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Successful flea control involves both eliminating fleas from your dog and controlling fleas in your environment. Dogs and cats share the same fleas, and fleas can travel from one animal to another. Thus, it is important that all pets in your home are on a flea preventive program.
Treating your pet for fleas has never been easier. With the many choices we have today, we can provide you with the safest and most effective flea preventive for your pet’s needs.
However, when it comes to environmental control, it is important to understand the flea life cycle.
Pruritus due to skin disease is one of the most common reasons dog owners seek veterinary care. Flea allergy dermatitis, seasonal allergies or atopy, food allergies and contact dermatitis are some of the most common causes of pruritus in dogs.
There are four stages to the flea life cycle:
Fleas can cause anemia in heavy infestations, especially in young or debilitated dogs. A single female flea can consume up to 15 times her body weight in blood over the several weeks of her adult life. In addition, fleas can carry several diseases, including plague, and act as vectors (hosts) to spread one of the most common tapeworms of the dog and cat, Diplylidium caninum.
Successful flea control includes treating both your pet(s) and the environment.
There are very effective products designed for monthly administration that are available through your veterinary clinic; some of these products are conveniently combined with medications to prevent heartworm and intestinal worms. Be sure to consult your veterinarian to choose the most effective and safe flea products for your home and pet.
Environmental preparations are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Your veterinarian can provide you with flea products that will prevent maturation of the flea eggs and larvae in addition to chemicals that will kill the adult fleas.
“Before applying any environmental product, we recommend vacuuming your carpet to stimulate the pre-adult fleas to emerge from their protective cocoons.”