This blog is re-published from my Blogger post under the At Home Animal Hospital page by Coe Huston
Frequently Asked Questions: Fleas – How can I help my itchy dog?
We’ve all been there, especially living on Maui. Skin problems are one of the most common conditions which leads people to bring their dog to the veterinarian. When your furry friend is up all night, scratching away, night after night – there’s just nothing you wouldn’t try to get a little relief for them and a little sleep for yourself! You’ve probably already tried home remedies, baths and flea preventatives from a retail store, but still the problem comes right back.
It’s time to get some relief for your friend and some peace of mind for yourself!
FAQ 1. I don’t see any fleas – what could be causing this itching?
The truth is, if your dog or cat is allergic to fleas, the bite of even 1 flea can set off a nasty reaction and lead to infection. That means that even if you are using a flea preventative, some pets will still be itchy until the life cycle of the fleas in their environment is completely broken.
FAQ 2. How long does it take to break the life cycle of the flea?
It takes 3 months to completely disrupt the flea’s life cycle – if you are taking all the right steps. A flea preventative from you veterinarian is the first step. Your vet knows all the latest products and will be able to make the best recommendation for your unique situation. All preventatives are not the same, and often in life, we get what we pay for! The second step is to vacuum your house thoroughly to pick up any flea eggs or larva. Next, high temperature clean your pet’s bedding and blankets. Lastly, consider treating your yard with a spray which is designed specifically to kill fleas. If you stick with the program for 3 months, you should be able to get on top of the problem. Then – stay on the preventative your veterinarian recommended- for life.
FAQ 3. Don’t fleas and ticks only come out in the summer? On the mainland, the winter can go a long way to reducing the parasite population. This aint the mainland, though! Our beautiful year round weather means we don’t get a break from fleas, so stick with the program. Even in upper Kula and Haiku, it never gets cold enough for long enough to kill off the fleas and ticks, so help your friend to stay bug free all year long.
FAQ 4. Wouldn’t fleas rather be on my dog or cat than on me?
Yes – they would rather be there, but as they say “any port in a storm”. I love to hang out with my dogs and cats on the couch and even on the bed – don’t you? But guess where those flea eggs and larvae that can’t hold on for themselves end up falling off your snuggle buddy? Yup – right where you and your family sleep. YUCK! By keeping the flea population at 0 all the time, you can help all of you have a healthy clean place to have fun and do what what we all want to do with our pets – be closer.