from your pets, including embedded ticks and tick heads stuck in the skin. We’ll also explore ongoing tick treatment and prevention strategies to ensure these troublesome critters don't come back. Let's dive into the wonderful world of tick removal and protection for your beloved pets.

Flea General

What is the Flea Lifecycle and How Can You Break It?

Fleas can turn into a massive headache for us pet owners. Understanding the flea lifecycle is crucial to effectively fighting off infestations and keeping your pets and home flea-free. Here we’ll look into the four stages of the flea lifecycle; egg, larvae, pupae and adult — and explore how you can break this cycle to eliminate these bothersome critters. Let's uncover the secrets of the flea lifecycle and learn how to reclaim a comfortable environment for both you and your furry companions.

Flea Identification

What Do Fleas Look Like?

Fleas, those pesky little creatures that can cause so much trouble for our beloved pets, are often hard to spot with the naked eye due to their tiny size. However, understanding what fleas look like is essential for effective prevention and treatment. Here, we explore the appearance of fleas, including pictures of fleas, their size, and the distinct features that differentiate dog fleas from cat fleas. We will also take a closer look at flea eggs and highlight other bugs that may resemble fleas, helping you to identify and deal with these nuisances.

1 2