Pesky Pests: The Ick, the Itch and the Irritating

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So why, you might ask, do we make such a big deal out of parasites EVERY year? The truth is, these pests will never go away, and our pet’s comfort lies in how we manage them. Fleas, ticks and Heartworm carrying mosquitoes come back around every spring, and with the mild temperatures we have had this winter, they will be here with a vengeance! In this 3 part series, we will identify the three most annoying and harmful external pests that will affect your pet. And if you think you are off the hook because you keep your pet indoors… guess again!

In this first installation we will tell you about fleas, their lifecycles, how they can thrive in your home and how best to get rid of them.

Not so Fun Fact – female fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day! Now if your pet has fleas, (there are many more than just the ones you can see) imagine that about half of them are female. That means that you could have thousands of flea eggs on your pet and in your home with in a matter of days.

Fact #2: Even if your pet does not go outside, you yourself can bring fleas into your home.

We often talk about flea “season” in the sense that the fleas that are outside, will die once it is cold enough for the ground to freeze. However, if you have even 1 flea in your home, they can flourish through the entire winter if they are not taken care of. In order to be rid of fleas, you must interrupt their life cycle. Finding a product that will not only kill the fleas, but also stop eggs from hatching is the only way to gain control of fleas in your home. Eggs take approximately 30 days to hatch, which means even if you kill all of the adult fleas in the environment, you could start to see adult fleas again within a month. Unfortunately many of the over the counter flea products found in stores do not stop this from happening.

If you find fleas on your pet, be sure to start them on an appropriate treatment plan as soon as possible. In addition, it will help if you vacuum the areas where your pet spends the most amount of their time, their bed, your furniture, carpeting and even your bed may need attention. This will help eliminate the eggs that have been spread around your home.

While fleas don’t carry any harmful bacteria or parasites, they will make your pet very uncomfortable. In some cases of sever flea infestations, dogs and cats may even develop an allergy to the fleabites which is called a flea allergy dermatitis or FAD. This will intensify the itch and pain and you will notice red patches of irritated skin. In these cases treatment of the fleas may not be enough, steroids and antibiotics may also be required.

Revolution is the product of choice for us. Not only will it prevent your pet from harbouring fleas, but should you already have a flea problem, it will kill any adult fleas that are on your pet, and it will prevent existing eggs from hatching. As your pet sheds, the Revolution will be spread throughout your home helping to end the cycle for an entire 30 days (in cases of sever infestations, revolution may need to be used for 2-3 months)

We hope this has been helpful in understanding fleas. Should you like to learn more about them, please visit the following website,

In our April issue, we will dive into the world of ticks.


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East Toronto Vet Clinic Updates | Woodbine Animal Clinic