Well it’s that time of year, the animal kingdom is in hyper drive and we’re about to see an influx of those creepy crawlies that cause so much discomfort in our furry friends! That’s right, fleas are out to cause havoc amongst your beloved pets!
What does this mean for you and your household? Well firstly the important thing to remember is prevention is always better than treatment! Having your pet on a good quality flea treatment all year round is advisable.
For dogs there are two basic types of flea treatment; spot on and chewable. It is completely dependent on yourself and your preferences as to which one will suit you and your pet. Spot on is applied once a month directly onto the skin between the shoulder blades of your pet, this must be done with completely dry skin, and left to soak in, which means no baths for a couple of days. Chewable tablets are also given monthly; the advantage of these is that your dog can get wet and there is no risk of you or your family accidentally patting the dog and getting the treatment on your hands. The disadvantage ofcourse is some doggies just won’t take tablets! It is not uncommon for some dogs to actually have an allergy to fleas, this can cause them great discomfort if fleas were to bite them and cause an allergic dermatitis, this can sometimes lead to severe secondary infections. If this is the case we often recommend the chewable tablets as they aid in relieving the effects of flea dermatitis by taking effect quickly. You must also worm your dog regularly and especially when fleas are present as if your dog was to eat the fleas, this can lead to intestinal worms.
For cats the only type of flea treatment currently marketed is spot on, again applied monthly. However an ingestible option has now been provided for cats, Comfortis for dogs has been approved for use in cats, make sure to contact the clinic to find out what weight range is necessary for your cat, the reason being that the dog weight range is not easily transposed for cats. Whilst flea treating cats, if you notice fleas present it is very important to also worm your cat. When cats groom themselves they often ingest the fleas, this is what often leads to intestinal worms manifesting themselves in your cats system. It’s often hard to spot fleas on a cat as their dense fur provides excellent cover for those mischievous fleas! This is even more reason to treat your cat regularly for flea prevention.
Particularly around this time of year fleas tend to be quite active, so if you do notice fleas on your pet and they are not already on some sort of flea prevention, pop down to your local vet clinic and get them started on a flea treatment. The longer fleas are left to breed the harder it is to flush them out of the environment. Once your pet has got fleas you’ll need to set about flea treating all animals in your household. Fleas require a host to live and breed and the only hosts they like are your pets! But they often jump off to lay their eggs and hide in your pets bed and sometimes your furniture. So even though you kill the fleas on your pet, more will jump on from their hiding places elsewhere in the house and garden. These new fleas will soon die off after sampling some of that flea treatment, so it’s important to stick with it! Don’t be discouraged if you continue seeing fleas on your pet after treating them, these are new fleas trying to find a yummy host to live on, but if your pet is on flea treatment they will not succeed!
If you would like to speed the process along, you can incorporate flea bombs and washing of all bedding. A very cost effective way of aiding the process is using eucalyptus spray and a drop of eucalyptus oil in the wash.
Fleas cannot survive on your pet if there is a good quality flea treatment employed, if given religiously every month you should never have a flea problem!
If you do find yourself in a bit of a flea predicament, feel free to pop down to the clinic to discuss what sort of treatment or even prevention program is best for you!