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Flea season again……the thought of it just gets me scratching!

Last week in Palmerstown veterinary Hospital we saw 5 cases of fleas, all on well kept dogs and cats. All of the pets were in good health with beautifully clean coats and lived indoors with their owners. They had all received flea treatment at some point previously but not within the last month. As the weather is starting to warm up (!) fleas are now able to survive outdoors.

Fleas thrive in warm, moist environments and climates- In Ireland fleas are more common in spring, summer and Autumn- however fleas can live indoors during the winter. Fleas have four main stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult and of these 4 life stages only the adult stage lives on the animal- the remainder occur in the surrounding environment- which could be our house!  The adult female flea lays up to 50 eggs per day. The main flea food is blood from the host animal. Host animals are many species for example – cats, dogs, rabbits.

It is very important that we treat our pets every month to stop them from getting fleas. There are many topical flea preparations available at all of our Anicare branches which are very effective at killing and preventing fleas. They come in the form of pipettes of fluid (no more than 2ml in each pipette) that are dropped onto the skin on the back of your pet’s neck. We also have environmental treatments to deal with the intermediate stages of the fleas’ lifecycle.

The entire life cycle of the flea is quite variable( depending on the environmental conditions) and can be as short as two weeks or as long as two years. That is why it is so important to remain vigilant with your flea treatment even when a flea problem is thought to be under control!

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