HOW DO I GET RID OF FLEAS?
Every pet owner knows that fleas are small insects that can bite their pet and cause itching. Fleas can also transmit diseases, such as Bartonella, and parasites, such as tape worms. In south-east Virginia fleas are a year round problem. Even strictly indoor pets are at risk. It only takes one female flea to hitch a ride inside to create a household infestation. For every flea on your pet there are about one hundred in the home. The Birdneck Animal Hospital staff recommends year round use of preventative medications, preferably those with a flea repellant action.
How do I get rid of fleas on my pet?
Apply the topical preventative you purchased at Birdneck Animal Hospital once every thirty days, all year- round. Make sure the liquid is applied to the skin and not the top of the hair. Remove any collars, harnesses or other “clothing” prior to the application.
Can I use the same product on both my cat and dog?
CAUTION! Many of the products that are very safe for use on dogs are very toxic to cats and must not be applied to cats. Ask us for a safe recommendation for your cat.
How quickly will the fleas die?
These topical flea treatments begin to kill fleas very quickly. Vectra 3D for example (a dog only product) will reduce flea feeding five minutes after application and kills fleas in 6 hours. Don’t bathe your pet just before or just after applying these products. Most of them are water proof, so they won’t wash off once they have had a chance to spread around the body. Follow the rule: Apply to dry skin and don’t bathe when the product still appears wet. Bathing after all the fleas have been killed will help get rid of the dead fleas and flea eggs that remain in your pet’s coat. If you are unable to bathe your pet, schedule a bath at Birdneck Animal Hospital.
My pet has fleas, so there are fleas in my house. How do I treat my home for fleas?
The household flea spray you purchased at Birdneck Animal Hospital is very effective. It will kill the flea eggs, larvae (maggot stage) and the adults. None of the sprays will kill the pupa stage. The pupae are inside a cocoon that protects them from the household spray. Therefore, you should first vacuum the home very aggressively. The vibration from the vacuum stimulates the pupae to emerge into the adult stage, so they become exposed to the spray. Clean any bedding the pet may lay on. Put your pet in one room of the house. Then spray all the floor surfaces of the other rooms with the household flea spray. Allow one to two hours for the spray to dry before letting your pet out of the room. Then treat the one remaining room. Vacuum your home aggressively at least every other day for two weeks.
Remember to apply a preventative recommended by your veterinarian every thirty days year round. At Birdneck Animal Hospital, we recommend a product with a repellant action that kills both fleas and ticks on dogs, such as Vectra 3D. For cats, we recommend Revolution, as it also prevents heartworm disease and controls some of the intestinal parasites.