All dogs and cats should be on a monthly flea preventative. Once you see fleas on your pet, that means there are thousands, if not millions, of eggs, larvae, and pupae in the environment.
Because some heartworm preventatives for dogs and cats are also flea preventatives and because flea products vary from fast-flee-kill to slow-flea-kill to flea egg inhibitors, decisions regarding the best product choice are complicated. Your greatest chance of success in killing fleas and minimizing your overall cost will be to discuss the many choices with your veterinarian before purchasing.
FLEA LIFE CYCLE
Adverse Effects of Fleas:
There are several ways in which fleas cause problems for our pets:
· Flea bites cause discomfort and irritation for pets, just like any other insect bite.
· Chewing at and swallowing fleas causes dogs and cats to get a common type of tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum). These are the short, rice-like worms sometimes seen in the stools of dogs and cats.
· Flea saliva from flea bites can cause allergies in many pets, resulting in persistent rashes, itching and skin infections.
· Fleas are capable of transmitting certain serious infections, including a blood-borne infection in cats called Mycoplasma haemofelis, which causes anemia.
· Because fleas suck blood from animals, heavy flea loads can actually cause severe anemia, especially in very young, very old, or otherwise debilitated pets.
If you are seeing fleas on your pet, we recommend treating your house and yard in addition to treating your pet.
Please contact our veterinarians at Animal Medical Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida (FL) at 727-896-7127 for more information.