Fleas are most often seen during the warmer months but as we keep our homes nice and warm throughout winter, we see 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 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 collars or flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation.
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.
Fleas can also pass on tapeworms to dog and cats.
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.
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 to discuss an appropriate flea control program for your pet.
Ticks are prevelant in large numbers in St George. The most common ticks are bush ticks, brown dog ticks and cattle ticks. Whilst having a couple may not cause any issues for your pet, large numbers can cause your pet severe irritation. There are many different tick preventions available ranging from collars and spot-ons to tablets.
Whilst we do not have the deadly Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus) in St George they can however attach to pets who visit areas where paralysis ticks are prevalent (e.g along the eastern coast including Brisbane and Toowoomba).Ticks may also hitch a ride back with you or a neighbour from these places in cars, rugs, towels or plants.These ticks can cause paralysis and death within 2-4 days of attachment. It is important to ensure your pet is up to date with tick prevention prior to travelling to these areas to reduce the risk of picking up one of these deadly ticks.
We are more than happy to show you how to do a thorough tick search, please call us to discuss.