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One of the most annoying and irritating parasite during the spring and summer months is the common dog and cat flea.

Adult fleas live, feed, and reproduce on our pets.  Female fleas lay eggs, which fall off into the environment. Under favorable conditions, these eggs develop first into larvae and then into pupae. The pupae contain adult fleas that lie in wait for a suitable animal host. Modern carpeted centrally-heated homes provide ideal conditions for the year round development of fleas. The highest numbers of flea eggs, larvae and pupae will be found in areas of the house where pets spend the most time such as their beds, furniture and so forth. Even though fleas may be in your house, you probably won't see them; the eggs are too small to see without magnification and the larvae, which are just visible, migrate deep down into carpets, furniture or cracks in floors away from the light.flea_lifecycle.gif

Pets bitten by fleas groom or scratch excessively and this can cause the development of skin diseases or conditions.  Some cats and dogs develop allergies to flea bites which can become extremely irritating and uncomfortable for your pet.  Fleas can also act as the intermediate host for intestinal parasites such as tapeworm.

On-the-spot treatments such as shampoos, sprays, and flea collars are not recommended.  Aside from the fact that they can be potentially dangerous to your pet or family members, they will not consistently kill fleas and their eggs.  Depending on environment condition, it can take 3-4 weeks for a flea egg to reach adulthood.  What that means is that while these temporary solutions can kill adult fleas that they contact at the time of application, in as little as 2 weeks your home and pet can be re-infested with newly emerged hungry adult fleas.

Jane Animal Hospital recommends seasonal prevention a

gainst fleas during the spring and summer months.  Prevention is administered monthly as a topical solution that will prevent and treat flea infestations for 30 days successfully.  For prevention and treatment to be successful, your pet must be protected every month during the warm weather.

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