Flea Prevention and Control
The arrival of spring brings longer days, sunny skies, beautiful flowers, and, unfortunately, fleas!! Fleas are small, blood sucking, external parasites that commonly affect pets. In addition to causing discomfort, fleas have the potential to cause serious medical problems; therefore an effective flea prevention program is essential.
Fleas have specialized mouth parts tailored for penetrating skin and sucking the host’s blood. When a flea bites your pet, it inserts a tiny amount of its saliva into the skin. Some pets are allergic to this saliva which results in severe itching and inflammation. This leads to excessive scratching and chewing by the pet which damages the skin causing hair loss, redness, and bacterial infections.
Besides causing dermatitis, fleas act as the intermediate host in the transmission of tapeworms. If your pet ingests an adult flea that is infected with tapeworm larvae, he/she will likely develop a tapeworm infection and you will notice tapeworm segments in the stool.
Life Cycle of Fleas
The flea has four stages to their life cycle; egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Their life span varies from weeks to months depending on the environment in which they are living. Understanding the life cycle of the flea is imperative for successful prevention and control.
- Egg: Adult fleas lay eggs soon after taking a blood meal and produce about 50 eggs a day. Eggs laid on the animal will fall off into the environment and hatch within a few days.
- Larva: Larva emerges from the egg and goes through three larval stages. Once mature, the larva spins a cocoon and enters the pupa stage. The larva survives by feeding on adult flea feces, dead skin, dander, hair, and other organic material.
- Pupa: The pupa develops into an adult flea within the cocoon that was spun in the larval stage. Under ideal conditions, the flea will emerge within a few weeks; however pupa can remain dormant in the environment for many months.
- Adult: An adult flea emerges from its cocoon when the conditions are appropriate and they sense a host. The flea will jump on a host immediately and begin feeding on a blood meal. Within a couple days, a female flea will begin laying eggs thus restarting the life cycle.
If you notice your pet scratching or biting at his/her skin, it is a good idea to inspect your pet for fleas. The best way to look for adult fleas is to comb your pet with a flea comb and inspect the hair collected for both adult fleas and flea dirt.
Flea dirt is the fecal material that adult fleas produce and appears as blackish specks in the fur. To verify the presence of flea dirt, place the black specks on a paper towel and add a few drops of water. If the material dissolves and turns red then it is flea dirt.
Preventing and Controlling Fleas
Implementing a year round flea prevention program is the best way to protect your pet, as well as save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation from flea infestation. There are many products available to treat and control fleas but it is best to use a high-quality, safe, and effective product.
Keysville Mobile Vet will now be carrying a new product called Credelio. Credelio is a monthly chewable medication that acts fast to protect against fleas and ticks. It starts to kill fleas 4 hours after administration and 100% of fleas are killed in 12 hours throughout the month.
For cats, we will continue to carry Bravecto which is a topical spot-on every three month treatment that is safe and effective for cats.
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“I became acquainted with Keysville Mobile Veterinary Services and Dr. Carolyn Cornett about two years ago when I responded to an advertisement. I was delighted to learn that she routinely made "house calls". I found Dr. Cornett to be very professional knowledgeable and reasonably priced.”
“When my 12-year old dog "Tassie" had a stroke last year after normal business hours, Dr. Cornett responded immediately dispensing multiple injections, took blood samples and started an IV. She returned late that evening, initiated another IV treatment and counseled me on my various options allowing me to select my preferred choice. It was obvious to see that Dr. Cornett was sensitive and lovingly cared for Tassie and I am honored to share my unqualified endorsement. On Tassie's recent birthday, Dr. Cornett showed up to deliver a birthday gift for Tassie - a new toy!”
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— Jennifer DiDio
“We are so lucky to have such a caring, excellent, and personable mobile vet so close by. Dr. Cornett and team are so good with our cats who are much calmer not having to be put in a carrier and car and taken to a scary clinic. The prices are also very reasonable.”
— Patricia Genetos
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— Matt Tegeler
“My cat had a great visit with Dr. Carolyn and Joan from Keysville Mobile Vet. Great service, very prompt and very attentive with my cat. Would definitely recommend and use them again. Thank you for a great experience.”
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“My prayers were answered the day my Shadow had her first appointment with Dr. Carolyn Cornett.
While numerous other veterinarians could not tell me what was wrong with Shadow, Dr. Cornett got Shadow's diagnosis of Addison's Disease correctly on the first visit. The other veterinarians did not even think of testing Shadow for this medical condition. I can only speak in superlatives when talking about Dr Cornett. She is the best, most caring, most skillful and most accommodating veterinarian to which I have ever taken a pet! Dr. Cornett provides the highest quality care in the most compassionate matter to both the pet and the owner. Thorough exams and taking time to explain each and every possible treatment option is Dr. Cornett's normal style of practicing medicine. This past fall I moved out of Carroll County to another state. I know one of the greatest losses for both my pets and myself is the lost of Dr. Carolyn Cornett as our veterinarian. There is no way I will never find a Vet as wonderful and knowledgeable as Dr. Carolyn Cornett. Carroll County is extremely lucky to have her.”
— Lynn White