Preventing Flea Infestations
The rising incidence of fleas across the United States has prompted boarding facilities, pet hotels and pet daycares to consider more stringent policies for flea control.
Research has shown that on average nearly 30 percent of dogs or cats entering a veterinary clinic were infested with fleas.* This statistic is startling considering that the combined average number of dogs and cats seen each month by the practices surveyed was 276 animals. That means about 82 of those animals have fleas upon arrival.
In addition, milder winters are allowing fleas to survive longer and in some cases allowing fleas to survive year-round. Even in colder climates, fleas can survive as adults on pets or overwinter as cocoon-like pupae in protected areas.
With all of these factors in the equation, many veterinary hospitals implement proactive flea control measures to ensure their facility remains flea free. One of these clinics is Rehm Animal Clinic in Mobile, Ala. In addition to veterinary services, they offer boarding and grooming. Their proactive flea control method involves administering Capstar, an oral flea-control product for dogs and cats that quickly kills adult fleas.
“In order for us to work in an environment where we don’t have to worry about flea infestations, every dog or cat that comes into our facility gets a Capstar tablet, whether it’s for boarding, grooming or any veterinary services,” says Chris J. Rehm, DVM, owner of Rehm Animal Clinic. “It’s a weight off our shoulders because there aren’t complaints about pets picking up fleas here. Our clients appreciate our efforts to remain a flea-free facility.”
The same proactive flea control model is catching on with top-notch boarding facilities. Other boarding facilities that don’t have a flea control protocol established, try to reduce their risk of flea infestation by requiring dogs and cats to be on a flea preventive product. However, there is no guarantee that all pet owners comply with the exact veterinary dosing recommendations for these products.
“Our facility is located near the beach so a lot of tourists board their pets with us,” said Michele Wieting, office manager of Owl Creek Pet Hotel in Virginia Beach, Va. “Prior to implementing our proactive flea control policy, our biggest issue was that we couldn’t guarantee that all of our clients were using monthly flea prevention. Capstar keeps our environment flea free and it’s safe to use even if a dog or cat is on a flea prevention program.”
A proactive approach is the only way to ensure a facility is free of fleas. Implementing a flea-free policy protects clients’ comfort as well as the facility’s reputation. Therefore, pet care facilities are encouraged to partner with a local veterinarian today to establish a proactive flea control protocol.
Capstar is only available through the veterinarian and can be purchased in convenient bulk packaging. For more information about Capstar, visit www.capstar.novartis.us.
* Data on file. Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. - NAH - JE - 001