An area for fleas
We regularly see many fleas on our patients. If your pet is not on a regular flea control program then now is a good time to start. Fleas like to congregate in front of the tail area and along the back so have a look in this area and if you see small black bits that look like dirt then it may well be flea dirt. Flea dirt is actually the faeces of the flea and it is partially digested blood that the flea has sucked from your pet. If you drop some water onto the ‘dirt’ it partly dissolves into a reddish brown colour. If it really is dirt it will stay black.
What flea control do I use? This is a commonly asked question here at Patterson River. There are many products on the market and every household has different requirements. Flea collars are not recommended at all and neither are flea shampoos or rinses. Revolution, Advantage and Moxiclear (=Advocate) are all spot on medications that are applied monthly and we stock them and recommend them. Some of the spot on supermarket products are not ideal. Comfortis is an oral monthly flea control that we recommend. If you see fleas on your pet then we would also initially recommend ‘Capstar’ as a knockdown treatment. This is a tablet given daily for a few days that kills fleas within a few hours. We also stock and recommend Sentinel which is a monthly oral medication-useful for single pet households as a preventative.
Revolution, Moxiclear, Comfortis Plus and Sentinel also act as heartworm preventatives.
If you would like to discuss a suitable flea program for your pets then please do not hesitate to contact our staff.
Why do I still see fleas on my pet?
If you are using a recommended flea product but are still seeing fleas on your pet it is worth taking a minute or so to go through the following check list.
- All pets in the household must be treated with the recommended product.
- Each pet must receive the correct product for their size. Weigh each pet.
- Determine how often in the past 3-4 months you have applied the flea product. Record each product application to ensure it is being applied at the correct interval.
- How many fleas are you seeing on each pet? It is normal to see the odd flea on a pet if it goes for walks or outside into the garden where other pets can access.
- Are there other untreated pets that have access to the house environment or any untreated animals eg. neighbour’s pets. These may be the source of the fleas.
- If your pet has access under the house this can be the perfect environment for fleas to develop. It would be advisable to block off access under the house.
- Washing your pet’s bedding in hot water (at least 60 C) may help reduce the environmental contamination.
If you have gone through this checklist and are still having flea control problems then it would be wise to discuss your problem with one of our staff members.