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Parasites

Fleas

Fleas are the most common external parasite of companion animals. Flea control has always been a challenge for pet owners and veterinarians because the adult fleas cause the problems, but the majority of the flea population (eggs, larvae and pupae) are to be found off the pet in and around the home. Fleas annoy most pets (and their owners) but some pets are allergic to the bite of the flea, and only 1-2 bites per week will keep those animals severely itchy. 100% flea control for those pets is especially important.

The Life Cycle of the Flea (Ctenocephalide felis)-
Eggs are laid in the hair coat and are designed to fall off the host. Larvae develop in the host's environment and feed on adult flea feces (blood) that fall out of the hair coat of the pet. Larvae eventually spin cocoons (often within carpet fibers) for pupation. Pupae are resistant to freezing, desiccation, and insecticides. Pupae can lie dormant for many months; they are stimulated to emerge as adults by vibration, warming and increased carbon dioxide. Normally, expupation occurs when a host is near and the new flea finds the pet within seconds of emergence. Emergent fleas are fairly mobile and can survive a few days without a host, if in a suitable environment. The entire life cycle of C. felis can be completed in as few as 16 days!

Flea Control Recommendations
For the allergic patient 100% flea control is required to remain symptom free. Today's newer flea control products are longer lasting on the pet, are highly efficacious and have a very low potential of harmful side effects.

For Flea Infestation - treat all the pets on the premises, the home, and the yard.

For Flea Prevention -treat the pet. We recommend Frontline (dogs and cats) or Revolution (cats) - these are oils that are applied to the skin of the animal monthly.

If your pet already has an infestation of fleas, then we recommend monthly Frontline or Revolution, combined with a house treatment such as Knockout E.S. which kills larvae in the carpet as well as prevents hatching of eggs that are already present in the house. The Knockout treatment can be repeated once or twice, in 2-4 weeks, in cases of a severe infestation. Before spraying with the Knockout, vacuum the entire house (including closets, etc) and then either throw out the vacuum bag immediately or put a flea collar in the bag to kill any flea larvae that have been vacuumed up. Following the directions on the can, lightly spray all (even areas pets aren't allowed in) of the carpeted areas in house, being sure to get under and behind the couch, behind curtains and in closets. If you have fabric furniture, test the spray in an inconspicous area of the furniture, and if it doesn't stain, spray the entire item. Also spray about 18" up any drapery that hangs to the ground. You generally don't need to spray linoleum or tile areas, but vacuum them well. The reason that we prefer the spray to insecticidal "bombs" is that one bomb is needed per room (no matter what size the room is, or what sq. footage the bomb says it will treat), as the bombs don't go around corners well. While evacuation of the house by pets and people is not needed when using the spray, we do recommend that you let the treated areas dry thoroughly (usually 1-2 hours) before letting children and pets play in those areas. When treating the home, be sure to thoroughly wash all bedding (especially pet bedding) in hot water. Wipe down any non-cloth furniture also.

List of Flea Control Products

Frontline Plus (fiprinol) - This is the product we most often recommend. It is safe to use on puppies or kittens 8 weeks of age and older. It is a topical product that is applied on the pets neck/shoulder blade area and absorbs through the oils on the pets coat into the oil glands in the skin. It spreads itself over the entire pet within 24 hours, but begins killing fleas as soon as applied. Pets should not be bathed for 2 days before or 2 days after application of the frontline or it will not absorb correctly. But after 2 days, it is both waterproof and bath proof. It is not absorbed internally into the pet. Frontline Plus kills 100% of fleas that come in contact with the pet for at least 1 month after application, and also kills ticks for one month. It also prevents flea eggs from hatching out.

Revolution (selaectin) - This product is designed as a once-a- month heartworm preventative and flea preventative for dogs and cats as young as 6 weeks old. It also kills adult fleas and can be used to treat sarcoptic mange and ear mites. It also helps control roundworms and hookworms in cats. The product is placed on the skin at the back of the neck, but is absorbed into the body to have its effect when females ingest it with a blood meal. Adult fleas will die slowly, and any eggs laid prior to their death will never develop. It is most useful as a preventative for flea infestation. In the presence of a flea problem in a flea allergic pet, other insecticide treatment would be recommended first. It is a prescription drug.

Knockout E.S. Area Treatment spray- This product is for use in the house, on carpeting or furniture, but NOT for use on pets. To use it, hold it at arms length from the floor and spray a light mist onto the floor (after vacuuming first). Test it on an inconspicuous area of cloth furniture or draperies, but it generally doesn't stain. It contains permethrins to kill the adult and larvae stages and also an insect growth regulator (Nylar) to prevent egg hatching. A 16 oz. can will treat 2100 sq. ft. It will prevent re-infestation for 7 months, but in severe flea problem cases, one to two repeated treatment(s) every 2-4 weeks will kill more adult fleas.

 

Ticks

EHWWWWWWWW Ticks!

Ticks are gross, blood sucking parasites that can spread serious diseases. Lyme, Disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountan Spotted Fever and Hepatozoonosis. Oh My! The most common ticks in Wisconsin are the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the wood tick (Dermacentor variabilis, also called the American dog tick). Since the 90's the increase in tick sperad diseases has increased dramatically. Lyme disease is a big problem here in Wisconsin, espcially in northern and western Wisconsin.

Ticks are most active during the spring and the fall. They go through 4 stages of development: Egg, Larva, Nymph and Adult. The speed of a ticks development depends on the temperature and access to a host. For a tick it can take months to years for an egg to become an adult. Ticks can use mammals and birds for hosts. Lyme disease can be spread by many different ticks, including both types that live in WI. One of the favorite hosts for the deer tick is turkeys. Turkeys are very common in the area and can even be spotted in Green Bay. You are not safe from deer ticks by being in town. We have seen cases of Lyme in dogs that never leave the backyard in Green Bay.

List of Tick Control Products

Parastar Plus (fiprinol and cyphenothrin)- This newer once monthly prescription product adds a small amount of pyrethrin (cyphenothrin) to our old standby fiprinol (Frontline's active ingredient) to kill ticks even faster, while still effectively killing fleas. The addition of pyrethrin speeds up the tick kill time, starting to kill ticks within one hour. Parastar plus also effectively kills fleas and is waterproof 24 hours after application. It has an easier to use dispenser, with a small dose volume. Available only for dogs, this product is not safe for cats. Safe for use in puppies 12 weeks of age and older. If cats share a household with dogs, seperate them for 24 hours from dogs after an application of Parastar plus, to keep them from licking the area of application on the dog. This is the product we most often recommend in households without cats.

Frontline Plus (fipronil and (s)-methoprene)- It is safe to use on puppies or kittens 8 weeks of age and older. It is a topical once monthly product that is applied on the pets neck/shoulder blade area and absorbs through the oils on the pet's coat into the oil glands in the skin. It spreads itself over the entire pet within 24 hours, and begins killing fleas as soon as applied. It can take up to 24-36 hours to kill ticks. Pets should not be bathed for 1 days before or 1 days after application of the frontline or it will not absorb correctly. But after 24 hours, it is both waterproof and bath proof. It is not absorbed internally into the pet. Frontline Plus kills 100% of fleas that come in contact with the pet for at least 1 month after application, and kills ticks for one month. It also prevents flea eggs from hatching out. Frontline Plus is effective in treating dog and cat lice and aids in the control of sarcoptic mange.

Certifect (fiprinol and amitraz)- This is a newer once monthly prescription flea and tick product that also decreases the tick kill time in dogs, beginning to kill ticks within 6 hours of application. It has a higher application volume than Parastar Plus, and has a more "chemical" odor to it. It is waterproof within 24 hours of application. Available only for dogs, it is not safe for cats. Can be used safely in puppies over 5 lbs body weight, as young as 8 weeks of age.

Knockout E.S. Area Treatment spray- This product is for use in the house, on carpeting or furniture, but NOT for use on pets. To use it, hold it at arms length from the floor and spray a light mist onto the floor (after vacuuming first). Test it on an inconspicuous area of cloth furniture or draperies, but it generally doesn't stain. It contains permethrins to kill the adult and larvae stages and also an insect growth regulator (Nylar) to prevent egg hatching. A 16 oz. can will treat 2100 sq. ft. It will prevent re-infestation for 7 months, but in severe cases, one to two repeated treatment(s) every 2-4 weeks will kill more adult fleas and ticks. Fortunately ticks don't generally like to be in houses, and, unlike fleas, a tick infestation of a house is rare.

K9 Advantix (imidacloprid, permethrin and pyriproxyfen)
This is marketed as a drip-on for dogs ONLY. It kills and repels ticks and mosquitos, while killing fleas. It provides flea knockdown within 24 hours. It is susceptible to being washed off, therefore outdoor active dogs and dogs that swim or are bathed may not be the best canidates for this product. K9 Advantix is only labeled for once a month. In households with cats, separate the treated dog for 24 hours until the product is thoroughly dry.

Nylar- This is an insect growth regulator that remains 100% effective for 150 days after a single spray application. It prevents eggs from hatching and interupts the life cycle of fleas and ticks. It is of limited use against ticks, as they don't generally lay eggs on the dog or cat. However, it is a great aid in the control of fleas. It is presently available as a spray on and a drip on in combination with permethrin for dogs and a spray with pyrethrins for cats and also as Nylar flea control collars for dogs and cats. Environmental sprays (it is in Knockout ES) and foggers are also being marketed.

As you can see, the list of tick control products is long (and confusing!) and getting longer every day. Please call us so we can help you choose the tick (and flea) control products that will work best for you pet and his lifestyle.


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