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The Importance of Being Flea-Free

Fleas are one of the most common parasites caught by pet cats and dogs. Indeed, it’s thought that every cat and dog will suffer an infestation at some point in their lives.
Fleas are not just an inconvenience. Their saliva is considered one of the most allergenic substances on earth, and is the cause of a nasty skin disease in pets called Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD). Also, when they bite, fleas ingest blood. If the infestation is severe enough, it can cause anaemia or even kill a small puppy or kitten.
That’s not to mention the embarrassment of having your home infested with fleas, and the discomfort if you’re bitten as well.
For every effective flea treatment, there are at least half a dozen old wives’ tales about fleas. Your veterinary surgeon can explain which really are the most effective ways to get rid of them.
To start with, you’ll need to understand a little bit about how fleas live.

About Flea Infestations

There are over 2000 species of flea in the world. Thankfully, only the cat flea and the dog flea (Ctenocephalides felis, Ctenocephalides canis) are important to dogs and cats. Despite the name, cat fleas infest dogs just as much as they infest cats.
The problem is that fleas breed in stupendous numbers. Each female can lay as many as 200 eggs, which immediately fall off the animal, all around your home.
This is why scientists the world over agree that Integrated Flea Control, where you use one type of insecticide to kill fleas on the pet and another to kill their eggs, is the most effective way to eliminate fleas.
The degree to which you need to control fleas will vary from person to person, and from pet to pet.
You might think that a pet kept entirely indoors would be at no risk of catching fleas. But don’t forget that it only takes a visit from one untreated animal to trigger an infestation in your home, so even housebound pets may require flea control.
Pets that routinely go outdoors will likely come into contact with fleas from time to time, and require regular treatment.
Finally, some pets are allergic to relatively small numbers of fleas, and may need particularly stringent flea control.
Discuss the most appropriate level of flea control with your veterinary surgeon today!

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