Our dear friend Dr.Claire brought us a few excellent flea control tips. Those great tips can be very useful when it comes to flea treatments with pets, It is highly recommended to pet owners to try out these tips.
Flea season would appear to be upon us, I’ve seen 2 infestations in the past week. This is my advice to clients with a flea infestation and if they follow my advice I generally don’t get any issues with people coming back saying it hasn’t worked. If, however, they fail to do even one aspect of what I advise I can almost guarantee they’ll be back complaining they’ve still got fleas.
Here is my special 3 steps flea infestation prevention approach :
Treat ALL cats, dogs (and rabbits) in the household with a reliable product. I warn them that they get what they pay for in terms of animal flea control. I see it all the time where owners try and cut corners by buying the cheaper products but in the end they end up spending more money on repeatedly buying cheap products than a more expensive one that actually works first time. The products I recommend that actually work are as follows:
Flea treatment for cats & dogs :
Activyl : Spot-on that is applied to the skin. Newest product on the market. Kills adult fleas, eggs and larvae, thereby breaking the lifecycle. Active ingredient is indoxacarb. This is my first choice for dogs and cats where there is a flea infestation.
Revolution : Spot-on that is applied to the skin. Been on the market for several years but still seems to work well. Kills adult fleas and prevents eggs from hatching for 1 month. Also prevents heart worm infection in dogs and cats. In cats it also kills some of the intestinal worms.
Advocate/Advantage : Spot-on that is applied to the skin. Active ingredient imidocloprid. Not my first choice. Seems to be good at preventing pets acquiring a flea infestation but not so good in the face of an infestation. Advocate kills fleas, flea larvae and helps prevent heart worm infection as well as preventing intestinal worm infections. Advantage is a flea only product so kills fleas and flea larvae.
Comfortis : Tablet. Active ingredient spinosad. Works really well but most people tend to go for the spot-ons as they are easier to administer.
Flea treatment for rabbits:
The only product licensed as safe for use in rabbits is Advantage.Owners must also be advised that they treat all of these animals on a monthly basis on-going to help break the lifecycle of the fleas. Just one female flea egg that’s been missed by the environmental measures can hatch and if it gets the chance to feed will produce many, many eggs in just a few weeks and so the cycle begins again. I also warn the owners that if they fail to treat just one of the animals it will act as a reservoir where the fleas can safely feed and, thus, perpetuate the lifecycle.
Owners can buy these products either from there vets (although some vets may not stock all of these products but can generally order them in), online or from petshops (not sure if the newest product activyl is available yet from petshops)
(A note about Frontline (active ingredient fipronil) – over the past few years I’ve seen a number of cases where owners have been religious about applying frontline every month but have still ended up with a flea infestation. Whilst I have no scientific evidence to prove there is resistance amongst some fleas to fipronil, based on my experience and the experience of other vets I know, I no longer advise using Frontline (fipronil) where there is a flea infestation)
Since the majority of fleas live in the environment and only jump on the animals to feed I also advise owners they MUST treat their house as well. If they are seeing live fleas on their pets it means there and huge numbers more in the environment. If they don’t treat the the environment fleas will only die when they jump on the animal to feed, this will not resolve the problem quickly. At the clinic we stock “Fido’s flea bomb”, a permethrin based insecticidal which controls fleas in the environment for up to 9 months. I’m sure there are several more effective environmental flea products out there but this is not my area of expertise! They should also wash all pet bedding and if the pets sleep on the owners beds wash these also.
I also advise owners to treat the garden as well as the fleas like to live in the sandy soil in WA. Again, if not treated the problem will not resolve. I recommend Coopex for the garden environment.
If owners follow my advice I find this approach seems to work. Those who come back complaining it hasn’t worked, when I have questioned them closely they have generally tried to cut corners by buying a cheaper flea product or they haven’t bothered to treat the garden etc….
Hope these tips was helpful.
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