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Itching in cats and dogs is most commonly caused by fleas. Some animals are allergic to fleas which makes them even itchier than your average cat or dog. The most common place for your pets to be scratching from fleas is the rump, top of the tail and back legs.

The lifecycle of the flea is influenced by temperature and humidity, they thrive in warm, humid months so springtime is when we can see an increased level of fleas and scratching animals.

The adult flea lays its eggs on your pet and these fall off into the surrounding environment. 1 week later, Larvae come out of these eggs and turn into pupae and then become an adult flea again and continue the cycle by jumping back on the animal and feeding. As these stages occur in the environment it is vital to keep up with regular flea treatments and also treat the environment. This will minimise the deposition of eggs into the environment and help to break the life cycle.

Some animals become especially sensitise to flea saliva and develop F.A.D (flea allergic dermatitis) where a single flea bite can send them into acute, obsessive scratching or licking, with hair loss and sometimes secondary bacterial infection of the skin.

Regular preventative flea treatment of both cats and dogs is a must all year round, but especially at this time of year. There are several different effective flea treatments around, speak to one of our team about the best option for you.

It is important if you are treating any animal in your house that you treat every animal in the household and the environment, clean the bedding and potentially flea bomb the house.

About the author

North Canterbury Vets are a mixed practice which deals with dairy cows, beef, sheep, deer, horses and alpacas as well as companion animals. Our team has an ethical focus to assist in developing and growing our clients' businesses and providing quality health care to ensure that their livestock and pets live healthy and productive lives.

Our Clinics

North Canterbury Veterinary Clinics operates four clinics throughout the Hurunui region.