Don’t let fleas bug your pet: Symptoms, treatment and prevention

Fleas are more than just a nuisance; they can significantly affect your pet’s health and comfort. Here’s a closer look at these tiny but troublesome parasites.

What are fleas and where do they come from?

Fleas are common, pesky parasites that can infest both dogs and cats. These tiny creatures are typically transferred between animals and can easily make their way into your home and garden.

Beyond living on your pets, fleas, their eggs, and larvae thrive in warm, humid environments. At all stages of its lifecycle, a flea can live in upholstery, carpets and your pet’s bedding, and will stay there until it gets the opportunity to jump onto your pet.

Some fleas can also jump up to 100 times their body length, so your pet doesn’t even have to touch an infected animal or piece of material to become infected themselves.

The toll of fleas on your pets

Fleas can cause a range of health issues for your pets. Understanding these effects is key to recognising and addressing a flea problem promptly.

  • Identifying a flea problem: Common signs include excessive scratching, hair loss, skin irritation, and in severe cases, anaemia from excessive blood loss, especially in young animals like puppies and kittens.
  • Detecting fleas on your pet: Regular checks for flea dirt, particularly around the neck, lower back, and tail, are crucial. To check your pet for fleas, moisten a white tissue with water, then groom your pet with a fine-tooth comb and place some of the dirt on the moist tissue. Gently slide the dirt across the tissue – if it leaves red blood marks, it most likely has fleas.

Proactive flea prevention strategies

Regular grooming can help you spot the signs early to prevent a serious outbreak but preventing flea infestations is far easier and more effective than treating them. Here are some strategies to keep your pets flea-free:

  • Consistent preventative treatments: Regular use of vet-recommended flea treatments, such as topical applications or oral medications, is vital. Ask your vet about the right product for your pet.
  • Home and garden flea control: Don’t forget to treat the environments where your pet spends time. 95% of flea eggs and larvae live in the environment rather than on your pet. Fleas can live without a host for many months in your home, so it’s a good idea to regularly vacuum and wash your pet’s bedding. Regular cleaning and the use of appropriate flea control products in your home and garden are essential.

Responding to flea infestations

At Lort Smith, we believe in proactive care for your pets’ health. If you’re concerned about fleas or need guidance on prevention, we’re here to help.

Continue with proactive flea control measures in your home and garden to prevent infestations. If you discover fleas on your pet, contact your vet promptly for the most effective treatment options.

Concerned about fleas or seeking preventive care? Reach out to us for advice and treatment. Our dedicated team is here to ensure your pets lead a healthy, flea-free life. Act now to give your pets the comfort and care they deserve. Book online or call 03 9382 3021 to book your next vet appointment today.