Pet Flea Meds

Written by Shirley Parker
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Fleas have been the bane of human and animal existence, probably since the dawn of time. Fleas do, however, spread interminable misery and deadly diseases. Hence, the ongoing battle to destroy them has no foreseeable end to it. Indeed, most people would agree that the only good flea is a dead flea.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE), silica gel, and boric acid powder all desiccate the flea's shell, either by slicing open the exoskeleton or absorbing its protective coating. Application of Diatomaceous Earth can also kill beneficial insects, like honeybees and ladybugs, so be very careful where you use it, and don't inhale it. The dust is so fine that you may develop lung problems, so wear a mask when applying it. However, food-grade DE is perfectly safe to ingest. (Don't confuse this with pool filter grade or horticultural grade DE.)

Other anti-flea weapons include sprays that inhibit the maturation of the juvenile flea, as well as flea powders sprinkled on the animal. You must never get the powder in an animal's eyes, and good luck with applying any of the powder anywhere if you're trying to treat a cat. It's been suggested that you sprinkle the flea powder inside a pillowcase, and then drop the cat inside, enclosing all but its head. Chain mail and leather gloves might be needed, of course.

Newer Pet Flea Meds

A variety of other anti-flea pet meds are available, some without prescription. But when choosing any flea spray or product for your cat, make sure it's intended for cats and is "safe" for them. Read the labels and never use a dogs-only flea spray or shampoo on a cat. Some products may also be safe to use on rabbits or ferrets. Seriously consider your veterinarian's advice at all times.

One popular product of several available can be applied to the back of the animal's neck, where it will gradually spread throughout the fur. New products include an oral prescription administered once a month to dogs or cats. The same preventative may be given by injection every six months for cats. This type of treatment prevents new eggs from hatching, but doesn't kill the adult flea. As a result, flea bite allergy may remain a serious problem, especially in sensitive cats.

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