We see fleas all year round. Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet. The fleas’ eggs and larvae live in the environment and can survive for up to a year, so it is important to not only treat your animal directly for fleas but also decontaminate the environment as well. Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean carpets. We do not recommend flea collars or flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation.
Fleas will tend to jump onto your pet only to feed and then jump off again. Dogs and cats can have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis or FAD. Treatment of FAD can be complicated and veterinary consultation is recommended.
Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:
Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)
It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt. Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your pet’s fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your pet has fleas.
Warning: Some non-veterinary brands of flea treatments for dogs are potentially lethal when applied to cats. Always seek veterinary advice about the best flea treatments for your pet.
Please call us to discuss an appropriate flea control program for your pet.
Luckily in Darwin we dont have the potentially fatal Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus) of eastern Australia. We do however great great problems from the Brown Dog Tick which can invest dogs in very high numbers and cause irritation, anaemia and potentially Tick Fever. If an infestation is not addressed early their populations can develop into hundreds or even thousands on one dog and cause severe illness even death due to blood loss.
The Brown Dog Tick really only likes to feed off dogs but will bite a human or other mammal if in proximity. There are several life stages of this parasite; nymphs, larva, male and female ticks which each appear different. The large grey bodied ticks are the gravid females which, once fed, will fall off and lay their eggs in the environment. As these are not burrowing ticks they can be plucked off easily.
Several over the counter products are registered for tick control including collars, rinses, spot-ons and sprays. As control of large numbers can be difficult we also have made available an injectible product which gives good tick control. This is not appropriate for all patients and is administered only on vet advice and supervision. Please contact us for further advice on tick control.