May 7, 2013

Natural Flea Prevention and Treatment

natural flea prevention and treatmentFleas can be a particularly pesky and difficult pest to eliminate; they can jump around 100 times their own height, females lay 20,000 eggs in just a few months, and eggs take between 3 and 6 weeks to hatch.  All these factors make fleas versatile and elusive and as a result many pet owners turn to commercial flea products to kill the pets and prevent future outbreaks.  In some cases, you may have no choice but to seek stronger flea treatments but there are also a range of natural preventative measures that you can try to control the flea population in your home and pets.

One simple and natural flea prevention is garlic.  By adding garlic to your pet’s meals you may find that you have effectively prevented fleas.  In addition, there are many meal additives that can deter fleas; sulfur prevents fleas and can be added to your pet’s diet weekly, and black walnut hulls are available in capsule form at your local pet store and they repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.  Typically, these kinds of remedies require 4 to 6 weeks to be completely effective.

Unfortunately, when it comes to fleas, prevention may not be enough.  Especially if your dog or cat is already infested with fleas, you’ll need to take some time to get rid of the infestation.  So it’s bath time.  There is a wide selection of herbal shampoos available at the pet store that help to kill and remove fleas.  Combinations of pine cedar, bergamot, rosemary, eucalyptus, citronella, juniper, lavender, or geranium (just to name a few) are especially effective when you’re dealing with fleas.

In addition, you need to remove the fleas from your home.  One natural treatment involves mixing 1.5 pounds of diatomaceous earth, 1.5 pounds of organic borax, and 1 cup of salt.  You can purchase the diatomaceous earth and organic borax at a garden supply store.  Sprinkle this mixture throughout your house and let it sit for a few days.  Finally, vacuum up the mixture and you should be flea free!

May 16, 2011

Nightmare on Flea Street

Filed under: flea treatment — Tags: , , , — Dr. Amber Reed @ 1:09 pm

Dog with FleasWhat can jump 150 times their body length, is 1.5 to 3.3 mm long, sucks blood to live, has been around since prehistoric times, and is a wingless insects with tube-like mouth-parts? This horrendous creature sounds like a description out of a horror movie but its real and could be living in your house. Ctenocephalides canis, better known as fleas could be hosting off your pet without you even knowing. Fleas live on a life cycle of four stages. Stage one is when an adult flea infests your dog and begins to lay eggs. Stage two is within two and five days as the eggs develop into adult fleas. Stage three is larvae or caterpillar, where the egg hatches into larvae. The last stage is flea pupae or cocoon, which means now there is a fully grown flea and now the cycle begins again.

The effects on your dog make their life very unpleasant. The common effects are itching and scratching. However some dogs feel unbearable itching that cause the dog’s skin to thicken and their hair to fall out. This in turn makes the raw skin vulnerable to bacterial infections.

You need to wage a full out war if you’re going to take down this resilient creature. This ongoing battle will take place on two fronts; the dogs environment and on his skin. The key to eliminating fleas is to totally remove the life cycle of the fleas which is tricky because they are all on different parts of the cycle. Also, the reproduction of fleas is ridiculously fast while the treatments can be tedious. One hands-on way of dealing with fleas is hang a light over some flypaper, the heat will attract the fleas which will then get caught on the flypaper. In addition, treating your carpets with a borate-based powder and spraying the yard with outdoor flea control products will help lower the flea count in the dog’s environment. Washing your dog thoroughly with a flea repellent will be the best at getting rid of fleas on your best friend. Providing a healthy meal is also important because this will strengthen the dog’s immune system.

Of course pet medication for fleas is the best way of defeating fleas. It’s fast and easy. There are several dog flea medications for all sizes and needs in the pharmaceutical industry. For example Advantix Red, Advantix Blue, Revolution Mauve, and Frontline flea control. The task of killing fleas is daunting but it is necessary and your furry little friend will love you for it.

October 5, 2010

Effective Cat Flea Treatment

Filed under: flea treatment — Dr. Amber Reed @ 10:35 am

As a pet owner, you can never take pet health too seriously.  Fleas are a relatively common parasite that live in your cat’s skin and can potentially cause serious health problems.  Moreover, even when fleas do not cause disease, they can be very irritating for your cat.  As such, effective cat flea treatments are important for any cats living in areas known to harbor fleas.

The most effective cat flea treatment must be thorough and comprehensive.  Indeed, eliminating fleas can be a lengthy process and pet owners must be vigilant to ensure fleas have been killed and will not return.  Fleas are prolific and persistent and have been associated with a wide range of very serious diseases such as the Bubonic plague.  Furthermore, fleas can also bite humans making them annoying for everybody in the family.

Generally speaking, there are a few steps that you must take to rid your cat of fleas.  First of all, using a fine-toothed flea comb helps to remove fleas already living in your cat’s fur.  Using basic rubbing alcohol, you can kill the fleas as they are removed so they will not be a bother in the future.  In addition, many cat owners use a flea collar to prevent future flea problems.

Pet owners will also want to clean their home thoroughly to rid their bedding, carpets, draperies, and other areas of the home of fleas.  Still, outdoor cats will be susceptible to fleas so many veterinarians recommend commercial flea treatments which may include shampoos, collars, and medications.  Fortunately, there are many online sources for cheap pet meds that can save pet owners hundreds of dollars when treating their pets.

Finally, remember that cat flea treatments and dog flea treatments are not the same.  Cats tend to be more sensitive than dogs so you will need to find products that are specifically designed for cats.  Vigilant, consistent pet owners will find that controlling fleas needn’t be an arduous task.

May 13, 2010

Cat Scratch Fever

Bartonella are relatively common bacteria that are usually transmitted by fleas and ticks.  Bartonella is the bacteria that causes cat scratch fever in humans and because there are several species of Bartonella it is also linked to a number of illnesses in your cat or dog.  Indeed, infections caused by Bartonella can have many mild symptoms in dogs and cats but they often go unnoticed by humans as these illnesses are generally not very severe.

Fever, eye disease, and inflammation of the heart lining, muscle, and valves are among the most common symptoms associated with Bartonella infection.  More commonly, humans become aware of Bartonella infections because they themselves fall victim to cat scratch fever.  Also known as cat scratch disease, this infection is usually transmitted when your cat scratches you.  Some symptoms of cat scratch fever include a low grade fever, swelling of the lymph glands, and other flu-like reactions.  In most cases, cat scratch fever will last only a few days but the symptoms can extend for many months.

While systemic symptoms are not common, they are not impossible and sometimes these symptoms can become serious.  Because fleas are the most likely vectors of Bartonella it is important to ensure your dogs and cats receive some kind of flea prevention treatment.  In fact, Bartonella cannot be spread without a flea or a tick as a vector so you can easily control the spread of these bacteria with a proven flea and tick treatment like Advantage or FrontLine.

If you suspect that your pet has been infected with Bartonella you should visit your vet and have your pet tested.  Various antibiotics can be given to dogs and cats to kill these bacteria so that you can protect your family from possible infection.  Nevertheless, remember that Bartonella is not a particularly dangerous bacteria, just that you will become ill if infected.

December 1, 2009

K9 Advantix

Any pet owner understands the importance for flea treatment when it comes to their beloved pets. Unfortunately, it seems like every other day you can find a new treatment which makes it overwhelming to choose a product that is both safe and effective. K9 Advantix is a unique flea control treatment because it serves two important functions: it kills fleas and ticks and it repels them. Traditional flea treatments cannot compete with Advantix K9 formula because they usually only kill fleas or ticks without repelling them. As a comprehensive flea control treatment, K9 Advantix has quickly become one of the most trusted brands by veterinarians.

First and foremost Advantix K9 formula stops fleas from biting and kills between 98 and 100 per cent of fleas or ticks within the first 12 hours. This not only gives pet owners confidence in the product but also peace of mind knowing that their pets will be safe from fleas and ticks. One of the major benefits of K9 Advantix for dogs is that while killing fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, it also provides immediate relief for your pet. Moreover, K9 Advantix starts killing larvae in less than 30 minutes from the time of application.

Unfortunately, K9 Advantix is not appropriate for use in cats (because they can ingest the product during grooming) and there are some other considerations that you should make if you choose this particular flea treatment. K9 Advantix is always applied externally on your dog and there are some relatively common side effects associated with this type of flea control. Some dogs experience a slight burning or itching sensation upon and shortly after application which can easily be remedied by giving your dog a quick shampoo. As a topical flea treatment medication, Advantix K9 is easy to apply and keeps working for a full month.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.