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OCT 30 2019
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Does your dog have fleas?

What are fleas and does my dog have them? Fleas are the archetypal blood-sucking parasites. There are 2,200 species but only a few that commonly infest dogs and cats, the most common being the cat flea, or Ctenocephalides felis. Its dark brown or black body measures 1-3 millimeters long and it can jump up to 60cm high, 10,000 times in a row.  You’ll usually find fleas on a dog’s abdomen, the base of the tail and the head, although a heavy infestation can thrive anywhere on the body. However, even if you can't see any fleas, it doesn't necessarily mean your dog doesn't have them. The most obvious signs are excessive scratching, licking or biting at body parts, which may in turn cause rashes, scaly skin, hot spots and hair loss. You may even see droppings, or flea dirt (tiny black specks which look similar to tiny bits of dirt), in your pet’s coat. 

Adult fleas which are visible to the human eye are just the 'tip of the iceberg', with the remainder of the life-cycle not being so visually apparent. 


If we understand the life cycle of the flea, we can work to efficiently break the cycle and keep our pets almost totally free.

The 4 life cycle stages of a flea;


Adult fleas (5% of lifecycle) are the ones you see jumping around your dog’s coat. They bite then feed on the blood of their host. After mating, a female flea lays 20-50 eggs per day and up to 2000 in her lifetime. 

Flea eggs (50% of lifecycle) can’t readily be seen with the naked eye, are not sticky and once laid quickly fall off the dog into the surrounding environment. They take between 1-10 days to hatch into larvae 

Flea larvae (35% of lifecycle) are small, worm-like life forms that move away from the light and bury themselves in dark places like carpet pile. They last 5-11 days while they undergo 2 moults to become a pupa (cocoon) 

Flea pupae (10% of lifecycle) exist in a sticky impenetrable cocoon that becomes covered in debris and can't be harmed by insecticides. Pupae usually last 5-14 days but may lay dormant for up to 6 months. Light, movement, vibrations and CO2 stimulate emergence of the adult flea from the pupa 

So how can I treat & prevent fleas? 
Treatment is aimed at two main areas.

  1. Treating the Adult Fleas on the pet. This is the most obvious part of treatment, but even the best products can fail to give total control without...
  2. Treating the Environment to remove the developing fleas to stop future infection.

Pop into the clinic to see which product we would best recommend for your pet to treat, control and prevent flea infestations, as well as control flea allergy dermatitis. Flea preventatives should be used year-round.  We will be able to help you choose the right one for your pet.  



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What are fleas and does my dog have them? Fleas are the archetypal blood-sucking parasites. There are 2,200 species but only a few that commonly infest dogs and cats, the most common being the cat flea, or Ctenocephalides felis. Its dark brown or black body measures 1-3 millimeters long and it can jump up to 60cm high, 10,000 times in a row.  You’ll usually find fleas on a dog’s abdomen, the base of the tail and the head, although a heavy infestation can thrive anywhere on the body. However, even if you can't see any fleas, it doesn't necessarily mean your dog doesn't have them. The most obvious signs are excessive scratching, licking or biting at body parts, which may in turn cause rashes, scaly skin, hot spots and hair loss. You may even see droppings, or flea dirt (tiny black specks which look similar to tiny bits of dirt), in your pet’s coat. 

Adult fleas which are visible to the human eye are just the 'tip of the iceberg', with the remainder of the life-cycle not being so visually apparent. 


If we understand the life cycle of the flea, we can work to efficiently break the cycle and keep our pets almost totally free.

The 4 life cycle stages of a flea;


Adult fleas (5% of lifecycle) are the ones you see jumping around your dog’s coat. They bite then feed on the blood of their host. After mating, a female flea lays 20-50 eggs per day and up to 2000 in her lifetime. 

Flea eggs (50% of lifecycle) can’t readily be seen with the naked eye, are not sticky and once laid quickly fall off the dog into the surrounding environment. They take between 1-10 days to hatch into larvae 

Flea larvae (35% of lifecycle) are small, worm-like life forms that move away from the light and bury themselves in dark places like carpet pile. They last 5-11 days while they undergo 2 moults to become a pupa (cocoon) 

Flea pupae (10% of lifecycle) exist in a sticky impenetrable cocoon that becomes covered in debris and can't be harmed by insecticides. Pupae usually last 5-14 days but may lay dormant for up to 6 months. Light, movement, vibrations and CO2 stimulate emergence of the adult flea from the pupa 

So how can I treat & prevent fleas? 
Treatment is aimed at two main areas.

  1. Treating the Adult Fleas on the pet. This is the most obvious part of treatment, but even the best products can fail to give total control without...
  2. Treating the Environment to remove the developing fleas to stop future infection.

Pop into the clinic to see which product we would best recommend for your pet to treat, control and prevent flea infestations, as well as control flea allergy dermatitis. Flea preventatives should be used year-round.  We will be able to help you choose the right one for your pet.  



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