Infestations of any kind can be a real problem and some pet owners might not know just how many parasites their four-legged friends can be susceptible to. According to VetStreet.com, one common issue that pets can get are fleas.
The news outlet reports that fleas are blood-sucking bugs that are commonly found in nature and can easily jump onto pets that then become their hosts. They can then remain on the dog or cat and continue to thrive for as long as the problem goes untreated. While fleas live on a dog or cat, they are able to lay eggs which can only worsen the infestation.
Aside from a flea infestation being unpleasant, it can also cause your dog pain. VetStreet.com reports that flea bites can cause severe allergic reactions in some pets which can lead to a pooch getting an open skin wound, skin infections or stinging pain. If your pet isn’t allergic to fleas, they could still contract serious illnesses carried by the parasites. Fleas have been found to spread diseases such as bartonellosis, the bacteria that causes “cat scratch disease” and other parasites like tapeworms.
Flea infestations are known to occur more frequently in the warm months and can catch a ride on your dog while its playing in the backyard, on a walk in the woods on its Flexi Retractable Leash or even if its playing with other animals at the local dog park. Although fleas are more prevalent in the summer, they can live year-round, which is why it’s important for owners to know the signs.
According to VetStreet.com, it can be hard to find an infestation on your pup unless you’re very careful and diligent with your inspection. You may want to have pet products such as a Resco Pro-Series Flea Comb and pet shampoo like Excel Hyrdocortisone Shampoo with Aloe Vera on hand to look for fleas and have a means to rid them from your dog if you find any. Adult fleas are the easiest to find with the comb, however they only account for 5 percent of most infestations, the news outlet reports. Eggs, larvae and pupae make up for the remaining 95 percent and are much smaller and harder to find. Look to see if your pooch is scratching more than usual as this might be a better way to tell.
Perhaps the best way to avoid the problem altogether is to start your pup or feline on tick and flea preventative pet drugs such as Frontline Plus for cats or dogs. Make sure to discuss certain treatment options with your animal’s vet and then keep the dog or cat on the medication all year to keep fleas and other parasites at bay.