Flea Treatment

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Control of fleas and other external parasites

Every dog and cat is vulnerable to picking up fleas, in fact nearly all cats and dogs will experience the discomfort of a flea infestation at some point in their lives. Even the best cared for pets can still get fleas. Fleas you see on your pet are only a small part of the whole flea problem. For every 5 fleas that you see on your pet there will be around 100 eggs, larvae or pupae in your home environment. Other parasites that your pet may pick up include fox mange (sarcoptes), ticks, ear mites (otodectes) demodex, and cheyletiella ("walking dandruff") in rabbits and guinea pigs.

Treatment and prevention of infestations

There are several different methods of control that should be started now and continued regularly all year round - cold weather outside unfortunately doesn't mean no fleas - they love the central heating!

Flea treatment can be given in a spray or spot on form.

Spot on treatments are the easiest and are applied to the back of the neck every 4 weeks.

If you already have a flea infestation then the environment will also need to be treated. Sprays such as INDOREX kill fleas around the home and stop eggs developing into fleas once hatched. All of the house should be sprayed, the areas that are particularly important include the pets sleeping area, carpets and rugs. Vacuum well before application and read the safety advice on the spray.

Flea Treatments Available

There are many flea and parasite products available from both veterinary surgeries and pet shops. Prescription products available from the vet are generally much more effective and long lasting than those from pet shops. Shampoos, powders and flea collars are generally not very effective and only last a short time.

Prescription Flea/Parasite Treatments

Advantage - against fleas (dogs, cats and rabbits). Spot-on from 8 weeks in dogs and cats, 10 weeks in rabbits

Advantix - against fleas, ticks, sandflies and mosquitos. Spot on used from 7 weeks of age in dogs ONLY (toxic to cats)

Advocate - against fleas, flea larvae, fox mange, ear mites, demodex, roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and heartworm. Spot on used from 7 weeks old in dogs, 9 weeks in cats

Frontline - against fleas and ticks - spray application that can be used from 2 days old in dogs and cats (NOT in rabbits), or spot on from 8 weeks old in dogs and cats

Program injection - 6 monthly injection for CATS only, works against the larval stages of fleas but does not kill adult fleas. May need to use with another flea product if cat is infested.

NB Remember, it is always best to start flea control before your pet gets fleas. That way when the fleas bite they will be killed and your pet won't get irritable and itchy. Flea products available from your veterinary surgery are best because they have much longer lasting effects and are more potent due to the efficacy and safety testing they have under gone.