It does not take very many warmer days before we start to see cats and dogs being brought in to the surgery with Flea infestations.
Fleas are the most common parasite in household pets and every cat and dog is likely to be infested at some stage in its life. Fleas are very undesirable parasites which feed off our domestic pets – their natural hosts. When environmental conditions are optimal the flea population will grow at a very rapid pace and, once you have a flea infestation, it is very difficult to get rid of the problem.
Fleas can cause enormous problems to pets by spreading worms and other diseases causing itchiness, irritation and in some cases resulting in severe allergic reactions. It’s also very embarrassing when they start biting your human guests at dinner parties!
Flea eggs hatch when the correct surrounding temperature and humidity are reached. This starts at the beginning of spring and results in a massive flea population by the end of summer and early autumn. Flea eggs laid in the autumn will hatch the following spring or, if indoors, whenever you turn on your central heating.
The best flea control programme must be tailored specifically to your pet and its lifestyle. Your vet will be able to give that advice. We take into consideration many factors such as how many dogs and cats there are in your home, whether they go out and, if so, where and whether you intend travelling to Southern Europe or any areas of the UK affected by tick infestation. There are now a great number of very good products to suit different pets and owners. In general we recommend a spot-on product which is applied to the back of the neck on a monthly basis. Some spot-on products have the added advantage of providing protection against roundworms and lungworm.
Depending on you and your pet’s needs, there are also ranges of other products including: tablets that control and kill fleas, an injection for your cat that provides 6 months protection and sprays for your pet, carpets and floorboards. To achieve optimal flea control, preventive treatment should be provided throughout the year.
Working closely with your vet, who will give you advice on how to use these products effectively, you will be able to stop these nasty little insects making a meal of your pet and you!