What To Do About Your Pet’s Fleas
Our veterinarians here at Gables Animal Clinic know that owning a pet shouldn’t mean owning whatever parasites latch on to them. However, given that fleas can jump from one host to another and survive for two weeks without a host in nature, sometimes your loveable pet doesn’t stand a chance. That’s why flea prevention, along with flea and tick treatments, is a necessity for your pet’s safety.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are small, wingless parasites that latch on to warm-blooded hosts like cats, dogs, or humans. Once attached to their new host, these flightless insects will feed on the host’s blood and can even transmit diseases or cause anemia if left untreated for too long.
If you suspect your cat or dog has fleas, you can use a fine-tooth comb through your pet’s fur and look for small, brown, moving shapes. Fleas are especially prevalent and easy to spot by the ears or base of the tail in cats and dogs. Some signs that you may need to check your pet for a flea infestation include:
- Droppings resembling dark grains and flea eggs at the root of your pet’s fur or in their bedding
- Incessant itching from your pet or other members of your household
- Hair/fur loss
How Did My Dog Get Fleas?
Walking and playing in grass may be a favorite of your pup, but it can mark the beginning of complications for your dog or house cat. Fleas thrive in hot, humid weather and tall grass. Fleas become active with temperature increases, making your dog especially susceptible to them in the spring and summer.
It’s also common for your pet to contract fleas from contact with other animals. From dog parks and neighborhood strays to vet clinics and kennels, fleas are present in many places and can jump up to two feet just to land on your furry friend. Just one flea entering your house is enough to begin an infestation. Female fleas lay up to 20 eggs at a single time, resulting in as many as 500 eggs laid during their short lifetime of just two weeks.
How Can I Remove Fleas From My Home?
Flea control hinges on a clean environment. Disinfecting bedding, rugs, and other cloth surfaces in your home can exterminate fleas that have not yet found a host. This diminishes the possibility of them taking up residence in your pet’s fur.
Treatments for your lawn and outdoor areas are just as important in keeping the problem from entering your home. Cut your grass, top it off with flea and tick yard spray, avoid overwatering, and consider flea-repellant plants to remedy the issue.
How Can I Reduce Flea Infestations with Dermatological Treatment?
Getting rid of fleas is not always an easy feat due to the flea life cycle. Veterinary dermatologists specialize in treating your pet’s skin. For dermatological flea treatments, veterinarians will often recommend flea shampoos, which kill fleas and ticks and wash away eggs left behind by adult females. Similarly, powders, sprays, and flea combs kill both adult fleas and their eggs on contact without irritating your pet.
Flea prevention is pivotal to your pet’s health and comfort, as your pet may show sensitivity to the fleas’ saliva, leading to flea allergy dermatitis if they become infested. Preventative pet healthcare for your furry friend can help mitigate the irritating impact of fleas on your pet. Some methods of flea prevention your vet may recommend include:
- Topical treatments, such as a gel to apply to your pet’s skin.
- Oral treatments, taken by your pet as a pill or even a treat.
- Flea collars, which slowly release chemicals or pesticides that are poisonous to fleas.
It’s important to never give your dog a flea treatment that was made for cats, or vice-versa, as it could be life-threatening to your pet.
Contact Gables Animal Clinic for Help with Fleas and Ticks
If you think your pet may be suffering from a flea infestation, it’s time to contact a veterinarian. At Gables Animal Clinic in Coral Gables, FL, our team will provide specific treatment options that are right for your pet as well as prevention suggestions for the future. Call (305) 384-6983 today or visit our website to book online and schedule an appointment today!