FLEAS-BETTER TOOLS TO FIGHT WITH BUT STILL A PROBLEM!
Submitted by Lisa A. Yackel, CVPM,PHR
Hospital Administrator at Case Veterinary Hospital
I have been a dog owner for a long time and a Southerner all my life. Looking back, it is amazing how far we have come in the last 20 years with products to help us combat those awful parasites, fleas. I vividly recall like it was yesterday (even though it was 30 years ago), driving into work with my white scrubs on and dashing in to the veterinary hospital where I worked to spray myself down with flea spray. Apparently, fleas had hatched in my car overnight and my pants and socks were almost black with fleas in that 10 minute drive to work. The interesting thing was that my dogs didnâ€™t typically have fleas but they had ridden in the car recently on their way back from a walk and must have picked up some fleas which later hatched eggs in the car. Back then you spent the day spraying your yard, washing bedding, vacuuming the house, washing the dog, dipping the dog (with gosh awful smelling stuff), and bombing your home. Only to repeat again in several weeks.
For the past ten years, all I have had to do is give my pet a monthly pill that I get from our veterinary hospital. Yep, one pill and my flea problems are solved. I donâ€™t have to worry about an infestation in my home or my grandson getting bit if he walks around the yard or house. If I didnâ€™t know better, I would think fleas were extinct, even in our warm, humid, southern environment!
Sadly, fleas arenâ€™t extinct. Our hospital has been participating in a flea study and we are amazed at the pets that come in with hundreds of fleas on them. I donâ€™t know how the owners handle the fleas in their home as we know, for every flea we find on the pet, there are hundreds more in the environment where they live. Since most of our regular clients have their pets on monthly prevention, we have had to solicit from the community candidates for the study. Quite frankly, we were surprised by how many pet owners still struggle with a flea problem.
Prevention truly is the key. Some might balk at the price of the monthly products but, believe me, it still is cheaper than it used to be when you had to spend the whole day working on your flea problem and you had to purchase shampoos, dips, bombs, and sprays each time. Get your veterinarianâ€™s recommendation for flea products that they know work from studies conducted in real settings (like we are doing) and from clientâ€™s input. Be diligent about giving the prevention monthly, even when you donâ€™t see fleas. Fleas are resilient creatures and will â€śbiteâ€ť you if you let your guard down!
Know someone with a flea problem? We would be glad to put them in our study or to give them advice. Our whole team has been trained to help with any flea problems you are having. Just ask!