It’s not unheard of for a pet to pick up a single flea while at the park, hunting mice, or when socializing with other pet friends. In fact, these tiny parasites are ubiquitous even without close proximity to nature. Once you spot a single flea, however, a full-on infestation may be just around the corner. Staying on top of your pet’s parasite preventative is essential, but this friendly reminder isn’t always helpful when a pet has fleas and is battling the associated symptoms.
It’s a relief when you know your pet is currently on their parasite prevention. What happens a lot, though, is that pet owners allow the year-round medication to lapse during the “off-season” when fleas enter a period of dormancy. Unfortunately, when they wake up in spring, they’re really hungry. Feasting on an unprotected pet quickly leads to many problems, including exponential reproduction.
A Flea-Size View
Fleas easily launch and attach themselves to passersby. Whether it’s your pant leg or your pet’s fur coat, they leave their moist, shady, overgrown homes in wood or leaf piles, mulch, under porches or inside crawl spaces for the possibility of blood meals from various hosts.
Squirrels and rodents are known carriers of fleas, but they aren’t uncommon in other wildlife, too. In fact, once fleas get a foothold on animals that visit your yard, it can be even more difficult to eradicate them.
One Leads to Many
An infestation can take up to several months to eliminate because of the flea life cycle. Fleas can lay dozens of eggs every single day, filling your home’s carpet, bedding, and upholstery within twenty-four hours of their arrival.
Brown or black fleas hatch from eggs within a couple of days and have the potential to live on their hosts for months if not dealt with immediately.
So Itchy, So Uncomfortable
If your pet has fleas, you’ll know it from their incessant scratching and uncontrollable itching. Because of the swelling and inflammation, flea bites can actually turn into secondary bacterial infections and/or hair loss.
What’s worse, fleas can carry and spread bacteria and viruses. They also act as incubators for tapeworms.
Prevent Problems Before They Occur
If your pet has fleas, you have to act quickly to prevent associated problems, such as flea allergy dermatitis.
Products to treat your pet, the home, furniture, and outside areas are effective if used correctly. Closely watch your pet’s skin and behavior for any signs of negative reactions to flea treatment medicine.
Cleaning the home every day (sometimes more than once) can help remove these pests. Wash bedding, blankets, pillows, and more as often as possible to reduce eggs and adults.
After a Pet Has Fleas
If you and your pet live through a flea infestation, chances are you’ll be advocates for a year-round parasite preventive. After all, this easily administered medicine is all you really need to prevent fleas (and other parasites) from feeding on your pet.
A pest professional can help you determine what’s needed outside the home, just be sure that any products are pet-safe.
If your pet has fleas, or you simply want to stay in front of this terrible outcome, give us a call at (916) 939‑1705. We’re always here for you at MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital.