Fleas cause the most common skin disease in dogs!
- Flea allergy dermatitis is the red, raw, hairless itchy skin caused by a reaction to flea saliva.
- Skin problems are most commonly seen on the rump and the backs of the thighs.
- Some animals can have many fleas and no skin problems because they are not allergic; while another pet with the allergy will have severe skin issues from bites even with no apparent fleas present.
Fleas on your dog or cat are the tip of the iceberg!
- 95% of the flea population is the immature fleas living in your carpet, furniture and bedding.
- Anywhere your dog or cat goes there are flea eggs, larva and pupae that can live in your house for 6 months.
- Flea infestations are easier to prevent than treat. Treatment should be continued for at least 3 months or longer to see permanent reductions in the number of fleas in your house. For the best prevention and to stop relapses: use Sentinel year round and a topical product spring through fall.
What to Do:
- ALL animals in your household must be treated with the recommended flea products for control to be effective.
- Topical products such as Frontline Plus, Advantage, Advantix or Revolution kill the adult fleas on your animal. Ask an SVC staff member which product is right for your dog or cat.
- Other products inhibit the flea life cycle-such as Program (the flea preventative in Sentinel). This product sterilizes the adult fleas so they cannot infest your house and carpeting. Program is available in a monthly tablet form (in Sentinel-negative heartworm test required) for dogs, and 6 month injectable for cats.
- To jump start your flea control process, a tablet called Capstar can be given at home or here in the clinic to begin killing adult fleas in 30 minutes. It only lasts 24 hours, but can begin getting rid of fleas while your Frontline Plus, Advantage, Advantix, or Revolution starts working.
- Comfortis is a new flea control pill introduced in 2008, which controls fleas for 30 days. When the flea bites, they start to die with in minutes.
Treating the environment will help to control the immature fleas and break the life cycle.
- If you have a severe infestation, it is best to call a professional exterminator that can guarantee a flea-free house.
- We recommend Mycodex Plus Environmental Control for mild to moderate infestations. This aerosol spray is more effective than flea bombs that settle on top of furniture as it can be sprayed on upholstery and under furniture in all the fleas' favorite places. You should also wash all bedding and vacuum (throwing away the bag or bleaching the canister each time) according to instructions on the can.
- If your dog is on year round Sentinel for heartworm and parasite prevention, treating the environment is not necessary.