Preventing and getting rid of fleas
The key to prevention of flea infestation in cats, dogs and other pets is good general care by the pet owner by regular brushing, as matted fur is a perfect breeding ground and the regular use of flea prevention products. There are many different products available and come as sprays, spot-ons and collars.
Call and make an appointment with one of our vets who will advise you on the best product for your pet and their lifestyle. As fleas spend 90% of their life living in carpets and furnishings our vets will also be able to give advice on products to use along with flea treatments to keep your home flea free.
Fleas are carried from animal to animal and can reproduce very quickly. Most pets come into contact with fleasat some point in their lives. People can suffer from itchy flea bites too.
Flea infestation can disrupt the general wellbeing of your pet causing itching, redness, hair loss, severe skin infections in certain cases and allergy to flea saliva in many cases. Hypersensitivity to flea saliva is the major cause of flea allergy dermatitis. In dogs typically occurring as hot spots.
Other harmful effects are anaemia in cases of severe infestation (younger cats and dogs may even die), the transmission of bacterial diseases and tapeworms.
The blood intake of a female flea can be equivalent to more than 15 times its bodyweight. They can live on a host for 140 days laying several thousands of eggs and dropped wherever the host animal goes. The warm temperature and humidity in homes provide a favourable microclimate for multiple flea life cycles.
The life cycle of a flea has 4 stages:
- Eggs: which are laid 24 to 36 hours after the adults first blood meal
- Larvae: there are 3 larval stages spanning 5-12 days.
- Pupae: best protected and resistant life stage
- Premergent adults: this is the waiting stage, the fleas will emerge upon the necessary stimuli pressure and heat.