Flea infestation is one of the most common health problems seen in cats and dogs. Almost every dog and cat will become infected at some time during their life. Fleas are more than just a minor irritation for your pet. They are also responsible for the transmission of the flea tapeworm and in severe cases can cause anaemia Flea related problems are the commonest cause of skin problems in pets. Usually skin problems arise because the animal becomes allergic to flea saliva.When a flea bites your pet some of the flea saliva is injected into the skin. If the pet is allergic to flea saliva it will start to scratch, often intensely leading to serious skin disease.Fleas spend only 5% of their life cycle on an animal therefore it is important to remember that just because you do not see fleas on your pet, does not mean your pet does not have a flea problem.
The Flea’s life cycle
Only adult fleas are found on animals but they represent only 5% of the total flea population. The other 95% consist of immature stages of the flea life cycle which infest the pet’s environment such as bedding, carpets, furniture, car seats etc.The adult flea begins laying eggs in your pet’s coat within 48 hours of it’s first feed. It can lay up to 50 eggs per day or 2000 in it’s lifetime. The eggs then drop off into the environment where they develop into larvae and pupae before becoming the next generation of adult fleas.When it first emerges the young adult flea begins to search for food and one or two days after feeding from your pet the female will start to lay eggs.
Under favourable conditions the whole process can take as little as 12 days. It is easy to see how one or two fleas can quickly turn into an infestation.
Successful flea control depends on an all – round approach to the problem. This means treating both the pet and the environment . It also means continuing with preventative flea treatment throughout your pets life to prevent a problem recurring
- Vacuum cleaning:- Regular vacuuming and washing of your pet’s bedding will help reduce the number of eggs, pupae and the build up of flea dirt on which the larvae feed. Placing a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum cleaner will help prevent the larvae or pupae continuing their life cycle in the vacuum cleaner.
- Environmental sprays:- An environmental flea spray such as Indorex should be used to kill any immature fleas missed during vacuuming. Pay particular attention to under beds, behind settees, under radiators and around skirting boards. One can is sufficient to treat the average three bedroomed house and lasts for up to four months. Always follow the safety instructions on the can.
- Your pet:- A variety of products are now available which are safe, easy to use and cost effective. While flea treatments may be available from pet shops and even some supermarkets, these are often old or less effective products and some are even less safe to use in dogs. Call in to us and we can recommend the most suitable product for your dog.