Fleas are one of the most common parasites that affect our pets and can cause a stressful time for both pet's and owners. Fleas are most common in warmer months but also exist during the winter months as our homes are kept warm. Fleas actually do not live on your pet, but in their environment, preferring flooring, carpet and bedding. They jump on our pets to feed and take a blood meal then usually jump off again. The flea lifecycle is complex and can be time consuming to treat if left to become a problem. Not only is it important to flea treat your pet, but also to treat your house environment in order to break the cycle of fleas.
For flea prevention in dogs, we recommend Bravecto, available in a 6-monthly top spot or a 3-monthly chew. For cats we recommend Bravecto Plus, a 3-monthly top spot. There are other products available that we can recommend if these do not suit your pet.To treat your environment it is recommended to thoroughly hot wash all bedding and regularly vacuum carpets and upholstery.
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)
- Check for flea dirt, small black flecks in your pet's fur. 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.
Dogs and cats can also have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Treatment of FAD can be complicated and veterinary consultation is recommended.
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.