We have heard it many times, “but it is winter time, how can I have fleas?”
We aren’t buried in snow except on our glorious mountains and we don’t get overly hot during the summer. We live in a temperament climate, and although that might save us from some of nature’s more unpleasant extremes and give us beautiful, enjoyable weather in the summer, it also provides a perfect breeding ground for fleas. It gets neither cold enough or hot enough in the mainland or coastal areas of BC to completely kill off the fleas in any of the seasons.
Well just how do I get fleas? I didn’t see any fleas on any of the animals my dog or cat came in contact with!
Fully formed adult fleas are usually smaller than two millimeters in length. Eggs and and larvae are even smaller. Unless an infestation is quite bad, the chances of actually being able to see fleas on a cat or a dog at first glance are miniscule. Not only that, but if your cat or dog are left outside unattended, you might not see every animal that they may come in contact with. Even wild animals can have fleas and deposit them in your yard and be spread to your pet from just being out in the yard or even on a hike.
Now I have fleas, what do I do?
There are several things that we would recommend you to do. First, to verify that it is a flea and not another type of parasite like lice, you should make an appointment with a veterinarian. A veterinarian can also prescribe medication for your pet that can kill off fleas within 2-48 hours. The doctor can also prescribe topical medication that will help prevent further infestation of fleas and even other external or internal parasites.
So I treated my pet, is that all?
Unfortunately, not. A fleas eggs can stay dormant in your home for up to a year. Washing any cloth like materials, ie. moveable rugs, bed sheets, pillows, etc. in water that is as hot as possible with a little bit of bleach if possible. Also, vacuuming and/or steam cleaning carpets and upholstery can also kill the majority of fleas, eggs, and larvae. There are also some premise treatments you can buy like Siphotrol that will kill larvae and adult fleas within your household.
I never want to have to go through this again! Is there anything I can do to stop this from happening again?
There sure are! There are many preventative treatments for your pet. You can find a list of the preventative medications for parasites that we carry by clicking here.
Remember, an once of prevention, is worth a pound of cure!
Call our Animal hospital at North Shore 604-980-2222 for further information on flea control in dog and cats.