Fleas & Ticks

Advice on parasites & prevention

'Please feel free to visit our practice to discuss which flea product suits your pet best...' 

Fleas are often an unwelcome house guest when you own a cat or dog. Infestations start when adult fleas jump onto our pets from an infested environment - possibly your home, garden or local park. They bite your pet to enjoy a blood meal and these bites cause irritation at best, and significant health problems at worst, including:

  • Allergic skin diseases
  • Transmission of tapeworms
  • Blood loss and anaemia (puppies and kittens)


The flea life cycle:

  • During their lifetime, a single adult flea can lay up to 1500 eggs on your pet.
  • As your pet roams, the eggs drop off around your house and garden.
  • Flea eggs hatch into larvae. Larvae move away from light into the depths of your carpets and into cracks and crevices. Larvae moult twice and spin a cocoon.
  • New adult fleas develop within the pupae. They wait here until a new host animal (or human!) passes by. The pupae then hatch and the new adult emerges and jumps its new host.

Now, with summers and centrally heated homes during winter, fleas can continue their life cycle all year round. This means that an effective flea control is necessary the whole year around. Please feel free to visit our practice to discuss which flea product best suits your pet, or you can make an appointment to see the nurse. The rest of our contact information can be found here.

If your pet is already infested, the fleas you see on them are only the tip of the iceberg. To bring an existing flea problem under control, you must deal with the flea larvae that are lurking around the house, in carpets, flooring, upholstery and bedding - wherever your pet normally goes. Spot-on treatments work both on your pet and in the home. If you visit our practice, ask for them! And remember, prevention is better than cure.

Ticks are parasites. Pets are likely to be exposed in areas of heathland, moorland or woodland but you can also pick up ticks in your garden or at public parks. Ticks vary in size, either due to their 'life stage' (larvae, nymph or adult) or due to the amount of blood they consume: adult females can swell up 200 times their original size.

Ticks favour attachment at sites where the hair is relatively thin, such as the face and ears. They feed for several days and become an irritating attachment to your pet. They may cause infection at the site and can transmit serious diseases, some of which can also affect humans e.g. Lyme disease.

Our 'Prescription-Only Medicine' tick killers (spot-on or collar) prevent ticks from attaching and kills them within an hour. Once dead, many ticks will drop off naturally but if they don't, they can be removed by a gentle pull, preferably with a special tick remover. Do not put any alcohol or vegetable oil on the tick and do not use tweezers as this can increase the risk of infection.