It's not the Jitterbug

posted: by: Nathan Rycerz Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Flea season has begun, and whether your pet is a social butterfly, greeting every form of life in a three mile radius, or maintains a watchful eye from his favorite chair at home, everyone’s furry friend is a potential host for fleas.

Know your enemy: Knowledge is power so let’s start arming ourselves.

Here is a video if you are a more visual person.

As you can see in this graphic, the flea life cycle is long lived, and boy can they reproduce. So let’s start from the beginning. An adult female flea bites our pet to get its first blood meal. From there she then lays the mentioned 25-50 eggs, which are slightly smaller than a grain of sand. In 2-5 days these eggs hatch into the larvae stage, consuming predigested blood dropped by the adult fleas and other organic matter found in the environment. Within 5-20 days of hatching the larvae form a cocoon around themselves becoming a pupae. From there the flea can stay dormant for up to a year or as early as a few days to have the cycle begin again. This leads to our next picture. 

Which shows the population layout of a flea infestation. The adult fleas you may see on your pet is the tip of the iceberg, as that only accounts for 5% of the total population that has taken up residence in your home.

All cats and dogs can be exposed to fleas.

Unfortunate as it is, even the pets who think going outside is torture can get fleas, because even if they never go outside, you do. As much as it might make your skin crawl fleas can hop on to our shoes, pants, purse etc. to hitch a ride to their next host. We see these cases regularly here at Lewis Animal hospital, where the only thing these people have in common is untreated pets.

Fighting Back!

As Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and nothing could be truer when it comes to keeping fleas off our pets. Keeping your pet up on flea prevention is the best way to prevent an infestation. Flea baths work on the adults that are currently on your pet, and bombs will only kill the adults in range of the bomb, and as we saw from the graphics above we still have 95% of the population to go, from a best case scenario point of view. Treating your pets eliminates the fleas at their food source, providing you with the best route of elimination.

Pick your Poison.

               There are many different products out there so it can be confusing to know which ones are right for you and your pet. So here are products that we at Lewis Animal Hospital keep in stock to get the job done. There has never been a single homeopathic remedy scientifically proven to control fleas.

Dogs

  ·        Sentinel Spectrum: Chewable treat that provides one month of prevention against heartworm, roundworm, whipworm, and tapeworms. As well as sterilizing and fleas that bite your pet preventing reproduction.

  ·     Bravecto: Chewable treat that provides three months of prevention against fleas and ticks, killing them. *Bravecto is a prescription product and will require veterinary approval.

  ·     Trifexis: Chewable treat that provides one month of prevention against heartworm, roundworm, whipworm, tapeworms, and will kill fleas.

  ·   Activyl Tick Plus: Topical that provides one month prevention against fleas and ticks killing them. This can be lethal to cats and needs to be kept away from cat until the product has completely dried on the dog. DO NOT GIVE THE DOG ACTIVYL TO CATS

Cats

  ·      Bravecto: Topical that provides three months of prevention against fleas and ticks killing them. *Bravecto is a prescription product and will require veterinary approval.

  ·      Para Defense: Topical that provides one month of prevention against fleas killing them.

If you have questions, concerns, or guidance on getting the right product for you please feel free to email us at vettech@lewisah.com, call us during business hours, or message us on Facebook.