OATHALL VETERINARY GROUP LTD 

30 Oathall Road

Haywards Heath 

West Sussex

RH16 3EQ

01444 440224

enquiries@oathall-vets.co.uk 

 

Emergencies for our registered Clients : 

24-hours

 

Mon - Fri: 08:00 – 19:00
Sat: 08:30 – 13:00

 

VAT Reg. No. 760 1736 42

Warm Weather Flea Fighting

Why were fleas ever created? Creepy little critters that jump about in the air, reproduce faster than rabbits and cause our pets nothing but irritation, it’s about time they buzzed off for good! The frustrating thing about fleas is that once they arrive, they tend to overstay their welcome and can be truly tricky to get rid of.

When the weather gets a little hotter, fleas begin to flourish and breed at faster rates than they do in the winter months. Warm, humid weather is when they really come to life and can hatch in as little as one week in the perfect summer conditions. The battle against fleas is a never-ending one and vets and owners alike need to get crafty, staying one step ahead in order to keep them at bay.

Fleas bite our pets causing them to be itchy and irritated and animals may traumatize their skin so much that they develop skin infections. In those that are allergic to flea saliva (a condition called ‘flea allergic dermatitis’) even having one or two fleas on board can drive them bonkers and lead to incessant scratching, chewing and licking of their fur.

As some of our pets (especially cats) can be very good at grooming all of the adult fleas off themselves, it is not always easy to spot a flea infestation. Most of the time, we won’t see the adult fleas, though we will be able to spot the flea poo that has been left behind on the fur. This is a black, gritty material that turns a red-orange colour when dampened. Although fleas cannot set up shop on us humans, they are able to jump on and bite us, so finding a small, itchy red dot on your skin may be a sign that there are fleas about.

One of our most useful ‘weapons’ we have when it comes to the ‘war’ on fleas, is our anti-parasite therapy. Our clinic stocks a wide variety of products, which include spot-on liquids, tablets and injections, meaning there is something for everybody. Using these preventatives regularly ensures that they work well, as missing a dose every now and then may result in a mini flea festival on your furry friend! In some households, the dogs are treated religiously, while the cats and rabbits may be let off the hook (or vice versa).  However, treating all of the animals in the household will prevent the fleas from setting up camp.

In cases where fleas have already been found on the pet or in the home, we will need to undertake a cleaning ‘blitz’. This is because roughly 95% of the fleas and their eggs live off the animal, in their bedding and around the home. To eliminate this nasty flea burden, we recommend the use of a flea spray, which will kill any adult fleas lurking about, as well as their larvae and eggs. This is sprayed in the home when there are no people or pets about and spreads into the air, settling onto the surfaces. After a certain amount of time, the doors and windows can be opened and the floor hoovered. Ideally, this is done on the same day as the pets are treated, preventing any re-infestation. Vacuum bags should be emptied and disposed of to remove any eggs that have been sucked up. As well as this, hot-washing bedding and blankets is a great idea. This process may need to be repeated more than once over the course of a few months.

Top tip: Fleas can transmit tapeworms to our dogs and cats, so any animal that has been found to have fleas should be sure that their worming treatment is up to date.