We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

902.798.4633

Seeing Fleas Is Believing

Fleas are one of the most common external parasites found on dogs and cats. Fleas can thrive in our Maritime climate and can go from just a minor issue to a full-blown infestation in a short time.

Fleas are small and live in the fur of dogs and cats. Adult fleas can start laying eggs 24 to 48 hours after their first blood meal and can lay over 40 eggs per day. These eggs do not stay attached to your pet, they are white and fall off into the environment as your pet moves around. A pet infected with fleas will have dark “coffee granule” looking debris throughout their fur. This digested debris is blood the flea has excreted, known as flea dirt. An easy way to make sure what you are seeing is flea dirt is to add a drop of water to some of the black debris on a piece of white paper towel, and if it turns red then you know it’s flea feces. If a pet sleeps on your bed or gets on the furniture, the eggs and waste will be there too. In perfect conditions, these eggs can hatch in as little as 1 to 6 days. Fleas will take a blood meal usually less than an hour from jumping onto their host!

As a flea feeds, it’s saliva will come in contact with the pet. Some animals can have a sensitivity to the salvia, this condition is called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), and it can cause severe itching and scratching. As a result, this can lead to hair loss, inflammation, and secondary skin infections. It can take only one flea to trigger an allergic response in your pet.

Prevention is key! Just because you do not see the fleas, does not mean they are not there. It is essential to use products that either work on contact to avoid flea bites, or has an extremely fast kill time. A pet infested with fleas should be treated for a minimum of 3 months to ensure all the eggs in the pet’s environment have had a chance to hatch, and are not going to reinfect the pet. Pets with FAD should be on a preventive product year round. Treating the pet’s environment is also crucial. Washing all pet bedding, cleaning, and daily vacuuming floors and furniture is important. Make sure to remove the vacuum bag from the home, because fleas can jump back out!

Fleas are not just an annoying bug that causes your pet to scratch; they can also transmit disease. Fleas can infect your pet with tapeworm (Dipylidium), cause anemia in puppies and kittens, carry the bacteria that causes cat scratch fever, and Mycoplasma haemofelis which is a blood parasite.

Please contact your veterinarian if you would like more information on fleas and to find out what products are right for your pet.

Written by Amanda Crowell, RVT

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed reception area” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to please call the number posted on our windows. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets and equine, as well as time-sensitive vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm. Saturday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm and Sunday: CLOSED

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Avon Animal Hospital