Pets are susceptible to fleas because the parasite lives in warm environments such as your pet’s fur and your home (and the garden in warmer months).
Fleas can have up to 50 offspring a day which makes them a particularly difficult parasite to get rid of once they have had time to reproduce. If your pet becomes infested, it is likely that soon your living space will be too.
Despite being so small, fleas can cause big problems for both you and your pet. As well as being passed on to you, fleas carry nasty diseases which they can transfer when they ‘bite.’ Flea saliva is an allergen to animals and humans which means a sore, itchy, red spot is left behind once a flea has ‘bitten’ its victim.
Fleas can be fatal to animals. They live on warm blood which means that elderly, young and frail pets could be at risk of losing too much blood. Rabbits are also at high risk of fatality as they are prone to developing anaemia.
Symptoms that your pet could have fleas are:
- Excessive scratching/itching
- Red spots
- Subdued behaviour
- Red-brown spots scurrying around or sticking to the fur
If you think that your pet has fleas it is important to take them to a vet and treat them as soon as possible.
The best way to prevent fleas from the beginning is to start a flea treatment programme as soon as you get your pet.
There are dozens of flea treatments available today but not all of them are suitable for all animals. At Jerry McCarthy Veterinary Clinic our team of highly experienced veterinary professionals can advise you on which treatment is most suitable for your pet’s species, breed and size.