As we move toward using more RATs and fewer PCRs, you may find yourself with a stockpile of these little lights.
So, what can you do with these single-use flashlights? The answer includes cats.
“Small UV flashlights like those used in RAT kits are useful for finding skin, blood and other problems around an animal shelter,” Sarah Jane Tomsett, chief medical and logistics services for the Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC) Craft Guild in Sydney told 9news. .com.au.
“It’s not perfect but it’s easy to use when you can’t afford a veterinary medical instrument, and that means we can give away a lot for rescuers who may need kits in the field,” she added.
In particular, flashlights can help detect ringworm, a common skin infection often found in cats.
“Ultraviolet rays or black lights show ringworm, and it glows green, like fluorescent green,” said Joanne Lawrence, founder of Camden Community Supporting Our Companion Animals.
When I posted on the community’s Facebook page about the flares this week, it was completely submerged.
Her group has a few local followers, and works with councils in southwest Sydney, educating them on how to implement a no-kill abandoned animal policy.
Ms Lawrence wrote on her page that if people had spare flares “we’d love them” and suggested people contact their local rescue center or vet, who would likely be grateful for the donation.
“All we get is either out of our pockets or I collect things on the side of the road, refurbish them — and save things from landfills and resell them,” she said.
“Dealing with cats with ringworm can be really expensive.”
Ms. Lawrence said that before the pandemic the group would buy UV flashlights at a local fishing store for $40 each.
If people donate the bulbs, she said, that means we don’t have to buy them, that means we can keep them after the COVID situation and we’ll have a supply.
It should be noted that these UV flashlights are not foolproof, are not the only option for detecting ringworm, and they are not recommended for use at home rather than seeing a vet.
The Australian Veterinary Association warned that “there are a lot of limitations in testing even when the correct type of light frequency is used” and ringworm can be present but not caught by the spotlight.
“Our advice is that if you think ringworm is a possibility, it is best that you undergo a veterinary evaluation,” a company spokesperson said.
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“UV lamps are not recommended where the light frequency emission is unknown for the detection of ringworm.”
The best thing to do is to call your local vet, rescue center or shelter and see if they need them.
It will then distribute torches to 23 national centers and more than 1,000 lifeguards.