Rufus, one of our awesome Dog Ranch guests.
Flea season is upon us and it is going to be a harsh one this year. A few tips about protecting your pets and yourself against fleas and the parasites they carry.
Prevention is the best method to deal with fleas.
A monthly topical like Revolution or Advantage can be applied to prevent fleas from even being attracted to your pets. There are also oral preventatives, which are also given monthly, such as Trifexxis and Sentinel. These products can be purchased at your local veterinary clinic. Remember always consult with your veterinarian before giving your pets any sort of flea preventative or medication
So your pet has fleas! Do not PANIC!
There are a few things we need to know about fleas and the flea life cycle to combat the little bloodsuckers. Remember even if you only see one flea there is more…oh there is more! The flea life cycle starts when an adult flea finds a host. (Your dog or cat) After a few days the flea lays eggs in the fur of the host. The eggs fall into the host’s environment. (Your home) The eggs hatch after two to three days into larvae, which will live in the host’s environment feeding off organic debris. These larvae go through three stages of molting in five to ten days before transforming into pupae. The pupae then make cocoons around themselves and will hatch into adult fleas in five to ten days. (Note: this time frame is in optimal temperature. If temperature is low it slows the transformation period, which can end up lasting upward of six months before hatching.) Once hatching the adult fleas can live on the host for up to two months laying eggs every two days.
We can see how a flea issue can easily turn into an infestation very quickly.
Not only will you need to obtain a flea preventative medication from your veterinarian but you will also need a product like Vet-Kem Siphotrol premise spray for your home and pets bedding. Bedding should be sprayed and then washed. Your carpets should be sprayed, following the instruction on the bottle and then vacuumed to remove all larvae.
Also emptying your vacuum immediately after vacuuming will prevent pupae from hatching into adults inside the machine, which will crawl out back into the environment.
Most people don’t realize that the parasitic tapeworm is directly linked to fleas.
This parasite is zoonotic meaning humans can contract it from animals. A deworming pill should be given to any animal that has or has had fleas.
Deworming products can be purchased from your veterinary office and should be administered following your veterinarian’s instructions.
So there we have it!
The basic low down on fleas and what we can do to win the war against them. Remember prevention is the best way to avoid even having a flea problem. Monthly preventatives should be given each month and not just once you have spotted fleas on your pet!
We Speak Dog at the Bowen Island Dog Ranch, and we love what we do!