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.
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
- 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 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.
The main tick of concern for pet owners is the Paralysis Tick as it can cause paralysis and death within 2-4 days of attachment. Whilst Paralysis Ticks occur naturally only in certain geographic areas (mainly along the coastal eastern seaboard of Australia) they can attach to pets who visit these areas during the warmer months, particularly if they are allowed to run through scrub. In Western Australia it seems that the kangaroo tick is most often incriminated in tick bites and reactions.
If you notice a tick on a pet and you are in a paralysis tick area please take your dog to a veterinarian for a check up or call your local veterinarian immediately for advice. If you are in a non paralysis tick area (or you are unsure of the area you are in) and you are unsure how to remove the tick or what signs of illness to monitor for please call your local veterinarian.
No tick prevention is 100% effective and should always be used in combination with daily searches of your pet. Particularly if you live or are on holiday in a paralysis tick area. Searching your pet should not’t cease once you return from tick-affected regions but should continue for at least 7 days after returning home. Use your fingers to feel over the entire body, especially under the collar, on the face and around the front of your pet. Don’t forget to check carefully between the toes, under the lips and in the ears.
Not all flea treatments will prevent ticks and those that do may need to be used more often to be preventative against ticks. If you are unsure which products you need or how often to use them please call the clinic or stop in to see us.
We are more than happy to show you how to do a thorough tick search, please call us to discuss.