Truth About Fleas: Pets Need Year-Round Prevention

Fleas.  The very word conjures mental images of some poor dog or cat scratching in a desperate attempt to rid themselves of tiny, biting bugs.  Indeed, fleas are horrible little creatures on many levels, but what you may not know about them could horrify you. 

If you want to win the war against these blood-sucking parasites, you need to arm yourself with the following facts:

Fleas have Four Life Stages
1. Egg
Flea eggs are laid by adult fleas on the pet.  The eggs fall off the pet into the environment within a few hours and then quickly develop into maggot-like larva.

2. Larvae
Larvae feed on the blood found in adult flea feces, organic debris, flea eggshells and other flea larvae.  Common outdoor areas for larvae include under decks and porches, partially shaded lawns and around shrubbery and flower beds.  Common indoor areas for larval development include on and under furniture, bedding (human and animal) and carpet/area rugs.  In general, larvae love to grow where your pet likes to hang out!

3. Pupal
During this phase of development, larvae build a protective cocoon around themselves that is virtually indestructible to the outside world.  Under the right conditions, pupae can emerge as adult fleas in as little as 8 days.  When conditions are less than optimal, pupae can remain in an arrested state of development within the cocoon for as long as 30 weeks, awaiting the proper environmental stimuli before emerging as an adult flea.  This amazing ability allows the flea to “over winter” or continue the life cycle uninterrupted through the colder months of the year.

4. Adult Flea
Under the right conditions, the adult flea emerges in as little as little as 21 days and immediately begins the search for a host.  Females begin egg laying within 24 hours of the first blood meal, laying on average 40-50 eggs per day.  Females lay 4,500 eggs on average over a lifetime.

What Does All This Mean?
Having four stages to the flea life cycle means that at any point in time, your home likely has all four stages living within your walls, if your pet is not on year-round flea prevention.  Most of the flea life cycle is spent off the pet, in the environment, so the absence of visible fleas on your pet is no guarantee that your pet if flea-free and when live fleas are seen on your pet, the number seen represents only 5 percent of the actual flea population living within your home.  That’s a horrifying thought!

And what’s more, while itch is a frequent problem associated with fleas, it may surprise you to know that fleas are responsible for the transmission of many diseases that affect both pets and people, including:

  • Tapeworm infection
  • Plague
  • Iron deficiency, anemia and death
  • Flea Allergic Dermatitis


What Can I Do?

Management of a flea infestation is costly and frustrating.  Moderate to severe infestations may take several months to come under control and will require treatment of both pets and the environment.

 Administration of year-round flea prevention to all dogs and cats in the household as soon as is safely possible is your best defense against fleas.   Indoor only cats require prevention too if they live with other animals that go outside.

 It is also important to manage the environment by washing bedding regularly (yours and Fido’s) and vacuuming often.   Treatment of your pet’s environment as a stand-alone flea control program is ineffective.

As a veterinarian, I recommend Bravecto(R) for your pet's flea and tick prevention, which is available at Tuscan Ridge Animal Hospital. For a list of additional flea and tick preventatives, please visit our online pharmacy.

  Don't give fleas a biting chance!  Keep your pet(s) on year-round flea prevention.

Don't give fleas a biting chance!  Keep your pet(s) on year-round flea prevention.

Puppy Training Now Offered

Tuscan Ridge Animal Hospital now offers dog training classes in our facility.

Sign up has begun for our March 15 Puppy Class 101 for puppies between the ages of 8 weeks and 5-1/2 months. The class will be held from 6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. for six consecutive Thusdays--March 15, 22, 29, April 5, 12 & 19, 2018. 

Puppies and their owners will learn skills for bite inhibition, separation anxiety prevention, walk nicely on a leash training, focus and safely meet and greet others. This class will help your puppy develop proper socialization skills and more. 

To sign up and for more information about this training and/or other behavioral training needs, please contact us at 919-556-1944 or email us.

We're proud to offer this in-house service as part of our continued commitment to provide personalized care that fosters patient and family wholeness and well-being. 


Boarding Policy Reminder

For the safety of your pet(s) and our animal hospital, please be aware of our boarding policy which requires vaccinations and vet care procedures PRIOR to your boarding reservation.

This is especially important for dogs that have never received the canine influenza (dog flu) vaccine, which must be administered 14 business days before your dog arrives at our facility for boarding.

Below is the list of vaccinations and veterinary care standards that are required for your animal to stay in our hospital.

These requirements must be met prior to your pet(s) arrival at Tuscan Ridge. We're happy to provide your animal with any or all of these required services or alternatively, you will need to provide documentation from your Veterinarian showing current vaccine history at least 48 hours (two days) before your scheduled arrival.

Rabies vaccine
Canine distemper vaccine
Bordetella vaccine
Canine influenza vaccine (initial first-time dose must be administered at least 14 days prior to your dog's boarding date followed by a booster vaccination when your dog arrives)
Fecal test

Rabies vaccine
Feline distemper vaccine
Fecal test

For the health and safety of all our boarders, patients and staff members, failure to meet these health requirements will result in the cancellation of your boarding reservation. 

We thank you for understanding and handling these vaccinations and veterinary care procedures prior to your pet's arrival. 

Thanks for Your Votes!

I enjoyed attending The Wake Weekly newspaper’s Best of the Best gala on Sept 14 with other business owners from Wake Forest, Rolesville, Franklin County, and northern Wake County. The competition recognizes the Best area businesses, services, schools and more.

Tuscan Ridge Animal Hospital was a finalist in two categories: Best Pet Kennel and Best Veterinarian.

While we didn’t win, I was so humbled that we were a finalist thanks to the votes from the many wonderful pet parents and families that I am blessed to serve.  My heart is full knowing that Tuscan Ridge clients went out of their way to vote for us.

Thank you for entrusting your pet to us and for making us a finalist in Wake Forest’s Best of the Best.


Best of the Best Finalist


Tuscan Ridge Animal Hospital is honored to be a finalist in two categories of Wake Forest Best of the Best 2017--Best Pet Kennel and Best Veterinarian.

This local competition held by The Wake Forest Weekly, each year recognizes the very best of area businesses, services, schools and more. In previous years more than 53,000 individual votes were cast for over 400 businesses in 144 categories.

Nominations are allowed for all people, places, services and businesses with a Wake Forest, Rolesville, Franklin County, or northern Wake County address. To be valid, a ballot must have a minimum of 10 categories filled in.

Finalists, along with the general public, have been invited to attend the 2017 Best of the Best Gala on Sept. 14, at Richland Creek Community Church. Dr. Kelly Harper will be attending and thanks her patients and friends who voted for Tuscan Ridge Animal Hospital!

Winners of the Best of the Best will be recognized in an upcoming issue of The Wake Weekly newspaper.