Prevention is the best form of treatment…….
At Kenwood we offer a wide variety of flea treatment products. We can offer advice about the product most suited to your pets needs. If you need help or advice with the use of the products, you can speak to a nurse or receptionist over the phone or alternatively you can book a nurse consultation.
Dosing for your animal is done using their bodyweight, so it is very helpful if you know what they weigh! Flea treatments are also available on a Pet Health Plan
To implement a successful anti-flea strategy, pet owners need to be aware of the impact of flea infestation on the household and the diseases fleas may cause both in animals and humans (particularly children) living alongside their pet.
- Flea-bite dermatitis- can affect both cats and dogs, causing itching, hair loss and crusting (due to trauma caused by the pet scratching/nibbling)
- Flea allergy dermatitis/flea bite hypersensitivity- causes more severe skin signs compared to flea-bite dermatitis and is caused by the animals own immune system developing an exaggerated response to flea infestation.
- Transfer of tapeworm- fleas act as an intermediate host for this worm. If an infected flea is ingested (often through grooming) by a cat/dog, tapeworms can form within their intestines. This can cause an itchy rear end (often demonstrated by their pets scooting their bottoms on the floor), upset tummy’s and weight loss.
- Blood loss- Heavy flea infestations can cause anaemia (iron deficiency). This can have devastating consequences in puppies and kittens- but fortunately this is rare.
- Infectious anaemia- Infectious agents may also be transmitted via fleas such as; Bartonella hensalae (cat scratch disease). Transmission of such pathogens to humans can cause lethargy, anaemia, weight loss and joint disease.
- Fleas can also bite humans, which can result in intense itching and discomfort but also more serious reactions if the individual is hypersensitive to flea bites.
Some interesting facts
- Fleas are temporary parasites- meaning they only live on the host for part of their lifecycle. Only adult fleas remain on the animal, the other stages can be found in carpets, beds and sofas etc. Adult fleas (which are the only stage of the lifecycle you will be able to see) contribute to approximately 5% of an infestation. Immature flea stages within the environment represent the remaining 95% (Pupae 10%, Larvae 35% and Eggs 50%).
- One female can lay up to 2000 eggs in several weeks
- Your pet can catch fleas from; other domestic/wild animals, visiting animals and their human counterparts, the outdoor environment (including your garden), groomers etc.
The flea lifecycle:
- Adult fleas: hatch from pupae in the environment and jump on to your pet.
- Eggs: females can lay up to 50 eggs a day. These are not tacky, so fall off your pet and into the environment.
- Larvae: the eggs hatch into larvae, which move away from the light (photophobic), down into dark areas such as carpets, soft furnishings and gaps in floorboards etc.
- Pupae: the larvea spin a sticky cocoon to become pupae. During this stage, they cant be killed by insecticidal treatments.
Flea Prevention- ‘Breaking the life cycle’:
- Optimal temperatures for completion of the flea life cycle are approximately 18-25ºC degrees, our modern, centrally heated homes support this perfectly and mean flea infestation is now a year-round problem. For these reasons, owners should also treat homes as thoroughly as possible. This can be done by;
- Regular vaccuming
- Use of insecticidal sprays- environment/household
- Use of insect development inhibitors/insect growth regulators- animal treatments, usually in the form of spot-ons.
- We would also advise using a steam mop/cleaner
- Wash animal bedding regularly on a hot wash (60ºC)
It is vital to treat all pets (within multi-animal households) and the environment
Click below to see a video explaining the application and mode of action of Advocate
Click below to find out more about household flea infestations