Controlling Fleas

Fleas used to be most often seen during the warmer months but as we keep our homes nice and warm throughout winter, and we are experiencing more humid weather in Melbourne, we are now seeing fleas all year round.

Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet. 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, in severe cases, also decontaminate the environment as well. Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean carpets.

We do not recommend flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation and lose their effectiveness very quickly. We have several products that we can recommend depending on your needs.

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 (dogs) or around the head and neck (cats)
  • You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region for dogs, or around the head and neck for cats)
  • 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 (dogs) or around the neck (cats). 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.

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.

Please call us on 9584 7500 to discuss an appropriate flea control program for your pet.