Flea Control in small pets
Rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats and mice can get fleas in the same way as dogs and cats can. If you have several different types of pets in your household your caged pets are at risk of contracting a flea infestation from those pets that regularly leave and re-enter your property, especially dogs and cats. If this is the case in your household it is important that you use a good quality flea preventative not only for your dog(s) and/or cat(s) but also for your small pets. Your small pet will also be at higher risk if it spends time loose in your garden. Even if you don’t have other pets of your own that make use of the garden it is likely that animals belonging to neighbours and, in some areas, foxes will pass through your yard periodically.
Signs of flea infestation
The most common signs of fleas are increased itchiness in your small pet, and the presence of the dirt that fleas produce. Parting the hair makes it easier to spot; the dirt will usually be stuck in the coat close to the level of the skin. In some cases it will also be possible to see live fleas on the skin of the pet when the fur is parted.
Treatment and Prevention
There are several different spot-on products available to prevent and control fleas in small pets. Each one will be effective against a slightly different spectrum of parasites.
Xeno 450 spot on is a non-prescription treatment for use on rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets. It kills parasites that are found both inside and outside of the body. It should be applied on a monthly basis for routine prevention, however if it is being used to treat an existing infestation re-treatment 2 and 4 weeks after the initial treatment is necessary.
Xenex ultra spot on can be used on a wide range of small animals, including, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, chinchillas, mice, other small rodents but NOT ferrets. It is used for the prevention and control of flies, both adult and immature stages, fleas, ticks and lice. Under most circumstances fortnightly application will be sufficient - animals with a predisposition to flystrike may require weekly application, however.
There are also some prescription-only options available for flea control in small pets – see your vet for further details.