Fleas and your pet

Fleas lay up to10-20 eggs per day. Did you know that three fleas will multiply to 10,000 fleas in three months. Fleas are a transmitter of several diseases to your pet. These include tapeworm and a severe skin condition called FLEA BITE DERMATITIS. It is felt that pets actually become allergic to the saliva of the flea and that one bite can cause the severe hypersensitivity. Typical flea allergy in dogs causes a severe itching and hair loss at the base of your pet’s tail. In cats, this is manifested as bumps all over your pet. Fleas will also bite people if pets are not available.

They are extremely active and can rapidly infest your home. Fleas are small reddish brown insects. They leave behind flea “dirt” (digested blood) which looks and feels like pepper.

There are many flea products available at this time. Products that work well in one area may not be as effective in another area. This is due to the resistance the fleas may have to a particular chemical compound. If the fleas in your area seem resistant to a product you are currently using, we recommend you change to another product. This is the reason we have a variety of flea control products available, which we will strategically rotate during the season as the need arises.

CONTROLLING FLEAS ON YOUR PET If you find evidence of fleas on your pet a flea bath may be in order. Before bathing your pet, place some cotton in each ear, and protect its eyes with a veterinary ophthalmic ointment. Use a medicated flea shampoo. Follow the instructions on the label carefully. Allow the lather to soak for at least 5 minutes for maximum effect. There are several new breakthrough products available to you through your veterinarian. Depending on your area and the weather conditions, we recommend the use of these environmentally safe

WARNING!!!!! Permethrin, the product used in many over-the-counter flea products, is very toxic to cats.  It may cause severe neurological damage such as seizures.  Please read package inserts carefully.


The first of which is a once a month flea tablet called PROGRAM. This tablet works to control flea populations by interrupting the flea life cycle. Adult fleas bite the pet, and ingest a flea control that essentially acts as birth control for fleas. This product will not stop you from seeing adults, however it will halt new generations. PROGRAM comes in several different forms. These include, an individual tablet or liquid given orally, an injectible for cats, or a combination of PROGRAM and heart worm tablet, INTERCEPTOR. The oral form of program must be give with a meal to be effective.

The injectible PROGRAM for cats was just introduced This product is administered by your veterinarian every six months. Its action is just like the oral PROGRAM, but you do not have to give your cat any oral medication. For PROGRAM to be effective, all pets in your household must treated Another new product is SENTINEL. This product combines the ingredients in PROGRAM with that used in the heart worm preventative INTERCEPTOR. As with PROGRAM, SENTINEL must be given monthly to prevent flea infestation on your pet and in your home. At this time, SENTINEL is not available for cats.


The other new flea controls are FRONT-LINE and ADVANTAGE. To be effective, you pet should not be bathed 48-72 hours before applications of these products. These revolutionary flea products are environmentally safe.

FRONT-LINE comes in two forms, a once a month spray and a once a month spot-on for both dogs and cats. It works with the oils contained in your pet’s coat. The flea control enters your pet’s hair follicles, and is released when your pet moves around normally. This product is an adulticide, and has the added effect of some tick control. (For tick control solutions, please see a staff member.) FRONT-LINE is safe to use in conjunction with PROGRAM. It will not wash of with bathing, unless you use a special shampoo “benzylperoxide” supplied by your veterinarian.

ADVANTAGE is a once a month spot-on for both dogs and cats and works in a similar fashion to FRONT-LINE. ADVANTAGE is also safe to use with PROGRAM.

REVOLUTION (a once a month topically applied spot on)

Revolution kills adult fleas and prevents fleas eggs from hatching for one month and is indicated for the prevention and control of flea infestations.  This product is also used in the prevention of heartworm disease, ear mites,  sarcoptic mange, and some ticks, and for cats the in the prevention of hook worm and round worm.



Fleas feed and lay eggs on your pet for part of the day. They will also jump off and propagate in grass, soil, carpeting, cracks of hardwood floors, and furniture in and around your house. Even if your pet is indoors, anyone or anything can introduce fleas into your home.

You can de-flea your home using a combination of flea foggers and a premise spray. We recommend products containing Insect Growth Regulators (IGR’s). Use foggers one to a room. IGR foggers kill not only the adult fleas, but also prevent the larval stages from developing. If the foggers do not control larvae or if you have a heavy infestation in your home, you will need to re-fog in 2-3 weeks. Please read and follow the label carefully when using foggers. Vacuum floors, furniture, drapes, and baseboards before fogging. You may either dispose of the vacuum bag immediately, or place insecticide treated cotton balls, or a flea collar inside the bag to kill any pre-adult fleas. Do not vacuum for two days following the fogging. The suction will remove the residual chemical, and interrupt prolonged action against flea larvae.

Use a premise spray under large pieces of furniture and in out of the way places before to fogging. Foggers do not go under and around objects. If you are experiencing a heavy flea infestation, you can use a premise spray in-between fogging to control population growth. Do not vacuum for 10 days following the use of an IGR fogger.


TO CONTROL FLEAS IN YOUR YARD Should the outdoor environment become severely infested, you may need to use a yard or kennel spray. Follow the directions on the bottle to mix the spray. Be sure to cover all of the yard to which your pet may roam. Doing this on a regular basis will prevent a heavy infestation in your house. Treating the outdoors is a key factor in controlling fleas. In heavy outdoor infestations, you may find it nearly impossible to have a flea-free animal. The season extends in our area throughout the summer and fall. Until the temperature stays cold for an extended period of time, the fleas will continue to live outside. Once the flea season has ended, we recommend an end of season house and pet treatment to avoid harboring fleas throughout the winter months.

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