Fleas are most often seen during the warmer months but as we keep our homes nice and warm throughout winter, we see fleas all year round. Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet. The fleas’ eggs and larvae live in the environment. The common source of flea eggs for your dog are local cats that come through your backyard and shed a few eggs as they go. For this reason it is impossible to prevent pets coming in contact with fleas. Treatment is aimed at prevent the build up of eggs in the environment. A female flea which jumps on your dog or cat can lay 50 eggs per day with 24 hours of having a blood meal. If your house has not had a flea problem in the past treatment with FRONTLINE PLUS should be undertaken every month during the spring and summer. It is best to purchase a 6 month packet of FRONTLINE PLUS in September that will last you the Flea season. If you notice Fleas on your pet then ALL YEAR ROUND treatment will be necessary to gradually mop up the contamination of flea eggs in the environment. In the face of severe infestation several treatments with FRONTLINE SPRAY may be necessary to get on top of the initial very high flea egg burden. This should be applied by the Vet. Also, in this crisis situation consider that fleas like dry, dark, dusty places so blocking access to places like under houses will be very beneficial.
Fleas will tend to jump onto your pet only to feed and then jump off again. Dogs and cats can have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis or FAD. Treatment of FAD can be complicated and veterinary consultation is recommended.
Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:
Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)
It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt. Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your pet’s fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your pet has fleas.
Warning: Some non-veterinary brands of flea treatments for dogs are potentially lethal when applied to cats. Always seek veterinary advice about the best flea treatments for your pet.
Please call us to discuss an appropriate flea control program for your pet.