Product Type: Gotcha dog accessories
Newest Review: ... on his skin. I popped into our local pet shop for advice and ended up coming out with a Gotcha Electronic Flea Comb - the lady behi... more
Gotcha! Oh, I didn't...
Gotcha Electric Flea Killer Comb
Member Name: chrisandmark
Gotcha Electric Flea Killer Comb
Advantages: Pleasant to hold and use
Disadvantages: Doesn't make any dent in the flea problem
Last year we acquired a very small dog for a few weeks; Rascal wasn't being taken care of properly so I took the dog on with the express intention of rehoming him, the family who had him were just seemingly incapable of looking after one tiny handbag sized dog - and considering they had half a dozen children under seven years old and a (mean) German Shepherd I was frightened the poor thing was going to have his back broken under the weight of a stumbling so brought him home with me. Not immediately as he was blatantly flea-ridden, but his (then) 'mum' said she'd treat him over the next couple of days and give the kids time to adjust to the pup leaving.
Now, I'm totally no snob but let me just say that if you'd seen the state of the house and the people in it you'd understand why I wasn't surprised to see Rascal still being bothered by fleas when he got to our house. She'd had a good try and to be fair when I checked Rascal's fur there weren't many to be found - although I'm well aware of how well fleas can hide so I didn't let my guard down! I then found myself in a quandary, I don't like using too many chemicals and this pooch was seriously so small (in size, not age) that I felt particularly uncomfortable about using harsh solutions on his skin. I popped into our local pet shop for advice and ended up coming out with a Gotcha Electronic Flea Comb - the lady behind the counter sung it's praises and as the comb was only £7 I decided it was worth a try.
The principle is very simple. Each metal tooth is lightly electrified, as you comb through the dogs hair the fleas will snag in the teeth of the comb and be killed by the electric current. The comb also lightly electrifies the dog's coat so any larvae will also get enough electricity passing through their bodies to dispatch them and leave your pooch parasite free. In theory.
OK, so I wasn't expecting miracles - I've used the human version of this comb when my daughter caught head lice a while back, that particular electric shock giving comb was absolutely useless but for some reason I though this would be better. Erm, no. The main problem was that Rascal's fleas were crafty little buggers; they realised very quickly that the whole metal part of the comb wasn't charged to give life destroying electric shocks so they simply jumped to the edge of it as I passed it through his fur, it would have been quite comical to watch them jumping back again if I didn't find the little critters so revolting. I fail to see personally how it would be possible to electrify a dogs coat without causing suffering to your beloved pet, and there definitely wasn't a scattering of dead fleas on the floor after I'd given him a good combing, so I suspect this aspect doesn't work as well as Gotcha would like us to think. There's something incredibly satisfying about the sizzle-click sound the comb makes when it comes into contact with a flea and electrocutes it, unfortunately this sound doesn't occur often enough for my liking and several times I'd watch a flea simply leap away from the comb and burrow into another part of Rascal's fur.
For the record Rascal is a Chorkie, part Chihuahua and part Yorkshire Terrier. He's got long wiry hair which easily becomes tangled, especially as he likes nothing more than rolling in the dirt and worming his way underneath the tiniest of shrubs and bushes. His fur needs a lengthy brush before using the comb otherwise a) it would hurt the poor thing and b) the fleas would simply bed down in the tangled portion where it was comfortably warm and definitely safe from the (ahem) deadly comb. It stated on the packaging that it was suitable for dogs with any length of hair but I don't actually think it was very effective for Rascal, I know for a fact that it didn't destroy the fleas as I had been promised because when we came to rehome him we had to state on our advert that this was a rescue dog and would need treating for the fleas we couldn't manage to get rid of.
The comb itself is comfortable enough to hold, the chunky yellow plastic nestling nicely in my hand and allowing me enough free movement to direct it in any direction I need to at the flick of a wrist. It feels quite slick and slippery but actually has a nice feel as I'm holding it and never feels like it's going to slide out of my grip even when I encounter a particularly tight patch of knotting in Rascal's coat.
I can't recommend this comb even though I'd like to, it's such a good idea on paper that I feel a bit cheated that it didn't actually work as well as it should have done. I have since passed the comb on to my mum who has three cats, two of which are mainly house cats but one goes off on her travels regularly and will often come home with fleas after partying with the neighbourhood scruffs - this cat has reasonably short hair but even so mum says the comb has had little or no effect on the fleas that Heidi so regularly brings home. A bit of a let down all round really.
Summary: A disappointment; I thought this comb was the answer to my non-chemical prayers, but it isn't!