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5 Common Flea Myths
pet never goes outside so they don’t need a flea preventative.”
Fleas can act as temporary “hitchhikers” on
clothing and shoes, gaining access to our homes.
Once fleas are inside and have access to a host, the flea
life cycle starts. Even
indoor only cats are at risk for flea infestation.
While fleas prefer animals as a host, they will bite and feed
off of humans if hungry.
pet has never had fleas so he does not need a preventative.”
Flea preventatives are designed to do just
that: prevent initiation or continuation of the flea life cycle.
Effective monthly flea prevention ensures that your pet is
not at risk for the diseases fleas cause and the frustration of
eradicating a flea problem in the home.
It is much better and easier to prevent the problem than to
deal with it once it happens.
pet only needs a flea preventative in the warm months.”
In the warm, humid months we see a rise in
flea populations but fleas can survive quite well indoors in the
Unseasonal temperatures in the cooler months can result in a boom in
flea population, posing a year-round threat from fleas.
get my pet’s flea preventative from you?
The product I buy over the counter is cheaper and just as
Many over the counter products are
ineffective at best, and can actually be harmful to your pet.
If your pet develops a health concern due to the over the
counter product, you are left holding the bag for treatment.
Prescription flea preventatives obtained from your
veterinarian come with the peace of mind that, if a problem arises,
the manufacturer will stand behind their product if medical care is
needed. Any financial
benefits to purchasing flea preventatives over the counter are
negated with the cost of treating the effects of a flea problem when
the product is ineffective.
Furthermore, manufacturers often provide rebates for
consumers who buy product directly from a veterinarian making the
cost of the product less than many over the counter products!
spray my yard, so my pet can’t get fleas.”
While environmental control is an important
part of any flea prevention and eradication strategy, the pet has to
be removed as host in the flea life cycle.
If a flea can’t feed on your pet, it can’t reproduce and keep
the cycle going. The
only way to effectively do this is to adopt an effective monthly
flea prevention plan.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure.” Ask us about
starting an effective monthly flea preventative today.
Walter B Gregg Jr., DVM, DABVP
Preventative medicine has been greatly improved over the years with the utilization of vaccines. I remember listening to my dad describe infectious canine hepatitis that led to the death of his bird dog many years ago. Back in the early 1980’s, when I began practicing veterinary medicine, it was during the devastating parvovirus enteritis epidemic. I also saw just about every possible disease associated with feline leukemia virus. These are horrible disease processes that have fortunately been essentially eradicated in vaccinates. We have come a long way and I am grateful for some of the vaccines we now have. However, some vaccines currently available are ineffective and totally unnecessary. Furthermore, excellent studies are available that demonstrate multiple vaccines given at a single visit can induce reactions, especially in small dogs. The dogma of mindless annual vaccination is the subject of the remainder of this article.
We have been able to give 3 year rabies vaccines in South Carolina since November of 1992. Considerable published evidence that our core vaccines (defined later- read on) provided a duration of immunity lasting longer than one year began emerging in the early 2000’s. Now immunity in excess of 3 years is documented for all core vaccines (1). Our practice began administering 3 year rabies in January 1993 and we moved to a 3 year core vaccine protocol in 2004. I have seen no cases in which a vaccinate acquired a disease as a result of this 3 year interval. This information is available in the vaccine guidelines published by the American Animal Hospital Association (dogs)(2) and The American Association of Feline Practitioners (cats)(3). Additionally, see the journal abstract pasted below. (1)
Next, let’s talk about core and non core vaccinations. Core vaccines are recommended for every animal regardless of their risk profile. Non core vaccinations are recommended on an individual basis and are recommended only if risk profiles and exposure indicate a need. For dogs, distemper, adenovirus type 2 (hepatitis) and parvovirus combined in one vaccine and rabies are the only core vaccines. For cats, panleukopenia (distemper or parvovirus), rhinotracheitis (feline herpes virus), and calici virus combined in one vaccine and rabies are the only core vaccines. Because aluminum adjuvants have been incriminated in feline sarcomas we administer a non adjuvated rabies vaccine to cats. This non adjuvated vaccine is only available as a 1 year vaccine because of federal laws. Additionally, most experts recommend a core series of two FELV (feline leukemia virus) vaccines given to kittens with a booster given at 1 year of age. After this initial series, FELV vaccination then becomes a non core vaccine, given only if exposure warrants vaccination.
It remains an enigma to me as to why any progressive veterinary practice or mobile vaccine clinic would still be giving annual vaccinations and non core vaccinations without regard to risk profiles. Questions on this subject are welcome.