Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Flea infestation

Question from Sue in Wilmington:
I recently noticed fleas on my dog. What should I do?

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
The two most important steps in getting rid of fleas include treatment of all pets in the home and the home itself. Consult your veterinarian regarding safe and effective topical treatments for your pets. If you have strictly indoor cats, they should be treated for at least 2 months. Your dog should be treated monthly until there is a 2 week spell of consistently freezing cold temperatures. During mild winters, treatment all year round is recommended.

Fleas spend most of their life cycle in the environment and only jump onto pets for blood meals. Treating the environment must occur to ensure resolution of the problem. A professional exterminator is a better choice than "do it yourself" products. Since flea infested pets can become infected with tapeworms, consult your veterinarian about deworming medications. Once you have treated the pets and the environment, use a flea comb periodically to make sure the pets do not become re-infested.

Posted July 10, 2006

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