Hennas Happy Hounds, Dog Grooming Salon, Thornton, Cleavleys

Salon 01253 824585
Mobile 07541 226620

73 Victoria Road East
Thornton-Cleveleys
FY5 5BU

City & Guilds Qulified Dog Groomer

SO YOUR DOG HAS FLEAS – Now what?

Fleas on dogsFirst of all, let’s expel the myth – fleas are NOT associated with a dirty environment. Any pet can pick up fleas just from it’s daily routine, walks in the park, the countryside, playing with other dogs, etc.

Fleas thrive in a warm, moist environment (better known to you and me as the British summer!). They can live outdoors during the summer months, in grass, shrubs, gardens, undergrowth and all those interesting places that your dog loves to visit.

 

dog flea

The flea we commonly see in the UK, which infests our domestic animals, is called the Cat Flea (ctenophalides felis). It lives and feeds on any warm blooded mammal, including our dogs, cats, domestic pets and even us!

The Lifecycle of the Flea

Lifecycle of the fleaTo understand how we eliminate a flea infestation we need to know how they live. Fleas pass through a lifecycle of four defined stages. They are asexual, meaning that there is neither male nor female of the species. To reproduce, a flea only needs to ingest blood and it will begin to lay eggs. So one single flea is sufficient to start a whole infestation (each adult flea lays an average of 600 eggs in it’s 20 day lifetime).

The egg hatches into a microscopic sized larvae, a tiny maggot-like creature that feeds on almost anything in it’s environment. Each larvae spins a cocoon (rather like a caterpillar does), inside which the adult flea will develop ready to jump back onto a passing warm blooded mammal. WE (you and I) are warm blooded mammals and fleas are as happy to feed on our blood as they are from our dogs and cats – and none of us wants flea bites.

Dealing With A Flea Infestation

Of course, we need to treat the animal which has fleas, and any other animals in the household. But that’s not the whole story, we need to eradicate the flea eggs, larvae and pupae, all of which will be in the animal’s environment. Treating a flea infestation is a two-pronged attack:

  • TREAT THE DOG The animal(s) need to be treated to kill of the adult fleas, which also stops the production of eggs.
  • TREAT THE ENVIRONMENT The environment needs to be treated to prevent the various life-cycle stages from developing through to adults, which will return to bite us.

TREAT THE DOG

The first stage of prevention is to treat the animal itself with a preventative medication. There are a number of flea treatments on the market (eg. Frontline, Stronghold, Advocate, etc.) which will give the dog protection from fleas living on it’s body. These are known as ‘topical medication’, administered externally from a pipette onto the dog’s body, normally between the shoulder blades to prevent the dog being able to lick the medication after it is applied.

Topical medication flea treatments

Not all treatments are the same, some are more effective than others. In general terms, a veterinary prescribed treatment will be more effective than an over the counter treatment and will often cover a much wider range of both external and internal parasites. Read the instructions carefully before use, so that you know the correct way to apply the treatment and how often it should be repeated to give your dog continuous cover from any further infestation. Different size dogs will require different doses of treatment and if you have cats in the household ensure that you use a treatment specifically issued for cats, as some of the chemicals dogs can tolerate can be seriously harmful to cats.

TREAT THE DOG’S ENVIRONMENT

Indoor flea control involves removing all of the life-cycle stages of the fleas, killing any remaining adults and preventing the immature forms from developing.

Indorex environmental insecticide flea treatment spray

Start by vacuuming thoroughly, especially below drapes, under furniture, edges and where your pet sleeps. It is estimated that that vacuuming can remove up to 50% of flea eggs. Each time, seal your vacuum bag into a plastic bag and discard it immediately.

Wash your pet’s bedding on as hot a wash as possible and treat the bed and surrounding area with a household insecticide, such as Indorex.

Use an insecticide to treat all of the other areas where the dog frequents, to kill any remaining eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Our product of choice (which we use in our own salon) is Indorex, which has proved to be a very effective environmental insecticide against most parasites. Indorex can be quite expensive when purchased from a vet, but can be obtained from most good pet stores or via the internet (Google ‘Indorex’).

Don’t forget to clean and treat inside your car, if the dog travels in the car, then there will be at least flea eggs in the car, if not further developed stages and even adult fleas. Any other places that your pet frequents should also be treated to fully eradicate the infestation. This second stage of prevention is the one which is often overlooked by owners and results in a further flea infestation problem just a few weeks later.  One of the advantages of Indorex is that it has a residual prevention for up to 12 months after each treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

information about dogs and dog care