Q: How do I get rid of the fleas on my pet?
A: Fleas are relentless and will jump at every window of opportunity to infest your pet AND your home. Treating fleas on your pet is not enough, you MUST treat your home as well. Once your pet has fleas, only 5% of the population is on your animal while the remaining 95% resides in your home, including the carpet, bedding, furniture and just about everywhere else.
To rid your home of the infestation there are several products that are available on the market including foggers, premise and yard sprays among others. Talk to your veterinarian about which product would be best for your individual situation. Make sure you follow the directions carefully for optimal results. You may need to retreat your home 2-4 weeks later to kill the fleas that have hatched after the initial treatment. Once you have successfully eradicated the fleas in your home, you must continue to use a preventative product on your pet to make sure that they do not return.
Q: How do I know which preventative product to use?
A: There are many products available and it can be an overwhelming process if you’re not sure which product is best for your animal. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s needs and how to choose the right product for both of you. If you have a dog, you may need a product that also protects against ticks as well as heartworm disease. If you have a cat, does your cat go outdoors or stay indoors? Some products are better for cats that go outdoors since they are exposed to more parasites than a cat who stays inside.
Also, be careful not to give a canine only flea prevention to a cat, as some of the ingredients are toxic can be toxic!
Q: Are there any diseases associated with fleas and ticks?
A: By not protecting your pet with a flea preventive product, it may put you and your pet at risk to disease. There are several diseases that are related to fleas and ticks. FAD (Flea Allergy Dermatitis) is an inflammation of the skin caused by an allergy to fleas. Many dogs and cats can develop FAD from a single bite of a flea. Fleas are also the direct cause of an intestinal parasite, tapeworms. Humans can become infected with tapeworms as well. Fleas also can carry and transmit cat scratch disease (caused by Bartonella Henselae bacteria) which is transmitted to humans by a cat scratch.
Ticks are also very dangerous as they are hosts to several diseases that can be transmitted to both pet and humans. The most common tick-borne diseases are Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis. It is important to know if you and your pet will be frequenting tick-infested areas.
Talk with your veterinarian about the right flea protection for your pet, we'll be happy to help!