Fleas are a common problem for our pets including dogs, cats and rabbits. Fleas cause itching, chewing and licking and can cause the skin to become red and inflamed. As well as the irritation of the fleas themselves, after exposure your pet can become allergic to fleas and flea dirt, causing further disease and suffering.
The fleas on your pet only represent a small percentage of the total flea population. Fleas spend over 50% of their time in your home and not on your pet, living in carpets, bedding and in between floorboards. They also lay eggs and have immature stages called larvae and pupae which develop in your house. Although fleas do not live on humans, they will bite you and cause small itchy swellings. Due to modern central heating systems fleas are able to live in your house all year round and therefore it is important to stick to a treatment regime all year round for your pet. Remember that even with a large flea infection you may not see adult fleas on your pet, so it is important to use effective treatment regardless.
For puppies and kittens we recommend monthly visits to the practice for regular weight checks, where we can apply spot on flea and roundworm treatments. These regular visits also help your new puppy or kitten to become used to the vets, therefore preventing fear or anxiety in the future. If you would like to book an appointment to speak to one of our professionals, please click here.
For adult dogs we recommend an oral chewable flea treatment which also treats ticks and lasts for 3 months. Spot on flea treatments are also available; these are applied to the back of the neck monthly and are used in dogs and cats.
Never use a dog flea treatment on a cat as some contain permethrin. This is fatal to cats and therefore if you use a preparation containing this keep your dog away from your cat for 72 hours. It is also important to remember to use a household flea prevention spray. This will ensure any adult fleas, eggs or larvae cannot survive in any soft furnishings in your house including your pets bedding. Before using the spray you should vacuum your house as the vibrations encourage the eggs to hatch.
If you would like any more information please speak to a member of the Kingston team; our nurses are happy to discuss the best treatment options for your pet. To see our contact details, please click here. If you are Pet Health Club member, your parasite control is included!