Having a furry family member brings so much joy into our lives. They know when we are happy, when we need comforting and are readily available to do something funny to bring a smile to our faces.
Our four-legged family members can also bring with them pesky critters like fleas. As residents of South Louisiana, we know this can be a prevalent problem. Did you know that there are more than 2,500 different species of fleas that exist throughout the world?
If you and your pet have never experienced a flea infestation, consider yourselves lucky. These nasty little bugs can wreak havoc on our pets and leave us all with the heebie-jeebies. With that said, what are some signs and symptoms of flea problems you should look out for?
- Your dog (or cat) is scratching. If you notice your pet scratching more than usual, it’s time to check their fur out.
- You can visibly see fleas. Fleas are incredibly tiny (about an eighth of an inch long) and are thin and rust-colored.
- You see what they leave behind. Yes, fleas leave things behind called “flea dirt”. It looks a little bit like pepper and is actually bits of dried blood.
- You see other odd things around your home. In addition to flea dirt, fleas also lay eggs on pets. They’re tiny white ovals and often times end up falling off your pet and onto chairs, carpet, etc. You may also see larvae, too – little squiggly worms with brown heads.
- Your pet is losing hair. Because they are constantly itching and scratching, your pet might lose hair, especially at their neck, shoulder blades, the base of their tail, and along the backs of their legs.
- Their skin is irritated. If you can see past their hair, you may see fleabites that look like small, raised red dogs. This can also lead to flea allergy dermatitis which can lead to secondary skin infections, too.
- Their gums are pale. With large infestations of fleas, some pets could very well be losing quite a bit of blood and thus are anemic. Fleas can take in up to 15 times their body weight in blood, and for a smaller pet like a puppy or kitten, this can be dangerous.
Fleas are pesky pests – but they can also cause a host of health problems for both you and your pet. We cannot stress enough how important regular flea prevention is. Always give your pet their recommended monthly dose of preventatives. The cost to prevent a flea infestation is worth its weight in gold. Not only will both you and your pet feel better, but you’ll save your pet the pain and annoyance of feeling bitten, avoid skin problems and possible tapeworm infections, and save your house from needing a complete overhaul to remove fleas from every nook and cranny.
Visit our online pharmacy to see our recommended lines of flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. Many brands offer valuable savings and rebates!