Fleas suck. Given the opportunity, they can suck a kitten dry, killing it in very short order. And we’ve just entered the peak season for fleas.
I always thought that summer was the worst flea season, but in fact. the number of autumn fleas can be up to 70% greater than summer's.
Long ago, I didn't give fleas a second thought. That was back in the days of flea collars or flea powder (ugh! and double ugh!), and I assumed that the very worst that might happen if the cat had fleas is that he would scratch himself senseless. I am odor-sensitive, and the stench of flea collars and powder was unbearable to me. I was SO happy when topical flea treatments were developed.
It was around that time that I learned what dangers fleas and ticks pose to cats, the least of which is itching. “Fleas are more than just an itchy nuisance to pets as they can cause severe distress, and more importantly, can transmit diseases such as tapeworm and the bacteria that cause cat scratch fever,” said Dr. Tom Kennedy, parasitologist.
Plus, those little tapeworm segments are gross. Especially when they wiggle out the poophole, or you see one left behind on the bed.
A few years ago, I learned firsthand about flea allergies, something from which Tripper suffers. Even a single flea can cause massive skin inflamation, and Tripper will chew himself raw in search of relief. It was an expensive lesson — several hundred dollars for the vet visit, which included a prednisone shot, shaving his back and a spa treatment — bathing him in an anti-inflammation shampoo — and a flea treatment. Plus, a follow-up visit.
We could have saved that money if we'd been more diligent about the application of flea treatments. We were pretty good about giving them every four to six weeks, but six weeks was too long, and often, life would get in the way and six weeks would stretch to eight. Opportunistic fleas were lined up outside waiting for the flea moratorium to end so that they could leap atop Trip and suck with impunity.And they did.
We recently adopted Banzai from the Marin Humane Society, and in addition to shots and a chip, he came pre-treated for fleas. This is a huge convenience, since it means that he wouldn't spread them to Buckaroo and Tripper when introduced to our household.
Fortunately for many shelters, Flea Treatment manufacturers are donating treatments to shelters, resulting in a huge cost-of-care savings for the shelters and pet owners/adopters.
Recently, Veterinary Products Laboratories, the makers of Ovitrol® X-TendTM Flea & Tick Spot On® donated a total of 1,440 one-month doses of preventive treatment to five shelter organizations, totaling $75,000.
Donation recipients were chosen from areas where pets have a high risk of fleas year-round, including:
- Arizona Humane Society – provided treatment to shelter pets while they await forever homes
- Seattle Humane Society – provided treatment to low-income pet owners impacted by serious illness through “Pet Project” program
- Humane Society of Charlotte – provided treatment to local pet owners through “Pets for Life” program Humane Society of Greater Miami – provided treatment to shelter pets while they await forever homes
- The Greater Birmingham Humane Society – provided treatment to low-income pet owners through “Pet Pantry” program
The photo above of the gentleman and his beloved Tuxie, Erwin, features a client enrolled in Seattle Humane’s Pet Project program, which serves pets belonging to low-income people disables by HIV or receiving cancer treatment.
OK, here's the 411 or Ovitrol: Ovitrol® X-Tend™ Spot On® products for Dogs or Cats offer pet owners a powerful and affordable solution to eliminate fleas and ticks. As a fast-acting, topical prevention and control method, Ovitrol® X-Tend™ topicals start killing fleas on dogs and cats within 15 minutes, while also killing mosquitoes. The effective formula is administered through an applicator, specifically designed to make application easy for pet owners, without mess. Each dose protects for an entire month. Ovitrol® X-Tend™ topical is available through licensed, practicing veterinarians for a suggested retail price of $29.99 for each 3-pack.
For more information about Ovitrol® X-Tend™ Flea & Tick Spot On® products for Dogs or Cats visit.www.Ovitrolxtend.com\
Don't Forget to Eliminate Fleas Indoors
The best flea treatments in the world will be ineffective unless you eliminate fleas from the home environment. All of the cats' bedding should be washed thoroughly at least as often as you apply flea treatments. Floors, carpets, and furniture should be cleaned as well. Diatomaceous earth (food grade) is an inexpensive, non-toxic, and no odor powder that kills fleas. After vacuuming, empty contents into the trash bin — those pesky critters can escape the bag and re-invade your house.
THE FINE PRINT: Mousebreath has not been compensated in any way by Ovitrol, either as a paid post or in exchange for free product. As such, we cannot share our personal experiences to vouch for its efficacy. Talk to your vet about what will work best for you and your cat(s).