Pet’s scratching? You’re finding fleas?
Q: (Jennifer) a couple of the dogs are scratching like crazy. I have Seresto collars on, have started topical flea, bathe regularly, changed their food… not sure where to go from here.
Q: (Kim) my dog is right at 20lbs and is on Trifexis for that weight. I feed him and wait about an hour before giving it to him, but since switching he vomits within the hour of taking it, any suggestions?
In this month’s blog we address one of the most popular veterinary questions we’re asked at our hospitals – ‘how do I control fleas?’
Now that Fall is here in the Lowcountry and we’re all enjoying the delights of cooler weather, it’s still just as important to ensure that ALL animals in your house are on flea prevention ALL YEAR ROUND. As our South Carolina climate typically doesn’t get cold enough in the winter to kill off many of the bugs, it means that fleas are affecting our pets every day of the year. And if your pet’s scratching is localized to the rear and / or their face and neck, it’s likely due to these vicious fleas.
Managing fleas begins with understanding of the life cycle of the flea:
- Flea eggs take 3 months to become adult fleas
- Many products are targeted to kill one life cycle not all, which means the environment requires treating every 3 months to kill all life stages
- There are many products labelled for killing fleas inside and outside the house, but don’t forget the most important is cleaning. If you spot a flea on your pet it’s a good bet that you have fleas in your home. Vacuuming the house as well as washing any bedding the pet lays on frequently.
Pro tips from our AMC veterinarians:
- All oral products are best consumed after a meal and be sure that the pet is consuming the product and not spitting it out when we turn our backs, they can be sneaky!
- Sentinel Spectrum is our most highly recommended product because it stops the vicious flea lifecycle
- Trifexis is a great product but one of the side effects is vomiting. If this is an issue with your pet you may want to switch to another product such as Nexgard or Sentinel
- When applying a topical make sure to part the hair and apply directly to the skin
- Seresto collars must be applied close to the neck. We want to be able to fit two fingers between the collar and the pets neck. If the collar is loose there is limited contact for the product to be absorbed. Remember that the product is only effective for 8 months. This efficacy decreases with exposure to water
- Sounds like you are doing everything right to treat fleas but you’re still seeing fleas or flea dirt?