Pets are susceptible to flea and pest attacks, exposing them to various health issues. The good news is that most flea and pest attacks are treatable. However, the best course of action is always flea prevention.
The following are five ways flea prevention can benefit your pets and your household.
1. Eliminate uncomfortable symptoms
Flea symptoms for pets can be terrible. First, they leave tiny red dots on the pet’s skin. Although smaller than other insect bites, these dots are often more painful. The inflammation can worsen quickly if the pet scratches at the bites. Some pets may be more sensitive to flea bites than others. This can cause pets to start biting and chewing at the skin, leading to hair loss and scabs. Thankfully, prevention efforts stop these symptoms.
2. Prevent allergic reactions
Fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), an immunologic disorder resulting from the injection of antigens from flea salivary glands. It’s a common dermatologic disease in domestic dogs and also affects cats, causing feline miliary dermatitis. Though it’s most common in the summer, FAD often persists throughout the year into the colder months.
Signs of flea allergy dermatitis include missing patches of fur, red skin, repeated scratching, and hot spots (infected sores) on the legs, tail, and hind end. Again, prevention efforts save your pets from FAD-associated pain and suffering.
3. Prevent potential diseases
Fleas cause two main health problems in pets – anemia and tapeworms. Both of these can have devastating effects on your pet’s health.
Anemia is due to the flea’s massive appetite. In fact, fleas consume up to 15x their body weight in blood per day. This means a single flea can consume a few millimeters of blood every 24 hours. Therefore, a full-blown infestation with hundreds of fleas roaming your cat’s body can cause a fair bit of blood loss! Anemia is inevitable in a case like this.
Meanwhile, tapeworms mainly result from ingestion. For example, your pet may ingest fleas while biting or chewing the itchy spots. They may also catch a few fleas when grooming themselves or other pets. Fleas can often contain tapeworms that pass onto your pet if they are swallowed. Signs of tapeworms in pets include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
4. Prevent full-blown home infestation
The flea’s life cycle is 14 days. That’s the total time it takes for the eggs to hatch and the offspring to mature and lay new eggs. Therefore, a full-blown infestation can happen very quickly – in just 3-4 weeks.
This is not something you want. First, fleas are so tiny they can hide anywhere. This means they’ll form colonies on your rugs, beds, furniture, upholstery, and every available crevice. Secondly, fleas are a menace. Besides your pets, they attack everything else with blood, including humans.
Most importantly, breaking the cycle is difficult once you have multiple colonies in your home. Therefore, you and your pets may suffer longer than anticipated.
5. Prevention is more cost-effective than treatment
Every pet owner dreams of seeing their dogs and cats healthy and happy. That’s why we go the extra mile to ensure that pets get the necessary health and medical attention. Unfortunately, treating flea issues can be very expensive, especially once there is a full-blown infestation.
An infestation means you need to treat your pets longer with stronger medication. This not only means higher costs, but the pet may require a blood transfusion if the anemia is life-threatening. Blood transfusions can be expensive.
Finally, you must thoroughly clean your home, dust and sweep the hard surfaces, and vacuum carpets and upholstery to eliminate a full-blown attack. This is another unnecessary cost that you can avoid through prevention.
Flea attacks can devastate your pet’s health. They cause untold pain and suffering, trigger allergies, and increase the risk of certain diseases. Fortunately, you can avoid these issues by taking prevention measures. Call the professionals at Naples Coastal Animal Hospital today to discuss the best flea prevention methods for you and your pets.