I wanted to touch on flea control because the number one complaint I get this time of year is “my pet still has fleas and I am using a preventative!” or “this product isn’t working, my pets still have fleas!” Many times this happens because you have missed your monthly dose or are a few days/weeks late, or maybe not all animals in the house are protected, or maybe you didn’t do flea/tick prevention during the winter months. First we need to discuss the life-cycle of the flea. The most common flea on both dogs and cats is the cat flea. This adult flea will take several blood meals a day and then lay approximately 25-50 eggs per day. These eggs typically fall off of the animal into the environment and hatch within 2-5 days. These eggs develop into larva. The larva goes through 3 different stages in an average of 5-10 days before developing into the pupae. These pupae are protected by a silk cocoon and develop in 5-10 days or can lay dormant for 6 months. The adult flea emerges from the cocoon and takes a blood meal on their preferred host (your pet). So knowing this life-cycle will help you understand how the flea products work and where in the life-cycle they work. Most products on the market are geared toward killing the adult flea and or sterilizing the adult flea so it cannot lay eggs into the environment. Or sterilizing the eggs that are laid so they cannot develop into the pupae. Remember, the pupae is covered in a shell and no product, even sprays for the house, will kill the pupae. The adults will emerge from the pupae, sometimes during the winter months due to delayed development, and as long as your pet has year round protection, the adults will die once on the pet. If you keep your pet on year round prevention, you should be able to stay ahead of an infestation and kill any fleas on your pets before problems arise. Next, we should discuss the types of flea products on the market. There are two categories: systemic versus topical. Systemic products are oral products that use the liver to be processed. Topical products are only absorbed into the fatty layer of the pets skin and kill fleas through contact with hair and skin. We at MAH offer both types of products. DISCLAIMER: There is a profound difference between store bought/online and or generic flea products versus products you get from your veterinarian. We as a veterinary community do not know where most online pharmacies get their products since manufacturers do not sell to online pharmacies. Most store bought generic products are not waterproof and or do not last a month as stated on the label. Secondly, most store products and or generic products containing permethrin based ingredients can be very toxic to your pet, even killing some pets. It is worth your money to buy from your vet because all products purchased are guaranteed by the manufacture and any problems can be directly address by your vet. Lastly, if you are still seeing fleas with monthly protection being used you may have an infestation. Make sure all pets in the house are on preventives, make sure you give your pets prevention each month, vacuum carpets daily and use sprays on furniture to kill eggs/larva, and use the products year round. It takes an average of 3 months to get ahead of an infestation. Hope this information helps! If you have more questions, please call us at 913-422-0301.