?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. In the UK we use xenex ultra spot on or wipe out flea wipes. See if you can get them, or give your vet a call and they will be able to advise. If you do use the wipe, you probably only need a quarter of a wipe per rat. It lasts for up to 6 weeks.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Flea infestation is treated with medicated powders/dusts or sprays that are designed kill the fleas. To prevent reinfestation, disinfect and clean your rat`s cage and surrounding environment thoroughly.
Mice, rats, and other furry animals can bring fleas into your home. Mice and rats are the worst because they also do a fantastic job of spreading flea eggs around your home as they explore from top to bottom. If you have a rodent infestation, it can make your flea infestation even more difficult to deal with.
In most cases, it takes three to four months to completely get rid of a flea infestation since it takes fleas this long to go through their life stages, according to the American Kennel Club.
Flea-borne (murine) typhus, is a disease caused by a bacteria called Rickettsia typhi. Flea-borne typhus is spread to people through contact with infected fleas. Fleas become infected when they bite infected animals, such as rats, cats, or opossums.
This species of flea can be found worldwide, wherever its favorite host animal is found. Fleas are prevalent in major cities and urban areas where certain human habitats attract rats (think city sewer systems). They prefer tropical and subtropical habitats and are rarely found in cold areas.
Fleas are bad for your house and your health

Fleas also sometimes carry diseases such as flea-borne spotted fever, plague, typhus, and cat scratch fever. While this is more likely to become a problem if you do have pets, fleas in a house without pets can cause serious problems for your family.

Not treating often enough

Fleas go through a life cycle of egg, larvae, pupae and adult. Most flea treatments just kill adult fleas, but fleas can continue to emerge for months after you think an infestation has ended. When a newly emerged female flea finds a host, she can lay eggs within one day.

Want to kill adult fleas fast? Lower the indoor temperature to freezing, and take all the humidity out of the room. Fleas don`t like freezing temperatures or dry conditions. Newly emerged fleas can only survive 3 to 12 days without a blood meal before they starve.
Citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and rosemary will all naturally repel fleas. If your dog doesn`t mind a spray bottle, dilute a few drops of your chosen essential oil into a 300ml-400ml of water and spray directly onto your dog`s coat.
One of the first solutions to get rid of fleas is to bathe your pet. Just lukewarm water, or water and a mild soap, can help get fleas off your pet`s fur and skin. The dish soap can help to drown adult fleas.
Getting rid of fleas is a difficult process due to the long lifecycle of a flea. Moderate to severe infestations will take months to control and require a four-step process for complete elimination: Sanitation. Thoroughly clean areas where fleas frequently breed.
Fleas generally cannot live in human hair. While most species prefer to live on the furs of animals, they can use humans as temporary vectors. In such cases, fleas can infest and bite humans. You may get infected if there is a serious case of flea infestation in your environment.
Certainly, you`re less likely to catch an illness from a rat than from another person. And most of the studies available do suggest that the risk of becoming ill for healthy people is no higher than if you owned a dog or a cat, and probably lower.
Fleas, in general, cannot survive a trip to the washing machine when using a particular laundry detergent. Flea control can be achieved by washing household goods on a hot cycle (95° F) and then spinning them in the dryer (140° F or higher).
According to extensive studies conducted at Ohio State University, vacuuming is indeed an effective way of getting rid of fleas! Through these studies, scientists discovered that vacuuming killed 96% of adult fleas from carpets and 100% of the flea pupae and larvae.
We can sometimes spot mites living on the skin by taking samples from your rat – this may involve plucking hair, using Sellotape on the skin or gently scraping the skin using a scalpel blade. We can then look at the material under the microscope to spot any mites.
Experimentally, it has been shown that the fleas flourish in dry climatic conditions with temperatures of 20–25 °C (68–77 °F), they can live up to a year and can stay in the cocoon stage for up to a year if the conditions are not favourable.
Rats primarily suffer from fur mites, caused by direct contact with infected rats or contaminated bedding.
Fleas are tiny, but they`re not microscopic. If your home is infested, you may see them in carpets or bedding. Fleas are wingless. They range from light reddish-brown to black in color.
Dee added: “People might feel a little embarrassed to find out they have a flea infestation as fleas are often associated with dirty environments – but this is a common misconception. “Fleas will move into any environment and even homes without pets can get flea infestations.
Fleas are attracted to light, movement, heat, and CO2 that their hosts exhale when breathing. Fleas will jump slightly any time one of these signals triggers movement, but flea activity really takes off when the presence of multiple attractants are noticed.
The average flea can only survive for four days to one week without a host. It is for this reason that an adult flea may remain in its cocoon until outside conditions indicate the presence of a host. Fleas need to feed constantly to survive which is also why they prefer to live on their host.
Other Dangers to Your Pet

Fleas are blood-sucking parasites, and if they continue feasting on cats or dogs for any length of time, the pet may develop anemia. This condition can cause lethargy at the very least and may even cause death in puppies, kittens or older pets.

Firstly, don`t panic. Yes it`s horrible that you`ve found fleas, but rest assured, most pet owners have had to deal with a flea problem at some point! Fleas are tiny, smaller than a pin head, but can jump up to a metre, and are so fast, you often don`t see them even when they are in your house or on your pet.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Need help, we have done flea bath ,sprayed the house and used charts ultra guard pro and still have fleas .how can we get rid of them
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Q. How do I FINALLY rid all 4 of my cats of tapeworms after 2 years of dealing with it? Fleas seem to be controlled. I know they are the vector.
ANSWER : A. If your cats keep getting tapeworms, then they are picking up fleas from somewhere. Fleas will hitch a ride on your pant leg from outside.

Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

You can also use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the life cycle.

Q. Frontline is not working on my dog, what should I use?
ANSWER : A. Frontline works best if it is given either three days before or three days after bathing your pet as it is absorbed through the skin. Frontline works on pets, but you will need to continually give treatment for up to three months before the environment and your pet are fully flea-free. Your pet can continue to get fleas from the environment as the eggs hatch and attempt to jump on your pet. Making sure to clean the area your pet is in, such as washing bedding and vacuuming carpeting (especially areas with cracks such as along the wall) can also accelerate flea removal. If your pet still has fleas and you want immediate relief, your vet can provide you with an oral medication such as capstar to kill fleas depending on when the last Frontline dose was given.

Pets can continue to itch for a while even after the fleas themselves are treated. Flea bites can cause an allergy, called flea allergy dermatitis, which can cause itching, scratching and redness on the skin. While many owners think this means fleas are still there, it could just be the skin healing from bites. An allergy medication and preventing your pet from scratching can provide relief during the healing process.

Read Full Q/A … : FAQ

Q. My 13 year old male cat is acting lethargic & doesn’t seem to be feeling well. I don’t know what’s wrong except that he has fleas. Can too many fleas
ANSWER : A. Excessive fleas can cause anemia in cats, left untreated, this can be life-threatening. I recommend getting your cat seen by your vet right away for his illness. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard, since fleas will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Q. What’s the best way to train a dog to use a lead again?
ANSWER : A. It depends on how serious your issue is. If you need to start from scratch: Bring out the leash, place it on the ground. Click and treat your dog. Say his name, work on attention, click and treat for attention. Work with the cheese sticks, or with some chicken.. something stinky, soft, and high value. Allow him to sniff the leash, praise him, click, treat, click, treat. Pick up the leash, click treat him. Hook the leash to his collar and allow the leash to drag, click treat him. Have him just follow you around, click and treat him to hold his attention.

Then, pick up the leash, click and treat him. Then drop the leash again, click and treat. Take baby steps. Then, hold the leash while you take a step, click and treat him for following. Open the front door, click and treat him. Then, take off the leash, click and treat him, and end training.

Pick training back up in an hour, and do the same exact thing from start to finish, only this time, “finish” will be you two going outside, you clicking and treating him a bunch, and then you bringing him back inside. Work your way up slowly. You can’t expect to just bring him outside and bring him on a walk right away.

When outdoors, use a front hooking harness like the Sensible/Sensation harnesses: http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ible-harness / http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ation-harness. These harnesses will eliminate the pulling power of your pup in a positive way. This will put you in control without the use of force. Carry high value treats with you everywhere, and offer them for good walking behavior – treats like white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks, hotdogs, all cut into tiny little pieces. The more you work on walking on-leash/attention indoors, the better it will be outdoors, remember that.

Q. My dog has fleas and ticks. I’ve kept her area clean and bathed her. If I took her to the grooming salon, would they be able to help her issue?
ANSWER : A. To be honest with you, the groomer will do just about the same thing you have done for her at home, which is bathe your pet to rid all the fleas and flea eggs off of her that are currently on her.
However, the problem comes with re-infestation. Everytime your pet goes outside to potty and comes back inside, she has a potential to carry fleas in with her, even if she is only out there for a few minutes a day. In fact 40% of indoor pets has fleas, so we know that they can be extremely opportunistic.
The best and only way to protect your pet from fleas and ticks is by using a flea/tick preventative. Here are my top picks!:
1) Nexgard
2) Seresto collar
3) Advantix topical

These products are going to get the job done. Also you have to treat your home with a flea fogger (can be purchased at Home depot or Lowes) and wash all your pets bedding to help rid the flea eggs in the environment. This is key to overall flea ridding and flea control.