When summer comes around, so do fleas — Treating Flea Bites that can make your dog’s life (and yours) miserable. There are things you can do to minimize the chances of flea infestation and other measures you can take if they have already invaded your home.
First let’s look at the steps necessary to keep the fleas away; without using chemicals. This natural flea prevention will work best to prevent fleas from taking hold and can also be used if you have a very light flea infestation.
Keep your carpets vacuumed! Vacuum daily and get some wide tape to seal up the vacuum bags as soon as you remove them from the vacuum cleaner. If you DON’T have small children around, use pennyroyal leaves either fresh (if available) or dried and spread them around your carpet to repel fleas.
Keep your dog’s bedding clean by washing it in warm water and soap. When it is dry apply some cedar oil to the bedding to help repel the fleas. Keep the area around your dog’s bed free of dust and dirt.
Give your dog a bath once a week with cedar shampoo (bathing more frequently may dry out its skin). If your dog does get dry skin it will attract fleas — just what you don’t want. Give a dog with dry skin some Linatone oil mixed with its food. Something else you can mix, in very small doses, with your dogs food to repel fleas is a mixture of garlic and brewer’s yeast. With this mixture in the dog’s system, it will give off a scent that you won’t be able to notice but fleas will notice it and they hate it.
If you mix lavender oil (60 ml) with rock salt (2.8 liters) you will have a great flea repellent that can be spread around the places where your dog goes and can also be used as a dog shampoo.
Fill your outside flower beds with marigolds — they have natural flea repellent properties and also repel other bugs.
Try boiling either lemon peels or orange peels in water to create a solution that can be used as a dog dip and can be used on the dogs bedding before washing it.
Another effective dog dip, if you are experiencing a light infestation, is warm water, shampoo and laundry detergent; immerse the dog’s body in this for ten or fifteen minutes and then rinse thoroughly.
If you have a heavy flea infestation you may have to resort to chemicals — all these products can be used safely if you follow the directions that come with the products.
Advantage. Advantage is a flea poison made by Bayer. Apply the Advantage (liquid) to the dog’s coat as directed. Advantage should work for about one month, Advantage’s active ingredient, imidacloprid, upsets the nervous system of any flea that comes in contact with it. Advantage kills flea’s fast and should kill all the fleas on the dog in about two days; but it is not absorbed into the dog’s bloodstream or internal organs. The active ingredient, imidacloprid is a chloronicotinyl nitroguanidine, integrated from the nitromethylene class of a compound. The imidacloprid affects the nicotinyl receptor sites of insects and upsets the flea’s normal nerve transmission, resulting in death. Advantage costs $15 to $20 for a set of two vials.
Frontline. Frontline is very similar to Advantage but it is not water soluble; this means alcohol is required to wash it off the dog. Frontline is safe for use on puppies as well as adult dogs, kittens and adult cats and it will work for approximately four months.
The active ingredients in Frontline include: Fipronil 5-amino -1- (2, 6-dichloro-4 [trifluoromethyl]phenyl) -4- (1,R,S)- (trifluoromethyl0sulfinyl) -1H-pryazole-3-carbonitrile 0.29% inert ingredients 99.71%. Fipronil, from the new phenylpyrazole class, is very effective at killing fleas by attacking their nervous systems. Fipronil is safe for use on dogs and cats that are not allergic to it. Tests have shown that Fipronil will kill up to 95% of a pet’s fleas within two hours and all the fleas within the first 24 hours — ticks are killed instantly on contact.
Knockout. Knockout is as effective as Frontline and works in the same way but Knockout can not be used on cats.
Knockout’s active ingredients are: Pyriproxyfen: 21[1-methyl-2-(phenoxyphenoxy)ethyoxy] pyridine….0.05% cyclopropanecarboxylate 2.00% inert ingredients 97.95% Knockout also contains NYLAR, a flea-growth regulator.
Biospot. Biospot is used topically, like the other products and, in tests, killed up to three quarters of the fleas, ticks and their eggs; like Knockout, Biospot can NOT be safely used on cats. Biospot works for about one month and can also be used as a mosquito repellant. Biospot has been known to temporarily turn the white hair on a dogs coat to yellow.
Biospot contains permethrins and IGR.
Proban and Prospot. The Proban (cythioate) and Prospot (Fenthion) products are also for use on dogs only and they are very popular. Proban and Prospot are actually absorbed in the dog’s bloodstream, poisoning any fleas that bite the dog. The fact that these products are poisonous to fleas combined with the fact that you are actually allowing this poison to be absorbed in the dog’s blood stream, may be cause for concern. There are no published (or known?) side effects. Another factor to consider about these last two products is that they do not repel fleas, they will only work if a flea bites the dog — if the dog has a flea allergy this would not be the product of choice.
Heartworms and fleas are parasites that can result in critical problems in pets. The good news is that it is now possible to prevent these parasites by utilizing safe, effective and easy-to-administer treatments. It is a well-known fact that heartworm disease can damage the lungs, heart, and other related blood vessels. This disease is spread through an infected mosquito bite. In dogs, heartworm disease is treatable, but it is very painful and expensive. While there are no authorized products for heartworm treatments in cats. Fleas are bloodsucking parasites that transmit tapeworms can result in flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). Hence, it is advised to prevent heartworms and fleas in pets.
Some facts about Heartworms
- Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and a maximum of thirty other mammal species.
- This disease spreads through parasitic worms residing in the major lung vessels and at times in the hearts.
- This disease can cause wide array of problems affecting the heart, liver, lungs and kidneys of the pets. In some extreme cases, it can even lead to death.
- In cats, heartworms can result in respiratory disorder that imitates feline asthma. But there is no approved treatment of heartworms in cats.
- Heartworm disease is 100% preventable but still there are many pets who are diagnosed with this disease every year.
- There are more than 25% heartworm infected cats that live indoors.
Prevention of Heartworm disease
It is recommended to give Sentinel Spectrum as a heartworm preventive treatment for dogs. It is one of the best treatments available for dogs that provides 100% heartworm prevention guarantee, along with prevention of four other intestinal parasites including: hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and whipworms. It even aids in preventing fleas from laying eggs, thus controlling flea infestations.
Fleas can lead to critical problems in dogs and cats. Some of the adverse reactions of fleas on pets include: continuous itching and scratching, hair loss, scabs, skin damage and skin infection. It is also known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD).
Some facts about fleas
- Fleas can not only affect pets, but also human beings.
- Fleas can transmit tapeworms to pets and people.
- They play a significant role in spreading cat-scratch fever disease between cats and humans.
- Fleas can suck lots of blood from the pets that it can result in weakening and even life-grievous anemia.
- Fleas can be seen nearly anywhere in the year. But they are less prevalent in colder months.
Prevention of fleas
Advantage is one of the best flea preventive treatment available in the market. It is completely waterproof monthly treatment which enables dogs from going into the water without the effect of the treatment to wear out. It aids in preventing flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). Flea bites are prevented within 5 minutes of administration of the treatment. It also kills 100% chewing lice within a week of administration and is effective for a full month. It kills adult fleas within half a day of administration and 99% flea larvae within 20 minutes of administration.
The combination of Advantage and Sentinel Spectrum is the easiest way to safeguard your pets from these pesky parasites.
You have always looked after your pet's welfare, especially when it comes to its health and physical well-being. Dog flea is one of the biggest problems encountered by your pet so you will have to face the challenge of getting rid of fleas. Fleas imbibed animal blood and can provoke countless problems, including: skin irritation, allergic reaction, anemia and in remote cases, even death. By means of flea control, there are guides and methods given on getting rid of fleas.
1. Experts suggested these common procedures for removing fleas:
* Inspect your dog daily to determine that it is bugged-free; better still, is to check for fleas and ticks on your dog after your outdoor walks.
* Search for those hideous fleas by using a flea comb dabbed with jelly petroleum so the fleas will stick to the tine. * Carefully check your dog's toes, behind the ears, in the armpit, tail and head where fleas are usually congregating.
* To find out if your dog has fleas when bathing; spread a large white towel under the dog. Fleas naturally fall off when you rinse the dog. When you find fleas, flick them with alcohol-soaked cotton balls. The solution will slow them down for you to catch the fleas easily. Then place them in a cup of water and flash water down the toiler bowl or down the sink.
2. Natural prevention: A healthy dog is antidote for fleas and other parasites cannot affect them; healthy animals recoup from illness faster. Parasites tend to pick unhealthy animals with weak immune system. Remember that when your pets are stressful, like humans, their immune system weakens too.
3. Dietary method: Dogs must have their fill of nutritious diet. In order to boost its immune system, include the following:
* Mix one teaspoon (per 30 lbs. of dog's weight) of brewer's yeast or nutritional yeast with their daily food.
* Give B complex vitamins at 50 mg. once a day for smaller dogs and twice the amount for larger dogs.
* Dilute one tablespoon of organic apple cider in the dog's water dish.
* Mix one teaspoon of safflower oil or powdered kelp or seaweed in its food bowl.
* Blend grated garlic and mix in your dog's food; fleas are repelled by garlic odor.
4. Traditional methods for getting rid of fleas:
* A flea collar has been an old stand-by and effective method. Just be careful in using this with your dog; be sure to read the instructions carefully.
* Topical treatment is available from your veterinarian. Frontline plus is a monthly topical flea and tick preventive for dogs. Frontline for dogs kills 100% of adult fleas on your pets within 18 hours and 100% of all ticks within 48 hours. It contains an insect growth S-methoprene which kills both adult fleas and larvae.
* Oral medication is also available from your veterinarian. Oral medication is very effective for it makes larvae incapable of reproducing during their life cycle. You can buy this from Petmed which is an online pet store offering pet supplies, medical products and supplements for your pets.
* Flea shampoo, balling dips, flea comb and flea powder are also effective applications to get rid of fleas. These are ways of getting rid of fleas; easy and time-tested. For more information, you can search the web.
Flea Control Secrets - Natural Flea Remedy - Cedarwood
Beside infesting and sucking off blood from your pets, flea bites on people too. Among all insects' bites, flea bites on people are one of the most commonly seen.
Human can be bitten by a variety of fleas namely the dog flea, cat flea or the human flea. Fleas use their jaws to cut through the skin and then excrete their saliva containing enzymes and anticoagulant. The anticoagulant will prevents blood from clotting and enable the fleas to suck on the blood. The enzymes excreted cause all the allergic reactions seen on people.
What do flea bites look like?
Human flea bites generally occur along the ankles and lower portions of the legs. A flea bite can usually be described as a red spot accompanied by a halo of redness that can last for several hours depending on one's reaction to it. It may causes a slight irritation or itch in some people while others with extreme allergies will sometimes break out into hives and have excessive swelling. Children tend to have more sensitive skin and as such, flea bites seen in children are usually more severe than in adults.
Treating Flea Bites
Before you run to your family doctor to seek medical treatment, here are some home treatments for flea bites that you may try especially if it's just a mild case of allergy.
1. Wash affected area with a mild antiseptic soap or detergent
2. Put an ice pack over the affect area. This will help in reducing swelling and inflammation
3. Apply some calamine lotion to relieve the itch
4. A mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone which are easily available from a local pharmacy will be useful in relieving the swellings and itch more rapidly.
As always, prevention is better than cure. Fleas breed at a rapid rate and getting rid of fleas can be an uphill task. Flea control requires an integrated plan, which involves treating your pets, entire house, backyards and gardens. All these require both great efforts and persistence but will be all worthwhile when you get to finally declare your home flea free and bites free!