Fleas, Fleas, Fleas

Kapi-Mana News Pet Health Column Article for 4 December 2012

Written by Dr Ian Schraa , 04/12/2012

Fleas love summer with the warmer, humid weather. It is just what flea’s need for breeding. With the nice spring weather and the temperatures recently we have had, their numbers are due to explode this summer.

We are already seeing many pets with large numbers of fleas, some with complications such as Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) and secondary skin infections.

Unlike other parasites, fleas only spend part of their lives on your pet. The eggs, larvae and pupae (the first 3 stages of their life) develop off the pet in the pet’s bedding, your carpets, under furniture and under your house.

What can you do to prevent or treat the flea problem?

  1. To prevent fleas you need to either treat your pet all year round or at least in spring and summer, using an effective product that kills fleas and their offspring. Many older-type poisons in flea shampoo and flea collars are no longer as effective because fleas have become resistant to them. These products also tend to be more toxic to pets as the poisons are organophosphates. It is important to remember cats bring fleas into the house from outdoor sources.
  2. If you start flea treating too late the number of flea eggs and larvae in your house may be so large that, although the better products kill the fleas soon after they hop onto your pet, more just keep coming. You will probably need to treat the house with flea bombs. Please use these carefully in accordance with the instructions.
  3. Grooming and combing out fleas is a safe, effective way to help reduce the flea numbers on your pet.
  4. Fleas also pass on flea tapeworm to pets when they bite. To prevent the tapeworm also becoming a problem you should de-worm your pet with a product that treats against tapeworms.

Flea problems can be completely prevented by early use of quality, effective products. Top quality products, like Frontline Plus, come with a money-back guarantee if used correctly on the pets in your house. If fleas do become a problem we can help you solve it.

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Dr Katherine Allen

Senior Surgical Veterinarian
Qualified in 2002 with BVSC Distinction (Massey), BPharm (1994), MANZCVS (Small Animal Surgery)
Started with Rappaw in 2018

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