Sunday, May 16, 2010
This is the time of year that many pet owners find their dog or cat scratching and chewing because of fleas. Here in Florida, it is a year round problem.
I often find flea infestations in dogs and cats with thick coats (like the Chow cross above - the red spots are flea nests) or with heavy matts. Even cats can have fleas - one cat I shaved with the Lion Cut had such bad fleas in the tail that I could not leave a tassel at the end.
Shaving the animal and then bathing is one way to quickly rid your pet of fleas. Active fleas may not wash off easily. I usually wash with a thick solution (either shampoo or aloe) that I leave on for 10 minutes and massage in well, especially around the tail and ears. This will drown active fleas and then they will rinse/dry off.
Treating with a monthly spot-on or pill will still be required to control flea infestations and break the cycle. Examples of treatments include Frontline. Advantage and Revolution. See your veterinarian for the initial diagnosis and then some flea treatment can be purchased at a discount online - just input a search and a selection will pop up.
If you have multiple pets or see fleas on you and around the inside of your house, you will need to wash all the bedding where the pet sleeps, or spray will a chemical flea killer. Sometimes, professional help is needed for a complete house fumigation.
I just learned that dogs and cats have different fleas, thus, need different flea preventive measures.
Take care of the fleas before they become a serious problem for both you and your pet. He will thank you with less annoying scratching and a happier attitude.