Common Vet Myths – Flea Prevention

Learn about the common vet myths on Flea Prevention to find out what really works and what doesn’t.

Garlic = Flea Control

We often hear clients say that they use garlic as a substitute for flea control. This can be incredibly dangerous to your pets. Garlic can cause serious illness in your pets which will show via symptoms such as: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia/pale gums, weakness, collapse, etc. Garlic can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells and can also cause GI problems.


“My pet won’t get fleas in the winter.”

Fleas can live in your home and re-infest your pet through the winter months. We also live in a province which has warmer days throughout the winter months which can cause fleas to become active again.

“Pet store/grocery store products are safe”

These products can be safe but aren’t often effective. The main concern with over the counter products are the chemicals used in them. Cats are highly susceptible to permethrin toxicity. When cats come into contact with permethrins you have a high chance of seeing some or all of the following symptoms: tremors, twitching, pyrexia, seizures, ataxia etc. This can ultimately lead to death and needs to be dealt with quickly. A lot of the dog products out there have permethrins in them and therefore are very dangerous to cats. If you are unsure of a product, bring it to your veterinarian prior to applying.

“I’ve dosed my pet once, why are there still fleas?”

Fleas need to be treated over at least a 3 month period to fully eradicate an infestation. As irritating as they can be you need to be patient and diligent. Apply your flea medications according to the schedule given to you by your vet clinic.

“My cat is strictly indoors, how could they possibly get fleas?”

Fleas are tricky creatures and will hitch a ride on anyone or anything. You have the potential to bring fleas into your home every time you walk through grass. Treating monthly all year round will help keep the fleas away.

“Clean house = no fleas.”

Keeping your house clean will not prevent fleas from coming in or multiplying. One flea can create a massive infestation in no time. They reproduce quickly and multiply by the thousands. Vacuuming is a common concern as well. Many people think that they should vacuum more often when dealing with an infestation. The heat and vibration from vacuuming can actually cause flea eggs that are lying dormant in the carpet or cracks of your flooring to hatch faster.

Veterinary staff undergo training on a regular basis to understand your basic flea infestation needs. If you are having concerns with fleas or questions about the best course of action contact your clinic right away.

Blair Lutes


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