Do you know the reasons why flea treatment is important to you and your furry friends? Learn more about why fleas can present dangers to your pets and when they’re most active, as well as why taking preventative action is essential.
Fleas are more dangerous than you might think, and the team at Midway Animal Hospital is here to tell you why. Let’s take a look at what fleas are and how to identify their presence on your pet or in your home.
What Are Fleas and How Do You Identify Them?
Fleas are wingless external parasites that can jump just over one foot in distance—quite a feat considering they are only one-eighth of an inch long. Their ability to jump many times their body size makes it easy for them to travel between pets and people to find new areas to infest.
These reddish-brown parasites are very small and thin, with a body shell design that helps them easily move around through hair and fur. You might find bites or red spots on your pet or yourself or discover evidence of “flea dirt” around your pet’s head, abdomen, or the base of the tail.
If you think there are fleas in your home or find evidence of them on your pet, you may be able to find their larvae in the carpets, building up around the back of household furnishings, or in bedding materials your pet uses frequently. The larvae will be small, less than a quarter inch in length, and whitish in coloring.
The Four Dangers of Fleas and Flea Bites
You might assume the only thing fleas can do is make your pet or you itch when they bite. However, there are other dangers associated with a flea infestation on your pet or in your home:
- The small red bites can cause more than simple discomfort or itchiness in some cases that vary between different pets and people.
- Some pets and people are allergic to the flea’s saliva. This will intensify the original symptoms and can lead to scratching the itch excessively. In some cases, you might not be allergic at first; however, a new bite may activate a condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis.
- These parasites are capable of consuming roughly 15 times their weight in blood from you, your pets, and anyone else in their reach. Repeated feedings by a large colony of fleas can result in reduced red blood cell counts or anemia.
- Finally, if your pet accidentally eats a flea with a tapeworm cyst, the tapeworm can take root in the animal, which can cause additional health problems.
Importance and Ease of Flea Treatments and Prevention Options
Why are flea treatments and prevention so important? Well, the only solution to the problems fleas present is to eradicate the fleas themselves with dog and cat flea treatment options.
Effective flea treatment is vital to exterminating adult fleas and flea eggs. You have a wide variety of treatment options that will help you get rid of fleas, including:
- Formula drops that you apply to the pet’s body
- Oral tablets for your pet on a regular basis
- Collars with an anti-flea formula coating
- Special pet shampoos to assist with flea prevention
- Household sprays to help protect your home against infestation
Your cat and dog flea treatment plan should include preventative measures around the house. Always use caution with all types of flea treatments, and never use a treatment outside its intended parameters. Be sure to follow all the directions your veterinarian provides.
Flea treatment is just one example of flea control options you can implement in and around your home to kill fleas and prevent infestations before they affect your pet’s health. Ask your vet about additional avenues to protect your home and yard against these parasites.
Warm Weather Encourages Flea Populations to Grow
It’s important to note that fleas can be active indoors all year long but will become more active indoors and out while the temperature is warm. Much like humans, fleas prefer a temperature range of about 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the outdoor temp rises, you will need to take proactive steps to prevent and neutralize flea infestations. After consuming a host’s blood, an adult female flea can produce up to 40 eggs each day, or an estimated 2,000 eggs over their typical lifespans.
Since you never find just one or two fleas, you can imagine just how staggering the true number of fleas in an infestation can be. Their ability to reproduce so frequently means you need to take action as quickly as possible to eradicate them from your pet, home, and yard.
Effective flea treatment will kill adult fleas, and some formulas can even interrupt the development of the larvae, reducing and eliminating their population over time. Be sure to ask your vet about cat or dog flea treatment options that will work best for your household.
Schedule Flea Treatment and Veterinary Care with Midway Animal Hospital
You can count on the professionals at Midway Animal Hospital to help you find the best dog or cat flea treatment for your pet and lifestyle. Whether you worry about your pet working a flea collar loose or if oral tablets will interact with existing medications, your vet will be able to guide you to the best solution.
Our experienced team of veterinarians also offers complete preventative care services for your furry friends. We’re also available for pet emergencies and other care services, including the following:
- Grooming and bathing
- Laboratory diagnostics
- Cryosurgery and surgical services
- Animal dental care
- Senior pet wellness check-ups
You can count on our knowledgeable, compassionate veterinary team to answer any questions you might have about your pet’s health and the steps you need to take to keep your family’s best friend healthy and happy.
Take the first step toward finding an effective flea treatment by scheduling an appointment with the veterinary care team at Midway Animal Hospital in Georgia. Call 770-475-2003 to discuss your pet’s needs with a caring, experienced veterinarian today.