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October 2018 Newsletter

October 2018 Chisi Vet newsletter      the letter f

Flea season is upon us so a quick recap on what you need to know to control fleas.

 A flea infestation is a  large number of fleas in the coat of your dog/cat, often on the back close to the tail, which results in itchy red spots/bites – this causes  scratching, coat nibbling, constant licking and fur-pulling. When you look through the coat, you will see the fleas running around and see lots of flea dirt( black grit). However, apart from this obvious flea infestation, dogs and cats can also develop a flea-bite hypersensitivity , which is an allergic reaction to the antigens in flea saliva – in this case, they will have a dermatitis causing all the above signs of itchiness  but you may not have any visible fleas/flea dirt.

So – how do we prevent fleas??

 Once your pet has fleas, you need a two pronged approach and it may take about three months to get on top of the situation. The adult flea spends its entire life on the animal  - it lays eggs on the animal and these drop off onto the ground , hatch into  larvae , develop into pupae and then adult fleas.  So treatment needs to a) kill fleas on the dogs/cats and b) kill larvae/pupae in the environment.

  1. Treat all animals in the household

 – dipping dogs is a cheap way of killing fleas and ticks but the dip has no residual  effect so more fleas will jump on within a day. We also sell a flea and tick shampoo which can be used weekly. Cats can not be dipped/shampooed.

-Frontline is a topical liquid which is applied  to the skin on the neck – it will kill all ticks/fleas within 48 hours and carry on working for a month. Successful therapy depends on the chemical absorbing into the skin and so there may be reduced efficacy if the natural oils in the coat are deficient eg  from recent bathing or an underlying  skin/metabolic condition.

 - systemic treatment -  Comfortis, Nexgard, Bravecto  – if a topical flea product is not enough to control the fleas, it is worth trying one of these tablets -  they are particularly useful in dogs that swim a lot. At present, we only have the dog form so cats still need to be treated with Frontline.

  1. b) Environment – flea larvae can only survive in shaded, humid environments because they are susceptible to desiccation, therefore they are usually found in cracks in hardwood floors, at the base of carpet fibres or in moist , shaded soil. Pet’s bedding should be aired in direct sunlight daily and washed frequently to kill flea larval stages. Indoor resting places such as carpets should be vacuumed frequently.

  -  Program tablets can be given once a month to all your pets and they will stop the flea eggs from hatching.

 - environmental spray – either professionally applied by a fumigation company or applied locally to areas where the dogs/cats sleep in the form of Ultrum Duration environmental flea spry /Flee household flea spray – these sprays are usually a pyrethroid in combination with a insect growth regulator which prevents the development of flea eggs and larvae.

 

We sell most of the above mentioned products and can also tailor-make a control program for you.

Tick control is also vitally important because of the disease biliary – most of these products will prevent ticks and fleas. When dealing with a flea infestation, remember to deworm your pets regularly as fleas tend to carry worm eggs so your pets will need deworming.