Fleas and Flea Management
I have spent some years dealing with the challenging issue of fleas on dogs and cats. Many skin irritations and inflammations are the result of flea bites. The life cycle of the flea can last anywhere from two months to two years. There are four stages - adult flea, egg, larvae and finally the pupal stage. Products on the market today may affect the first three stages, but I am unaware of anything which kills the pupal stage as the pupa can lie safely in its cocoon for months. Adult fleas can lay between twenty and fifty eggs daily. Fleas love warm and humid conditions and the summer months can testify to their increasing presence.
There are a number of methods available to reduce flea numbers. These include topical applications, shampoos, washes, powders/dusts, collars, tablets, flea bombs (for houses), natural oils, lemon and rosemary sprays, vinegar, homeopathic remedies, dietary changes, flea combs and supplementary food preparations. The application of these methods varies and so does the success rate.
The degree to which an animal is sensitive to the saliva from the flea's bite influences its reaction. If the dog or cat develops a flea allergy, then just one bite can send the animal into frenzied gnawing and biting of its skin. This may result in a weepy, red sore, called a 'hot spot'. If the animal is on a dried food diet, commonly with grain as a base ingredient, then a change to a raw food diet may over time reduce the allergic reaction to flea bites. Combining dietary changes (if necessary) with a plan which includes any of the above measures can assist in the management of the flea population.
Working out what best suits your situation, finances and ability to monitor and manage the flea situation in your environment will determine what avenue of treatment to take. I have used many of the above methods of flea control with the animals in my care. Some products I have not used as I have been wary of their level of toxicity to the animals. Any decisions I have made have been based on my knowledge of the product at that time, combined with my intuition. At the same time, I take into account the health, age, diet, exercise and environment of the animal as well as its emotional and mental states. Frequent vacuuming and adequate disposal of the dust are also effective ways of reducing flea eggs and larvae numbers in the house.
Not all skin complaints relate to flea bites. Itching, scratching, biting, chewing and excessive licking may be in response to such things as boredom, anxiety, stress or upset in the household and allergies to certain foods, grasses or parasites other than fleas. First Light® flower essences which may be considered in these situations include the following:
- No 2 Native Flax for calm when there is irritability
- No 7 Mountain Parahebe when tearing self to bits, going crazy; to bring mental calm
- No 8 Matata for obsessive chewing and licking; to help be more at ease
- No 16 Small White Rata for smelly skin, being prone to fleas, allergies and over-fastidious cleaning; to restore dignity and strengthen the aura
- No 17 Akepiro for skin problems; to reduce irritability
- No 18 Purple Koromiko for weakened immune system and to strengthen endurance
- No 22 Manuka for strong allergic reactions; to bring tolerance and balance
- No 23 Lacebark for frenzied over-reactions to stimuli, scratching, licking and chewing; to bring self-control
- No 24 Poroporo for depression about condition; to bring about a change to a positive attitude
- No 70 Hen And Chickens Fern to support the soul when animal is attacking itself; to deal with the situation and develop inner strength
- No 76 Native Hawthorn to support the soul to restore balance and tolerance when there is an over-reaction to stimuli
The dosage of the treatment bottle is 4 drops 4x daily. Drops can be put in drinking water, on food or directly into the animal's mouth without the dropper touching anything but the essences. Wash the dropper under clean water if it touches anything else to keep the bottle free from contamination.
— Marj Marks
Marj is a First Light Flower Essences of New Zealand registered practitioner and registered Veterinary Nurse. Marj can be contacted on 09 422 0177, 027 612 5256 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org