Flea control for cats and dogs
Your animal is scratching? You wonder if it has fleas and if so, how to get rid of them? Here’s all you need to know….
What is a flea?
Cats and dogs are usually affected by the same type of flea, the cat’s flea (Ctenocephalides felis). A flea is a small insect that jumps on animals and loves to hide in their fur and feed on their blood. Fleas will preferably attack animals but they can also bite humans. They lay a great number of eggs so one flea rapidly becomes a flea infestation.
How to tell if my animal has fleas?
- If the infestation is severe, you could see fleas jumping in your animal’s fur. Your might even see fleas jumping on your ankles while walking in the house.
- Shake your animal’s fur above a white sheet of paper. If there are fleas, you will see flea waste products: little black coma shaped things that become red when you wet and squeeze them with a Q-Tip (fleas feed on blood so these are made of digested blood).
- If you have any doubt, bring us your cat our dog and we will help you identify the fleas.
How to get rid of the fleas?
- DO NOT GET RID OF THE ANIMAL. The fleas in the environment would then have no other choice but to bite you!
- Chemically disinfecting your house is not required: treating each animal with an appropriate medication is usually adequate.
- Vacuum every room in the house, with a special attention to carpets and sofas, then THROW AWAY THE BAG. Wash sheets and blankets in hot water.
- Flea shampoos do not decontaminate the environment and may irritate the animal’s skin. DO NOT TREAT A CAT WITH AN OVER THE COUNTER PRODUCT MADE FOR DOGS, as it may intoxicate and even kill your cat.
- Animal treatment: it is very important to treat every animal in the household for 3 to 6 months (the necessary time for all eggs to hatch in the environment). We recommend a topical treatment with Revolution™ (Pfizer), Advantage Multi™ (Bayer) or Advantage™ (Bayer), available at our hospital. These are the best and the safest treatments. Your animals will then “treat” the environment as the fleas feed on them and are affected by the medication.
- Above all, we recommend a consultation with a veterinarian at our hospital when your animal has fleas: we can treat skin issues and digestive parasites infection, both consequences of the flea infestation.