In today’s blog I’m going to talk about fleas.
What are they, what do they look like, clinical signs, how to successfully kill them and prevent them and also what kind of diseases they can transit in between dogs/cats.
So what are they? Fleas are ectoparasites, meaning they live outside the body. They may cause a lot of discomfort and even spread diseases.
Fleas are small black wingless and really hard parasites that live of our furry friends by drinking their blood. They are flattened which helps them run through the dense fur. Fleas have 3 pairs of legs but also they have one pair of long legs at the back which is used for jumping.
There are few clinical signs that your dog/cat may have fleas.
- Pruritus which is excessive scratching
- Alopecia which is hair loss
- Self-trauma from scratching a long time
- Anaemia from blood loss
How to look for fleas on your pet?
- To look for adult fleas and their faeces can be done by combing the coat this can be done with a human louse comb or a thin comb.
- Your dog or cat can be brushed over a damp piece of white paper, the faeces may fall on to the paper, they look like a small black dots as they contain a huge amount of undigested blood.
- When the faeces fall on to the paper a red ring will appear around the black dot. That way you are sure that your dog has fleas.
When you found fleas on your dog/cat then you can go to the veterinary clinic to consult that with the vet and he may give you advises what to do next.
To kill fleas you have to treat the environment first, as this is where they all live. There are special sprays that can be used to kill fleas. Spray’s such as RIP fleas, which actually works. After you spray the area, wait few hours then hoover everything and wash your dog’s bed in boiling water.
After you finish all those steps you can begin treating your animal with spot on’s such as Frontline once a month. Simply expose the skin on dog’s neck and apply the liquid. Do not touch the area for one hour and don’t let kids touch it as well.
To prevent your dog getting fleas again, keep using the flea treatment regularly.
Fleas can transmit worms such as tapeworm from dog to dog, and also agents that cause feline leukaemia from infected cat to a healthy but not vaccinated cat. Also fleas are responsible from spreading Bartonella henselae from cat to cat the bacteria that is responsible for cat scratch disease in humans, it’s believed that cats claws may be full of bacteria probably transmitted from cat grooming of infected fleas in the coat.
So please treat your animals against fleas as this may reduce the spread of diseases and the infestations in home.