3/8/2011

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Aimee Dars Ellis <aimeedars@gmail.com>

Happy Tails from Veterinay Care Of Ithaca
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Happy Tails!
March 2011
IN THIS ISSUE Fleas, Eggs and Worms..Oh My! Flea Life Cycle

Spring is almost here! Along with all of the trees and flowers that will start budding soon, so will those pesky parasites. In this issue we'll be talking about why you should keep your pet on flea and tick preventatives this season. Be on the look out for next month's issue of Happy Tails. We'll be discussing how ticks can effect your pet's health and why it's important to test for the diseases that ticks can carry. We have all loved the photo submissions that have been sent in! Keep them coming to be in next months issue!

Don't forget to scroll down for the coupon in this issue! Fleas and Eggs and Worms...Oh My!
Fleas (or Ctenocephalides felis) that make our pets itch tend to actually be cat fleas. But don't let their name fool you, although they are classified as cat fleas they enjoy munching on dogs and wild animals just as much as they do their feline namesakes. Besides being a nuisance to both you and your pet, fleas can also give your animal tapeworms (see the article below to find out how!). And for some pets just a single flea bite can cause a breakout of Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD). This occurs when a flea takes a meal from your pet. As the flea is feeding it injects saliva into your pet's skin. This saliva https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik… contains histamine-like compounds which induces an
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pet's skin. This saliva contains histamine-like compounds which induces an allergic response from the animal. They will show intense itching, often accompanied by hair loss and scabs or lesions. If the condition persists for too long they can also develop secondary bacterial skin infections. The best way to avoid all of the above mentioned is to keep all animals in your household on flea/tick preventative throughout the "flea season". This includes cats that are indoor/outdoor, just dog households and cats that live with dogs(even if the cats are strictly indoors, your dog can bring the fleas into the house and transmit them to the cat). If you just have cats that are strictly indoors and you don't have any animals that come over to visit you may opt to not cover your cats for fleas/ticks because their risk of infestation is minimal. Do be careful though if you live in an apartment where there are other animals present because fleas can find their way into your home to infest your cats.

The Flea Life Cycle
Adult fleas (1) lay their eggs in the hair coat of their current host. The eggs (2) then drop off the host and onto bedding, carpet, soil, or your couch. It takes 1 to 6 days for the eggs to hatch. When fleas hatch they are in the larval stage (3). The larvae are freeroaming and feed on organic debris in the surrounding area, as well as on flea feces, otherwise known as flea dirt, which is essentially dried blood. The larvae avoid direct light and prefer the depths of your carpet or soil. At this stage they are also prone to drying out and need places with more humidity to live. The larval stage lasts 5 to 11 days, but they can stay in this stage up to 2 to 3 weeks depending on climate conditions and food availability. The mature larva then spins a silk cocoon and turns into the pupate stage (4). These cocoons can be found in the same places the larvae are found (soil, carpet, bedding..etc). It takes 1 to 2 weeks for the pupae to fully develop; at this time they will start to emerge, but only if properly stimulated. The pre-emerged flea needs heat, movement of the substrate the cocoon is on, carbon dioxide and vibration. If it does not receive these stimuli it can remain within the cocoon anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on its current surroundings (such as temperature and humidity level). Once the proper stimulus is achieved https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik… the newly formed adult flea (5) emerges. It can then
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stimulus is achieved the newly formed adult flea (5) emerges. It can then survive for 24 to 72 hours before needing to take a blood meal. All of the above stages can be completed in as few as 12 to 14 days if all of the conditions are right. More typically it takes 3 to 6 weeks for the cat flea to complete its life cycle. If your pet ends up getting fleas we recommend applying a flea/tick medicine for 3 consecutive months so we can kill all of the fleas as they are emerging. This will also help protect your pet's environment (such as your sofa and carpet); if you see 1 flea on your animal, there can be 99 in their environment. Another way you can get rid of the flea population in your home is by vacuuming every day to every few days. If you have a bag in your vacuum immediately remove it from your house, and if your vacuum is bagless immediately empty it outside your house so the adult fleas that have been sucked up don't crawl back out.

How Did My Animal Get Tapeworms?
Both dogs and cats can get tapeworms. Flea larvae ingest the eggs of tapeworms. Tapeworms then develop inside the flea larvae into tapeworm larvae. As the flea develops into an adult the tapeworm larvae stays within it. As your pet grooms themselves they ingest the fleas infected with the tapeworm larvae; they are then released into your pet's stomach to complete their life cycle and infect your pet. If you see "rice-like" segments in your animal's feces or on their rear end, these are tapeworm segments which are filled with eggs to start another lifecycle.

Pictures Of The Month

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"Walter" Ellis

"Holly" Edwards

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Contact Us:

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QUICK LINKS
Vet erinary Care of It haca Informat ion On Fleas

Contact Us:
Veterinary Care of Ithaca 712 W Court St Ithaca, NY 14850 607-273-3133

E-mail Us:
email@ithacavet.com

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