Mar 25 2015

Springtime brings warm weather, outdoor fun, and in the south…FLEAS

Fleas are small wingless jumping insects that bite and feed on the blood of mammals.  Adult fleas are dark brown, no bigger than a sesame seed, and able to move rapidly over your pet’s skin.  Fleas thrive year round in our southern climate because the weather is warm and humid.  Your pet can pick up fleas wherever an infestation exists, often in areas frequented by other cats and dogs, and also other animals, such as squirrels, rodents, raccoons and possums.  Our Veterinarians recommend that you give your pet a flea preventative EVERY month throughout the year to eliminate fleas from your environment and help maintain the comfort of you and your pet.

For flea control in Dogs our Veterinarians recommend Nexgard, Advantage or Trifexis.  For flea control in Cats our Veterinarians recommend Revolution or Advantage.

To further protect your pet and your environment from flea infestations our Veterinarians recommend, in addition to a monthly adult flea preventative, you also use a product that contains the ingredient Lufenuron, which will inhibit flea eggs from hatching.  For dogs, lufenuron is included in Sentinel, a monthly heartworm preventative and dewormer.  For cats, Lufenuron is in Program, and is given as an injection that lasts for six months.

There are lots of products available to kill fleas, if you have questions, please give us a call.

What happens when you give your pet a Flea Preventative Medication?

When you give your pet a dose of a flea preventative, the medication is absorbed into your pet’s system and it will last for the period indicated on the packaging.  The medication in Nexgard, Advantage, and Trifexis lasts for thirty days.  This medication is in your pet’s system, when a flea bites your pet because the flea will ingest the medication, get sick and die.

Why do I still see fleas on my pet after I’ve given my pet flea medication?

Flea preventatives kill adult fleas once they are on your pet, but it doesn’t stop adult fleas from jumping onto your pet.  If your pets comes in contact with other animals or areas where other animals frequent, fleas will still be drawn to them as a host and jump onto your pet.  You yourself can bring “hitchhikers” into your house if a flea hops on your clothing or socks when you are outside and they travel with you back into your house.  You may also continue to see fleas, if the fleas that you have killed have already laid eggs in your environment and now those eggs are hatching.  Cocooned flea pupae can be inactive for weeks before emerging as adults that are ready to infect your pet.  One female flea on your pet can lay 40-50 eggs IN ONE DAY.  Even though you have killed the adult fleas on your pet, the pupae and eggs in your environment keep hatching.  Be vigilant and give all of your pets (inside as well as outside pets) their flea preventative every 30 days throughout the year.

To help eradicate flea eggs and pupae in your environment we recommend that you regularly vacuum your house, especially in areas where your pets regularly frequent.  Be sure to vacuum under your sofa and chairs and between and under the cushions.   Wash your pet’s bedding regularly.  Because much of the flea’s lifecycle is spent off of your pet, treating only your pet with medication may not eliminate the problem.  Spreading beneficial nematodes in your yard might help.  Click here – more information on Flea Control and Beneficial Nematodes. Always use caution when using over the counter environmental insecticides, please call us with any questions you may have before using them around your house.

Click the folllowing image for more information on the Flea Life Cycle:

flea

ddaley | Newsletter

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