Roger Salmon column: Fleas and ticks are common problem

Roger Salmon
Roger Salmon

Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that can make life miserable for pets and their owners.

They can cause:

*Intense itching and scratching which can result in hair loss;

*Flea allergy dermatitis – a common and unpleasant skin condition caused by an allergy to flea saliva;

*Tapeworm infestation;

*Anaemia in puppies and kittens.

Fleas are a common problem in one in five cats and one in 10 dogs.

One female flea can lay 50 eggs a day so that in as little as 21 days, one flea can become 1,000.

Pets pick up fleas mainly from infested environment. This could be your garden, local park or friend’s house.

New fleas hatch from these infected environments once they sense the warmth, carbon dioxide and vibration.

For prevention there are several spot-on products that are easy to apply to your pet such as Frontline COMBI

*Apply to cats every five weeks and dogs every two months.

*Make sure all dogs and cats in the house are treated at the same time.

*Regularly vacuum carpets and furnishings and wash pets’ bedding at above 60 C.

It is normal to see a few fleas even if treated. These will be killed in 24 hours.

Frontline COMBI is a prescription-only product available from your vet and has a dual action – an ingredient to kill fleas and an ingredient to prevent eggs and larvae from developing into new fleas. Remember five per cent of the flea population is on the pet whereas 95 per cent is in the environment

Ticks treatment is required every four weeks and they have to be removed carefully with a hook.