Fleas

Fleas are the most common parasite in pets and unless pets are given flea prevention treatment almost all of them will be affected at some stage in their life. Fleas are unlikely to cause serious harm, but they are a nuisance and very unpleasant, both for owners and their pets.

Dogs and cats both host fleas which by sucking the animal's blood cause irritation and discomfort. The adult fleas will also happily bite humans too though they tend to prefer our pets. In some cases your pet may be 'allergic' to flea bites and even a very low number of fleas can cause a long standing and very uncomfortable problem for your pet with hair loss and severe itchiness.

What harm can fleas do?
Fleas feed on blood so young or frail pets can become very weak or even die in some cases if infected by fleas.  Fleas can also spread tapeworms and pets can become sensitive to flea bites causing an allergic reaction.Fleas can be a problem in the cleanest home and for the healthiest pets. They can be picked up by meeting other animals with fleas or from homes that contain flea larvae and eggs, (95% of fleas in an environment are in the egg and larval stages).

How do you prevent fleas?
It is easier to prevent fleas than it is to get rid of them once an infestation has taken hold, which is why regular flea prevention treatment is recommended. Fleas are at their worst in the summer and autumn, although in centrally heated houses they can be a problem all year round. We’ll happily advise you on the most appropriate product for your pets.

Why is it so difficult to get rid of fleas?
Fleas are small, reddish-brown insects who lead a complex life away from your pet. Only the adult fleas live on your dog and drink its blood; the early stages live free in the environment, i.e. your home. For every flea that you see running through your pet's fur, there may be hundreds of young fleas waiting to jump aboard a passing pet - or if you are unlucky - onto you.

How to treat flea infestation?
When a flea problem is found in your pet we will usually recommend treating the animal itself but also advise treating your house too to eradicate the large numbers of eggs and larvae that will probably be present.

Treating the pet
If your pet has fleas we can recommend a spot on treatment to kill the fleas, larvae and eggs that are living on your pet.

Treating the home
Treating the areas where your pet spends most of its time is also important - particularly the places it lies down to sleep. Washing your pet's bedding in hot water will destroy the young fleas (but not the eggs) so you will need to continue to wash the bedding regularly to ensure that it remains free of fleas.
Environmental flea sprays will kill fleas, eggs and larvae in the carpets. It’s important to continue to treat your pet and your home all year round, even if you do not see fleas

Fleas can be a real menace in centrally heated homes, particularly if you have more than one pet. Regular treatment with the products that we recommend for your pet should keep fleas under control all year round. It can be difficult to remember to flea treat monthly so you may find it helpful to make a note on your diary or calendar when the next flea treatment is due.