FLEAS AND YOUR PET

 

San Luis Obispo is renowned throughout the world for many things.  Wine, Cal Poly, scenery…. but also for our flea populations.  As your integrative veterinarian in San Luis Obispo, we can help you in the diagnosis and treatment of fleas, using the most modern and safest products available.

The  cat flea, which infests both dogs and cats throughout the world, can inflict repeated painful bites and cause allergic skin disease in both pets and humans.  If you have an allergic pet, just ONE flea bite can cause literally weeks of itching.  In addition to creating itchy pets,  fleas can also transmit several different diseases, and tapeworms as well.  So controlling fleas not only minimizes an itch, but can actually help to prevent disease and parasitism for your pet.

Most prescription insecticides do an excellent job of eliminating existing fleas from a pet after the initial application.  This is the first step in flea control, and the most important because this will stop your pet’s discomfort.  However, the more difficult part of flea control is providing continued relief from fleas emerging from the infested premises, or wherever your pet’s path might intersect with the path of other domestic pets and wild mammals ranging from rodents to deer.    As an example, if your pet is kept in an enclosed home or yard without other pets wandering through, your flea control project will be easier than if your pet spends time wandering outside (like the typical cat) or goes to a park where other dogs have been.

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM, HOWEVER, IS THE FACT THAT VERY FEW PETS LIVE IN A CLOSED ENVIRONMENT.  EVERY TIME THEY CROSS A FLEA-INFESTED AREA, THEY BRING HOME MORE FLEAS.   This means that you must consider not only a) how quickly the flea kill occurs but also b) how long the medication will last at effective levels.  This is in turn dictated by your choice of medications, oral vs topical dosing, and (especially with topicals) how often your pet swims or is bathed.

The other way to address a persistent flea problem is to recognize that fleas are found, day in and out, in only two areas other than your pet.  The first is shady areas of grass or dirt,  and the second is on other animals that inhabit those grassy areas.  If you exercise your pet on sand or concrete, their flea exposure will drop.  If you can minimize your pet’s interactions with other dogs and cats, their flea exposure will drop.   And if you can minimize the population of wild mammals in your pet’s exercise areas, their flea exposure will drop.

Unfortunately, we have seen resistance develop to the old standby products like Frontline and Advantage, so we would suggest that you use the new products below if you are truly interested in solving your pet’s fleas.

HOW WE PROTECT YOUR PET’S HEALTH AT MISSION ANIMAL HOSPITAL–

FOR CATS:  

       Intestinal parasites only— Profender, applied topically to your cat’s skin will kill every type of internal parasite!!

       Fleas, Ear Mites, and Heartworm— Revolution, applied topically to your cat’s skin

FOR DOGS:

     Fleas and Ticks for one month– NexGard, a tasty chewable tablet

     Fleas and Ticks for THREE (3) months– Bravecto, another tasty chewable.

     Fleas only— Comfortis oral tablets, an organic fermentation product which is very safe.

     Ticks only— Preventic collars

     Intestinal Parasites only— Virbantel oral tablets

     Heartworm and Intestinal Parasites— Interceptor Plus chewable tablets

 

LET US KNOW HOW TO HELP YOU… AND WE WILL.  LOVED PETS HEALED HERE.