Flea Advice for Puppies
It is very easy for your pet to pick up fleas from the outside world. You may even bring them into your house without realising! At best there will just be the itchy bites to cope with (on you and your puppy)! However your puppy could become allergic to the flea bites and develop ‘Flea Allergic Dermatitis’, an itchy and scabby condition that also causes hair loss. Fleas also transmit tapeworms to your puppy.
The Flea Life Cycle
It is important to consider the life cycle of the flea itself when treating for fleas. Fleas are only found on your puppy for part of their lifecycle. Once they have fed and mated they lay hundreds of eggs that drop off into the environment (your house usually). These eggs hatch into larvae that feed on dead skin cells that have also been shed into the environment by the puppy (and any humans and cats they share their house with-ick!). The larvae then form pupae which may either go onto hatch into fleas straight away or may lay dormant for months in the carpets (this is more likely to happen in cooler conditions). The new baby fleas climb to the top of the carpet fibres and lie in wait for the vibrations of oncoming creatures. They then hop on and begin feeding straight away. If you happen to be the first creature to come along then the flea will try to get onto you, although because we are generally not as furry as our canine and feline companions the fleas will have a job clinging to us for any length of time.
Flea Treatments do one of two things
* Kill the adult fleas on your pet before they have chance to lay any eggs.
* Or stop the life cycle of the flea at the egg or larval stage so that new fleas don’t hatch
Products that Kill Fleas
'Prinovox’ is our number 1 product for flea prevention. It is a monthly spot on which not only kills fleas but also treats round worms, ear mites, the fox mange mite Sarcoptes and importantly lungworm – a dangerous parasite dogs can catch from eating snails or slugs. It is not active against tapeworms, so we recommend combining it with a ‘Droncit’ tapeworming tablet given every 6months
‘Advantage’ is an excellent spot on product that is applied to the back of the neck every 4 weeks. Advantage kills adult fleas and has been proven to also inhibit the larval development of other stages of the flea life cycle. It prevents them developing into adult fleas. Therefore if you are using them regularly on all your pets you may never have to treat the house specifically.
‘Comfortis’ tablets are given monthly to kill fleas; this is an excellent product if your dog dislikes spot-on applications.t6
Products that Stop the Flea Life Cycle
Indorex/Acclaim are long-lasting household sprays for killing larvae and eggs in the carpets and soft furnishings. Don’t use this product if you have tropical fish. If anyone is asthmatic they shouldn’t be in the house during or soon after treatment.
‘Prac-Tic’ is a new monthly spot on product for flea & tick control.
‘Seresto’ Collar, this kills fleas and repels tick for up to 8months. This is the best tick treatment if you live in an area where there are lots of ticks.
A Word of Warning
Recently spot on products have appeared in pet shops and some supermarkets. Many of these are based on pyrethrin drugs (which are related to the organophosphate (OP) ‘sheep dip’ chemicals. We believe these are less safe.