Buy one cat (or dog) get one flea

11th August 2015  Siamese cats with fleas

One of the best things about being human is that we don’t “get” fleas!  Oh, they’ll stop by for a quick visit and a nibble on your ankle, but they don’t move in and invite all their relatives! Unfortunately, we humans who are deeply in love with our pets have to deal with fleas anyway! The annoying creatures are just a fact of life when you’re a pet owner. If the weather is warm and wet, the parasites are bound to be around.  Dogs pick them up when they go outside to do their duties.  Outside cats are sure to have them and inside cats who enjoy sitting in screened windows will end up with a flea infestation, too. If you happen to have more than one furry animal, fleas will swiftly spread from one to the other. If you have carpeted floors? Doomed! Fleas love carpeting! It must be like apartment living to them or something down inside those fibres. 

Fleas hurt your pet! A cat or dog that is geriatric and has a weak immune system can be fatally affected by a flea infestation, as can new pups and kittens. Frequently, cats and dogs react to flea bites with an allergic presentation: red rashes, tiny scabs on skin, hair loss, and intense scratching. These pets need help right away! That’s flea bite dermatitis!  Even young, healthy animals suffer with fleas.  The biting is relentless and the animal gets irritable and annoyed.

Prevention is the best approach, of course. But if you’re not prepared and you’ve only started noticing fleas, then act as soon as possible to get rid of them.  

It’s best to avoid buying flea medicine at a supermarket. The cheap stuff might as well be lemonade for the effect it has on killing fleas!  Flea collars are useless and flea powders are quite dangerous.

You can purchase flea medicine that will actually work and be safe from your veterinarian or from your local pet store. It’s probably a little more expensive, but it’s worth it. The latest treatments are top-spots or oral tablets, which are much safer for both pets and humans. The top spots are topically applied chemicals that disperse through the skin’s oils. The oral tablets, such as Comfortis, are as suggested and need to be taken orally. Each are applied monthly, however some only top spots will cover paralysis ticks, and only for a two week period. They include Advantage, Frontline and Revolution. They all kill fleas around 24 hours after a flea has bitten a treated animal. Frontline also sterilises any eggs that may be laid in the 24 hour period after drug contact, so it may provide more efficient environmental control. 

Once your pet gets fleas, the tiny pests become an issue for the humans who are nearby pretty quickly! Always make sure you wash bedding and also use a flea bomb or some pest control solution around the areas that your pet lives in. More information on detection, correction and control can be found on Burke's Backyard blog found here.

There’s nothing more unsettling than seeing a fat flea land on your own skin. Ick! So arm yourself and your beloved pet with the proper medication and keep those pesky parasites away!

Until then, flea you next week! :) 

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