Eww...My Pet Has FLEAS!

The dreaded “F” word

It is important to remember that they are not alone :)

Fleas are the most common external parasite of companion animals. In addition to causing itching and other skin problems, fleas can transmit diseases to animals.  The majority of the flea population (i.e. eggs, larvae, and pupae) are found off the pet and around the home

“WTF?!” What The Fleas?

How did my pet get fleas?

Unfortunately, there is no way to keep every wild animal out of your yard -- not even with a tall fence. No yard is an island unto itself, and squirrels, raccoons, and other small rodents will find ways to get into your yard, carrying fleas and ticks along with them

You and your human visitors can also be unwitting carriers of fleas and ticks. Anyone coming into your home could be a carrier of fleas. They can be brought in from the person’s own home or pet without their knowledge.

If you like to spend time hiking in areas where fleas and ticks are prevalent, it’s easy for a few to hitch a ride on your pant leg, socks, shoes, etc. These parasites are well-adapted at finding ways to attach to potential hosts in order to find their next blood meal

Anytime your pet goes out into the world -- even if only for short walks around the block; play dates at the local dog park; a visit to the veterinarian; a stint at the boarding kennel; a trip to the groomer; a ride in the car; etc. – she/he is being exposed to the opportunity for fleas and ticks to hop aboard.

How do we get rid of them?!

We recommend treating ALL pets in the household for a minimum of 3 months with a topical flea preventative from your veterinarian.

Treating for 3 months is extremely important in treating all life stages of the flea. (adults, eggs, larvae and pupae)

The pupea stage of the flea can lay dormant in your house for months until vibrations, warmth or the presence of CO2 awakens them.

It is not enough to just treat the fleas on your pet, you need to treat the environment too. Larvae and pupae are hiding in carpets, in between floor boards and even in your car. Make sure if your pet goes in the car frequently, continue to do so while your pet is being treated.

*Wash all bedding.
* Vacuum all carpets and upholstery and then discard the vacuum bag. This will prevent the flea eggs from hatching in vacuum bags and spreading through your home

*Do not bathe your pet with harsh shampoo while being treated – anything with tea tree oil will strip the medication and risk it not working

*DO NOT isolate your pet from areas of your home. The medication on your pet will help kill the fleas that are in all areas of your home waiting for a host to jump on

*Stay away from flea/pesticide sprays as they are unnessesary 

Can they pass it to a friend?

 Yes, fleas are contagious to other animals.  During treatment you should warn visitors of your situations and avoid contact with other animals.

**Fleas usually are more annoying than lethal, but they can spread tapeworms to your pet and other family members. Depending on the infestation, your veterinarian may recommend a dewormer as well. Very small or young pets can develop anemia, a potentially life-threatening condition, because of blood loss from flea infestation.

Can we get a treatment from the pet store?

We do not recommend this.  Pet store flea prevention options are not regulated by anyone to ensure that it is safe and the correct dose or ingredients.  The products we provide to you have been thoroughly tested by reputable companies to ensure the doses are safe and effective.  Pet store flea and tick products can be toxic to cats also.

How do we prevent catching fleas in the future?

We recommend all pets that go outside or exposed to pets that do receive monthly parasite prevention from approximately April until November depending on the temperatures outside. There are topical and chewable options.