Many pets get sick when they have fleas. These tiny brown parasites with flat sides can be very itchy and make your pet scratch. Even so, a flea infestation isn’t always easy to spot because fleas are fast and hard to get rid of, especially on animals with long hair.
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What is a chip?
Fleas are tiny parasitic insects that stick to their host’s skin and feed on their blood. Flea bites can make dogs and cats uncomfortable by making them itch and lose hair.
Miliary dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin with scabs that can happen to cats. If your cat is allergic to fleas, this can hurt your cat. When dogs are bitten, the bites cause their skin to itch and become red.
There are two kinds of fleas: the dog flea and the cat flea. The cat flea is the most common flea, and it can also be found on dogs. The flea can’t have babies without blood. The day after she eats, she lays 20 to 45 eggs, which are usually found all over the environment.
These eggs will hatch into larvae in 2 to 10 days. These hide in or under rugs, cracks, and other small places because they are afraid of the light. Depending on the temperature and vibrations in the environment, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year for larvae to change into pupae and give birth to adult fleas.
Because of this, flea infestations often happen after a long time without fleas (after returning from vacation, for example). The cycle starts over when these fleas become adults and look for a host to feed on. Under perfect conditions, a full cycle takes about 2 to 3 weeks.flea invasions often occur after a period of absence (after returning from vacation, for example). These new adult fleas search for a host to feed on blood, after which the cycle repeats. Under ideal conditions, a full-cycle lasts about 2 to 3 weeks.
Did you know?
Studies have shown that 95 percent of fleas live in the environment and only 5 percent live on animals. Furthermore, adults make up only 1 to 10% of the flea population, while eggs, larvae, and pupae make up more than 90%.So if you find adult fleas on your pet, they are just the “tip of the iceberg.”
How do dogs get fleas?
When there are a lot of fleas, a dog or cat can pick up bugs. An infected dog, rabbit, or guinea pig can spread the disease to other dogs and cats. Flea eggs can also get stuck to your shoes or your pet and cause a new infection.
What are the symptoms that show the presence of fleas in my dog or cat?
Fleas can be very itchy, but they are not always easy to see. Your pet may scratch because it’s itchy, but some may also wake up in the middle of the night or bite their bottom. Small red dots, bald spots, and scabs are also possible signs (most often in the lower back and at the base of the tail).
Fleas can even cause anaemia in very young animals if they have a lot of them. This is because the fleas will eat too much blood. Animals that are allergic to flea saliva will be at risk for a while after being bitten by a flea. Some dogs can make a “hotspot,” or sensitive area, by licking and biting an area that is very itchy.
It is often right above where the tail starts. If a cat has a flea allergy, there will be dozens of scabs all the way down its back, which can be felt.
Also, fleas can carry tapeworm eggs, which your pet can pick up when it licks itself. Fleas can also spread dangerous diseases to humans, like cat scratch disease, viral hemorrhagic disease (HDV), and myxomatosis in rabbits.
How to recognize fleas in my dog or cat?
Fleas aren’t always easy to find, especially if your dog or cat only has a few and isn’t allergic to them. They hide deep in the coat, which makes it hard to find them in some animals.
Fleas like to live in the armpits, groynes, and base of the tail of your dog or cat.
The best way to get rid of fleas is to use a flea comb, which can sometimes get fleas out of your pet’s fur. If you can’t find any, try to find small black grains. These little grains are flea poop. Putting these on wet tissue paper will change their colour to a rusty brown (due to digested blood in the faeces).
How can I protect my dog or cat against fleas?
You can keep fleas away from your dog or cat in the following ways:
Use products to get rid of fleas on your pet. If there is an infestation, it is important to treat all dogs and cats in the house at the same time.
If your dog or cat has fleas, you should choose an insect growth regulator that will kill the flea eggs and larvae.
Don’t forget to take care of the place where your dog or cat lives.
In addition to insecticides, there are also products that kill fleas in a natural way. No studies have been done to find out if these products are safe and if they work. Most of the time, these products aren’t registered as flea control agents. Also, keep in mind that some natural things can hurt your dog or cat.
Please keep in mind that products for dogs are usually not good for cats or rabbits, and vice versa. Always read the directions carefully before putting anything on your dog or cat.
Anti-flea treatments for the home
Since most fleas (95%) live in the environment, it is also important to treat the environment in the right way. To do this, you have to vacuum carefully, wash baskets and carpets at high temperatures, and use an antiparasitic spray like Flea Free or Indoor-X to kill the fleas.
Depending on how bad the infestation is, the treatment could last for a long time. During a flea infestation, it’s best to treat both your pet and the environment for at least three months straight.
Anti-flea products for dogs & cats
There are pipettes, collars, tablets, sprays, and shampoos that can be used to kill fleas. There is no evidence that flea products are becoming less effective, despite what some rumours say.
Spot-on products are put on the skin directly with pipettes, preferably between the shoulder blades or in the neck so the animal can’t get to them. Most pipettes can be used for about 4 weeks.
Ticks can also be killed with many pipettes. Warning: Never give a cat a product that is meant for dogs. Permethrin, the active ingredient in some flea treatments for dogs, is actually poisonous to cats. You can use Advantix on dogs and Advantage on cats.
The collars flea: The Seresto necklace keeps fleas away and works well. It can be worn by both dogs and cats. This collar is good for up to 8 months, and it also keeps ticks away.
The tablets Flea: There are also pills that kill fleas, like Comfortis for dogs and cats or Bravecto for dogs. These pills work for 3 months. You can only get these products with a prescription from a vet. Bravecto is causing a lot of trouble right now.
Sprays: Use of a rush, like Frontline or Effipro, is especially recommended for puppies and kittens who are too young or small to use a pipette or other product.
The shampoos: Some shampoos on the market, like Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor 12 Ounces or Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs, are made only for dogs and do not work on cats. But shampoos are only helpful when used with other treatments because they only work for a short time and don’t offer full protection.
Fleas are active all year, even in the winter, so keep that in mind. The heating then helps create a good environment for them. So, it’s important not to stop the treatment in the winter.
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