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April 04, 2014

No Fleas Please...

Posted by: Best Friends

Spring has finally arrived! We’re all happy to welcome the sunshine, but there’s one thing that warmer weather brings that we don’t like welcoming… FLEAS!

Fleas can be a real nuisance to pets and pet parents. They’re hard to avoid because they are resilient and lively. They can travel the length of a football field in search of a host and they can jump up to two feet high.

Fleas bother our pets mainly because their jumpy little bodies cause some serious itching. Many pets are allergic to flea saliva; one flea bite can cause an allergic reaction making your dog or cat very itchy and uncomfortable.

Besides all of that itching, fleas can cause anemia or blood loss in pets. This is because fleas can drink 15 times their body weight in blood. With a large flea infestation, this can take its toll on our furry family members.

Even though fleas prefer living on a furry host, once brought indoors, they can be found in carpet fibers, pet bedding, or anywhere your pet spends time in the house. Usually, a strict routine of vacuuming (pay special attention to the drapes and furniture edges) and washing beds, pillows, blankets, etc., will take care of the pests. For more serious flea infestations, foggers, sprays, and powders may be needed as well.

If you are unsure if your pet has fleas, these are a few signs to look out for:
-unusual increase in pet scratching and/or biting at skin
-reddened skin
-hair loss
-pale gums

If you suspect that your dog or cat has fleas, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. There are many flea treatments on the market; topical liquids, shampoos, sprays, powders, etc. Some of these medications can be toxic when combined so be sure to speak with your veterinarian about an appropriate treatment plan for your pet. Also, remember to never use a flea product labeled for dogs on your cat as this can cause serious side effects.

The good news? Flea infestations can be prevented with proper maintenance and use of flea control products.

Tags: cats, dogs, pet advice, pet behavior, Pet Health, pet health, pet info

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