In dogs and cats fleas infestation causes a wide range of problems :
It is therefore evident the importance of proper prevention and treatment of infestations.
That, in some situations (eg. a single animal in an apartment) can be quite simple; in others, however (eg. the presence of several animals, large houses or with garden, presence of stray cats), can become very challenging for the owner. That's the reason why is very useful to know some facts about the life of fleas and the available treatments.
When you suspect the presence of fleas on your pet ?
In any dog presenting itching and\or lesions in the rear half of the body (lombar area, hips, base of the tail, groin).
In the cat the front part of the body can be affected too. It is easier to find fleas in short-haired body areas (eg. groin).
NB: not always absence of adult fleas on the animal's body, at a given time, means that it is not affected (especially in cats). We can also search the faeces (black dots that, if moistened, leave a red halo) and eggs (white). The animal should be brushed with a fine-teeth comb.
Practical informations about flea life.
Adult fleas (5% of the total) live on the animal and feed on blood. Females produce 40 to 50 eggs a day, which fall to the ground and turn into larvae\pupae (95% of the total) that can survive up to 50 weeks > that is why it is very important to treat environment (home, garden , courtyard).
The eggs and larvae are found mostly in places where the animal lies down and spends more time> here we focus the environmental treatment.
Fleas parasitize dogs, cats and ferrets in the environment > so it is useless to treat only one animal and not the others.
Larvae love dark places (thus are located eg. in the deep part of the carpet or in cracks in the floor). They can not bear the excessive cold, heat or dry.
Informations about anti-fleas on sale.
small part of the total (see above) and have no effect thereafter.
applied on the skin, not on the hair. Generally they must not be preceded\followed closely by a bath.
Informations about the active principles in anti-flea products.
Some anti-fleas can be very toxic (eg. Organophosphate; pyrethroids in cats). Young animals (puppies and kittens) and, in general, cats are more susceptible. Attention must be paid also to small children and any small pet in your home (rodents, fish, birds). Always follow the product instructions and consult your veterinarian.
Summary of guidelines for an effective fight against fleas.
Then destroy the bag. There are also industrial products to treat carpets. Steam cleaning is not effective.
Wash blankets, rags etc. at 60 ° C. Treat the house with an enviromental anti-flea product especially where
the animal lies down and in shaded corners: kennels, under furniture, porches, under the stairs, wood floors
and baseboards, cupboards; in the garden under the trees, after having swept leaves (useless treat places in
full sun). Remember to treat the other places where the animal is brought (car, carriers, vacation homes,
Repeat the enviromental treatment after 10 days and then 3-4 months apart.