Fleas

Regular Flea Treatment is Important

Fleas can cause irritation and skin problems in pets – itching, scratching or biting their coat. Newly hatched fleas will often jump onto pet owners causing discomfort for us too. Regular flea treatment will help to prevent this. Ask us for what flea treatment is best and safest for your pets. Stopping fleas is important because they can carry diseases that affect people as well as pets.

Some pets develop Flea Allergy Dermatitis, an allergy to flea saliva which can cause a nasty skin reaction requiring vet treatment.

Fleas can carry tapeworm called Diphylidium caninum, which can infect cats, dogs and even humans. It is, therefore, always important to regularly treat your pet for tapeworms, especially if you’ve seen any fleas.

Fleas are involved in the transmission of Bartonella henselae2, a bacteria known to cause mild flu-like symptoms in people.

Fleas can also carry Rickettsia species2, a bacteria that causes fever and a skin rash in humans.

Flea

If you wait until your pet starts scratching you could be facing an infestation in your home that’s hard to resolve. The problem can be avoided by regularly treating your pet and regularly checking your pet for fleas.  We recommend a product with bioactivation for cat flea control that switches on in the flea.  We recommend a tablet that lasts 3 months for dogs that treats ticks and fleas.  Please contact us for more information.

If your dog swims or is shampooed regularly ensure you have waterproof flea control.  Our recommended flea control tablet is fully waterproof.  Please contact us to discuss the best flea product for your pet.

Talk to us about the Big Flea Guarantee – 100% control of dog fleas or your money back.

Cat scratching
Dog scratching

How do I know if my pet has fleas?

You might see fleas in your pet’s coat by gently parting the fur, particularly around the base of the tail. However, fleas are often difficult to find as they hate light, so the best way to check is to look for ‘flea dirt’ – small black specks in the pet’s coat, which consist of dried blood excreted by the fleas.

  • Comb through your pet’s coat and collect any debris onto a wet piece of white paper or cotton wool.
  • If the specks that fall onto the wet surface dissolve to give red/brown swirls or patches, then your pet has fleas.
  • If you see no flea dirt and your pet is scratching or losing hair, consult your vet for help.

If you see fleas on your pet then your home is almost certainly harbouring most of the flea problem? Adult fleas on your pet account for just 5% of the whole infestation. The other 95% consists of flea eggs, larvae and pupae that can be spread throughout your home by your pets and develop into new adult fleas in only a few weeks. A warm, centrally heated, house provides the perfect breeding environment, so fleas can be a problem all year round.

Using an effective house flea treatment can dramatically speed up the removal of fleas.  The better sprays include a growth inhibitor which stops eggs from hatching and larvae from developing and an insecticide that kills any adults present. The growth inibitor can have a long action so protects the environment for many months.

flea life cycle
  • Protect your pet – Use an effective flea treatment from your vet.
  • Protect your home – Use an effective environmental spray from your vet, active against eggs, larvae and adults.
  • Ensure quicker clearance of any infestation – Wash pet bedding on a hot cycle and vacuum regularly, and make sure the house is warm to encourage pupae to hatch.

 

If your pet has fleas, it’s important to tackle the whole flea problem, not just the adult fleas. The best approach is to use the ‘Integrated Flea Control’ method recommended by experts3. You can achieve this by following three simple steps to effective control:

Applying a spot-on

1 Merial Flea Survey 2005 in conjunction with Royal Veterinary College, London, unpublished data.

2 “Pathogen carriage by the cat flea in the UK” Shaw et al, Vet. Microbiol. 2004 103(3-4):183-8

3 Integrated Flea Control: Flea Control for the 21st Century, Dryden Michael and Broce Alberto B. North Am, Vet. Conference (2001).