Fleas can be seen all year round in the hot climate of Broome. Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet. In fact only 5% of the lifecylce is found on the dog or cat! The fleas’ eggs and larvae live in the environment and can survive for up to a year, so it is important to not only treat your animal directly for fleas but also decontaminate the environment as well. Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean any rugs or carpets. You may need to use a flea 'fogger' inside the house.
Fleas will tend to jump onto your pet only to feed and then jump off again. Dogs and cats can have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis or FAD. Treatment of FAD can be complicated and veterinary consultation is recommended.
Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:
Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)
It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt. Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your pet’s fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your pet has fleas.
Try to get a flea prevention program established before a problem arises. There are many flea treatment available including:
- Monthly oral chews eg. Nexgard (our product of coice)
- Monthly spot-on apllications (eg Frontline, Advantage, Revolution, and many others). Many of these products treat other parasites.
- Shampoos and rinses
- Tablets and chews
The treatment options may vary depending on your circumstances so please call or drop in and ask for advice.
Warning: Some non-veterinary brands of flea treatments for dogs are potentially lethal when applied to cats. Always seek veterinary advice about the best flea treatments for your pet.