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Fleas

Basic care - Fleas

A flea is a small brown insect measuring about 1-4 mm. It is very annoying to your pet. Fleas are difficult to find because they move quickly. However, it is possible to detect them by the small black particles found in the pet's coat; these particles are flea excrements or more specifically dried blood, since fleas feed off your pet's blood. After squashing the excrement on a wet white piece of paper, a reddish line will appear and confirm that your animal has fleas. A flea has long powerful legs made for jumping, but it does not have wings.

Clinical signs

Flea bites cause itching, a slight irritation and hair loss. A big infestation can cause anemia, especially with puppies and kittens; it can also transmit tapeworm eggs, dipylidium caninum. When a flea bites your pet, it injects a small quantity of saliva in the skin to prevent blood coagulation; some animals are hypersensitive to this saliva. An allergy to flea bites can cause an important dermatitis and severe itching, and this even with only one flea!

The flea's life cycle

The flea's development takes place in various stages: eggs, larvae, pupae, adults. The adult flea uses your pet to feed itself with its blood and to reproduce. Fleas lay 30 to 50 eggs per day and deposit them directly on your animal. The eggs fall on the ground and release larvae that hide in the darkness, in the carpet and floor cracks. The larvae ingest flea excrements, scales and organic matter. They spin a cocoon in a safe place and develop into pupae; at this stage, the pupa can remain dormant for months. It will only come out from its cocoon in adult form when in the presence of a dog or a cat; the flea will jump on your pet and the cycle will start all over again!

Treatment and prevention

ProgramMD

Program is a product that stops flea proliferation; it acts by interrupting flea development when it is at the egg and larva stage. Since Program does not kill adult fleas, it is not recommended for animals allergic to flea bites; it is a preventive measure. Therefore, it is preferable to administer this treatment before the flea season, in the spring.

  • Injectable suspension once every 6 months for cats (administered by a veterinarian).
  • Monthly oral suspension administration for cats.
  • Monthly oral administration of a tablet for dogs.

AdvantageMD

Advantage is a product that will control fleas present on your pet in less than one day after the treatment. It will continue to protect your pet against re-infestations during 30 days. A monthly treatment is necessary if your pet is continually reinfested. Advantage also treats the environment since it also kills the larvae present in the area.

A small application tube applied monthly on the animal's skin during the whole flea season. No prescription from the veterinarian is necessary.

RevolutionMD

Revolution is a product that controls fleas present on your pet in less than one day after the treatment. It will continue to protect against re-infestation for 30 days. A monthly treatment is necessary if the animal is continually re-infested. Revolution also treats the environment since it kills the larvae present in the area.

A small tube is applied monthly on the animal's skin throughout the flea season. A prescription is required from the veterinarian.