Fleas and Your Pet: Diagnosis, Prevention, And Protection
August 9, 2017
Introduction and Overview
Fleas are one of the rampant external parasites that infest pets like cats and dogs. These blood sucking parasites are not only limited to dogs and cats but infect other mammals too. Severe health and skin issues result from minor flea infestation in pets and other mammals. But this can become life-threatening in cases of major infestation in animals.
The infestation of fleas if left unchecked in the home will make such home a breeding ground. This leads severe cases of infestation from the continuous hatching of eggs. Managing such situations via treatment is very frustrating and tasking.
In pets such as dogs and cats, the foremost root of skin problems is sensitivities to fleas. The truth is; pets like cats and dogs can painstakingly remove fleas from their body. They groom themselves in this manner. This reduces the number of fleas in the bodies of animals suffering from flea-related skin infestations.
In animals like dogs and cats, flea contributes to the emergence of other health problems. It is penitent to say that fleas expose your pets and humans at large to a variety of diseases.
How Your Pets Get Fleas
The most common way for your pets to get infected is from their environment. Animals infested with fleas drop fleas and eggs when they walk through or fly past your environment. These eggs hatch and over time mature into adult flea in your environment. While taking walks or playing, your pets unknowingly become exposed to them. They pick them up and get infected over time. Once this happens, they proceed to drop eggs in the house. These eggs go through the normal life cycle. Thereafter develop into fleas to continue the process of infestation.
There is the possibility that you can infect your house with fleas. This happens when we step on fleas, or they fall on your pants and socks. Critters like mice can infest your house with fleas when they get into the house. Once this happens, your pets will get infected even when they are indoors.
Symptoms of Flea Infestation
There are visible symptoms to watch out for in your pets. Once infested these symptoms are pronounced. They include;
- Frequent body and skin itching
- Visible and frequent red skin
- Little and acute hair loss especially on the back closer to the tail
- Visible skin scabs
- Any form of ear infections and weakness
- Any form of immune disease and skin crusts
- Any form of ulcer in body parts such as lips
Impacts With Pets
Fleas can hurt your pet in many ways. They bring about discomfort and many diseases.
Your pets suffer pains and itchy body as a result of flea bites. Flea bites accompanied by itching can get your pets crazy. But this is a minor disturbance for most pets and mammals.
Your pets can suffer flea bites dermatitis. This occurs in a situation where your pet develops any form of allergy to fleas. The truth is; flea bite dermatitis is a form of allergic reaction. In this situation, the skin of your pet reacts to any form of contact to the saliva of fleas. Flea bite dermatitis is common around the tail, face, head, and neck region of pets. It is worthy to note that not all animals and pets develop an allergy to fleas. Some are very sensitive to show symptoms of dermatitis from the first flea bite.
Flea bites result in blood loss. The truth is; whenever your pet experience flea bites, a little blood loss takes place. Although these bites are no big deal, they can result in severe cases of infestation. In the situation of severe infestation, your pet suffers severe blood loss and anemia. Anemia occurs when the rate of blood loss is more than the rate of production of new blood. This is a life-threatening situation if not properly managed by a qualified veterinarian. Anemia is rampant in cats, puppies, and small dogs.
Your pets are prone to suffer from the infestation of tapeworms when exposed to fleas. The truth is; fleas carry a huge number of tapeworms. Your pets eat adult fleas during walks, thus eat tapeworms too.
Your pets can suffer from acral lick dermatitis, feline asthma, and skin rashes. They are prone to suffer from hot spots, psychogenic alopecia. They can suffer from rodent ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.
Fleas are outstanding at hiding themselves in bodies of infested pets. The diagnosis of fleas is somewhat simple. As a pet owner, you can do this through visual inspection of your pet. The best place to inspect for the presence of flea is in the belly of your pet. In a gentle manner, roll over your pet on their back. Thereafter gently part their belly hair exposing the skin. If done in the right manner, you will see fleas running around on the exposed part.
It is possible to see cases where no fleas are visible to the eye but presence evident symptoms. If this happens, ensure to send your pet for treatment against flea infestation.
The best way to diagnose infestation is to look for flea dirt in your pets. Brush your pets on regular basis for fleas or flea dirt.
Treatment and Prevention
There are many effective ways to treat and prevent your pets from fleas.
It is important to treat pets upon notice of any symptom of flea. Treatment must be regular with no delay whatsoever.
To protect your pets against fleas, you must maintain an absolutely clean environment. Treat your dogs on regular basis. Treat your household and the immediate environment to get rid of eggs. Beddings, floor, furniture, grasses are the main places you can find flea eggs. Ensure to treat them on regular basis.
Be selective in choosing beddings for your pets. Choose beddings that cannot serve as hatching grounds. Use raise pet beds with mesh tops for your pets. They appear handy and fantastic in the control of fleas. Use beddings that are easy to wash.
Though tedious, ensure to look out for fleas in your houses. Do not take shoes worn outdoors into the house without until they are well cleaned. Always vacuum the edges of furniture and areas where your pet sleeps.
Use recommended and approved cleaning products and flea killing chemicals. Use these products and chemicals to clean your house and immediate environment.
In a nutshell, fleas are bad for your pets and home. Although they pose great challenges to get rid of, there are specific ways to get rid of them. Try to persist with laid down control measures for as long as possible. Do this for you and your pet to feel safe against any form of flea infestation.