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HOW TO FIGHT AGAINST FLEAS IN DOGS AND CATS?

Fleas are in the 1st place mong external parasites that areresponsible for hair problems in dogs and cats. Here are a few basic rules to set up an efficient preventive or curative treatment.

1st rule : treat all the animals of the house at the same time.

Do not forget that the cat’s flea is the same as the dog’s flea.

2nd rule: choose a form of administration adapted to the animal

The least efficient

Collars are generally not efficient in long-hair animals or in large dogs because fleas mainly stay in the dorso-lombar area.

Powders are difficult to apply correctly. They have to be used at least twice a week, and there is a risk of toxicity when the animal licks itself.

Efficient forms but…

Shampoos do not have any persistent effect, but they ensure a good cleaning of the skin. Bathes are efficient if the animal is not rinsed, but the insecticid effect does not last more than 5 days. Lotions are interesting, but rather difficult to use in nervous animals or long-hair ones.

Advised forms

  • Foams: interesting mainly in nervous cats (Defencat ND).
  • Sprays: quite stressful for the animals, they can be accepted better if it is a pump spray rather than a pressurized one. Some products diffuse microcapsules that dicrease the licking induced toxicity risk (Frontline dogND).
  • “ Spot-on ” in surface: advised for long hair animals (AdvantageND, Frontline catND…). On very large dogs, it can be advised to use 2 pipettes: one on the head or shoulders, and the other in the lombar area..
  • Some “ systemic products ”, applied on the skin penetrate and diffuse in the whole body (TiguvonND). Others are administered orally or parenterally (Vectocyt ND, Program catND).

3ed rule: choose a product according to the searched goal

In case of flea allergy, growth regulators (ProgramND), are unsufficient. These products stop the development cycle of the flea, but they are not active before the animal is already biten by the flea. The allergic reaction is consequently not prevented. Products that work immediatly (“ knock down effect ”) are more advisable: sprays or lotions…

When the goal is simply to limit the flea population, using growth regulators can be interesting. But their cost (x 2 to 3 compared to classical insecticides), can be a handicap and one may rather choose using external products, with a long-acting effect, during the period of proliferation of the insects.

The risk to observe the fleas becoming resistant to the insecticide is exceptional but cannot be excluded. Then, it is advised to use products with different ways of action:

  • alternatively on the animal,
  • on the animal and in the environment.

4th rule: respect a regular frequency for treatments

Generally, the practical acting-time of the product is half the theoritical one.

5th rule: treat the environment of the animal

The flea spends most of its time out of the host, and its resists quite well in the environment. This is why itis undispensable to use the vaccum-cleaner in all the places where fleas are likely to develop: carpets, wooden floors, cushions, mattresses, lying places of the animal… (without forgetting the car and the bag of the vaccum-cleaner, with a product active on both eggs and larvae).

Then, apply specific insecticid products for the environment. Using only foggers is not enough because they do not go deeply in carpets, neither into corners and cracks… They have to be completed by using sprays in any place difficult to access for foggers. 2 or 3 treatments of the environment, every 2 weeks, are necessary to get a relative safe house.

Using growth regulators helps to control the fleas population outside. Shadowed and humid areas where dogs and cats usually go can also be treated, but anti-fleas products also destroy lots of useful insects.

Conclusion

The fight against fleas is more efficient if done preventively and regularly (i.e : back from exhibitions), rather than curatively and on a hoc basis.

Complete eradication of fleas on animals that have an outdoor access is difficult. The goal should be to maintain the flea population under a certain level that could disturb the well-being of the animal (itching), or induce allergic reactions in hypersensitive animals.


Donated by the Borg Cardona and Co. Ltd. visit Borg Cardona website



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