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Fleas and Ticks

Fleas are present in the environment and can be on our pets all year round although, with the hotter temperatures we get in the summertime, we often see an increase in the flea population.

Fleas spend the majority of their time in the environment, i.e.in the carpets, upholstery, pet bedding, etc., and only jump on the animal to feed.

If your pet has fleas you may see the live specimens crawling amongst the fur, or you may find flea ‘dirt’ which is basically digested blood.  Although fleas do not feed off human blood they will bite to ‘taste’ us and their bite can irritate our skin causing us to scratch.

Apart from the obvious reasons for wanting to control fleas, they can carry and transmit some unpleasant diseases such as the immature stage of the tapeworm, feline infectious anaemia (haemobartonella) that affects cats, and myxomatosis in the rabbit.

Flea dermatitis is a condition that is caused by the animal having an allergic reaction to the flea’s saliva which it  injects into the skin to act as an anticoagulant allowing the flea to ‘drink’ the blood freely.  It causes intense irritation and inflammation of the skin and the only way to prevent this condition is to kill the fleas before they bite.

Ticks are a human health issue as they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. There are various treatments available or you can remove them manually with special tools.

‘Spot on’ treatment

Spray treatments

Tablets, liquid suspensions and injections

If your pet has a heavy infestation of fleas you may need to treat the environment directly as well as treating your pet. There are household sprays which kill the adult fleas, larvae and eggs and will prevent re-infestation for up to 12 months.