We are currently seeing a flea and tick outbreak as we go into milder warmer weather.
Flea Control In Household Pets
Fleas are picked up from the environment and if your pet is unprotected they will soon start feeding and breeding.
Usually, by the time you notice your pet has fleas there are already thousands of eggs, larvae and pupae in your home.
A flea can lay up to 50 eggs every day!
and these then fall off into the carpet, cracks in the floorboards, furniture and bedding. The fleas you see on your pet are only 5% of the problem, the remaining 95% are the eggs, pupae and larvae waiting in your home.
Why we should treat for fleas
Firstly fleas can jump onto people and cause irritation through bites, they can also carry some diseases that can affect people as well as your pet.
They can also transmit a tapeworm that infects cats and dogs.
More about Ticks
Ticks are very small insects (or Arachnids ie same family as spiders!) that are often found in very grassy or woodland areas.
They start off quite small, but as they feed on their host they can grow to quite a dramatic size!
Ticks are most active in the Summer and Autumn months, but as the UK has rather variable weather, we are seeing a lot of ticks outside of the usual times.
If you see a tick on your pet, please do get in touch. Please don’t try and pull the tick off, as this can sometimes leave the mouth parts behind causing local infection and inflammation.
Also, trying to remove the tick by poking it or smothering it in vaseline can sometimes cause the tick to regurgitate its blood meal back into your pet, thereby spreading any diseases it might be carrying.
It is important to check your pets thoroughly after a walk, especially if taking dogs out to woodland areas. Ticks can hide in between toes where they can be very painful and cause discomfort.
We have a range of tick treatments available, so if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
Book a free flea and tick check with the surgery to discuss what is the most effective treatment for your pets
Some animals can be allergic to fleas and have Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD), which can result in very severe skin reactions, even from a single bite.
Heavy infestations can also result in anaemia through blood loss, this is a major concern in small puppies and kittens but can also occur in adult animals if left untreated.
Routine Treatment of Fleas
Virtually all pets will come into contact with fleas at some stage of their life, so even if your pet does not obviously have fleas it is still recommended to treat them regularly with an effective flea treatment.
This means that any flea that does bite your pet will be killed before it has a chance to breed. There are various options available for this that usually come as a ‘spot-on’ or a tablet.
The treatments we use routinely at our practice are…
Advocate Spot On – a spot-on flea preparation that also treats many roundworms including canine lungworm and mites, including Sarcoptic Mange.
Advocate does not treat ticks. It is used as a monthly treatment all the year round.
Nexgard Spectra Tablets – a very effective flea and tick treatment. It also controls roundworms including canine lungworm and also some other skin parasites such as Sarcoptic mange. It is an easy to swallow chewy tablet that should be given monthly.
It has good waterproofing and so it is useful in dogs who swim or need to be shampooed frequently.
Seresto Collar – This is a collar for cats & dogs which protects against fleas and ticks. It lasts for up to 7 months and has good repellency against ticks. It also has good waterproofing.
Comfortis Tablets – these are given monthly and are highly effective flea treatments. They show good waterproofing and are useful for dogs that swim or need to be shampooed regularly.
Advantix Spot On – a spot-on treatment that eliminates fleas and ticks and repels ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and stable flies.
It is a monthly treatment that is useful to dogs travelling abroad. MUST NOT BE USED ON CATS as one of the ingredients is very toxic to them.
Acclaim or Indorex Spray – these are environmental treatments which are used to stop the flea eggs and larvae from developing into adult fleas.
Unfortunately there are many other products on the market of doubtful efficacy and safety which can be bought at various outlets.
New effective products come onto the market all the time.
As you can see there is a confusing range of options available to use therefore if you are unsure which treatment is best for your pet or how to apply the medication please contact us and we will be happy to discuss everything with you.
We will assess which is the most effective treatment for all of your pets.
What to do if you have a flea problem
We would recommend bringing any of your pets that have fleas to be checked over by a vet. The vet will then discuss where to go from there.
It may be that your pet requires other treatments to help with any problems caused by the fleas, for example FAD or a skin infection.
1. Treat all the animals in your household with an effective flea treatment. This means that any new fleas that hop onto your pet will be killed.
2. Treat your house with an environmental flea treatment. Make sure any places your pet goes that are outside the house e.g the car boot or a kennel are also treated.
3. Wash all your pet’s bedding (and any the animal has come into contact with e.g your bedding) on a 60C wash.
4. Regularly vacuum your home, including the sofas, rugs and floorboards to physically remove some of the eggs, pupae and larvae.
5. Increasing the temperature and humidity in the house with encourage pupae to hatch, these will then be killed when they hop onto your pet.
It may take a few months to fully rid your house and pets of fleas as any eggs, pupae and larvae that remain will hatch out in time.
However, if you have already treated your pets and home then these fleas will be killed when they hop onto your pet, preventing them from breeding and increasing the flea population. Some of the environmental sprays also prevent eggs and larvae hatching into adults.
Pet Health Plan
The most cost effective way to ensure your pets are given the best preventative healthcare is by joining our Pet Health Plan, which allows you to spread your costs for healthcare by using monthly direct debits.
We welcome new clients from Nottingham and beyond to our surgeries