Itchy, pesky fleas

Eric Fold, DVM
May 7, 2018

Fleas can be a nightmare for any pet and owner to deal with. They are relentless in their biting and can cause your pet to scratch themselves raw if not treated. We hate fleas and want to partner with you in the battle whether you are on defense or if there is an all out battle to retake your home! We at Rock-N-Country Veterinary Services have a few tricks up our sleeves to help get rid of these pesky critters and offer some great products to help prevent infestations. If your pet has the itch, bring it on down and we will help investigate the source. 


Disease

 “Fleas.”  CAPC Vet , 19 Sept. 2017, www.capcvet.org/guidelines/fleas/.

“Fleas.” CAPC Vet, 19 Sept. 2017, www.capcvet.org/guidelines/fleas/.

This is a picture of a female cat flea called Ctenocephalides felis. The  most common disease caused by fleas are itching and irritated skin. These pesky bugs can cause much more than just scratching though, some cases actually lead to death from the amount of blood lost in severe infestations. They are capable of transmitting the plague, hemobartonella, salmonellosis, tape worms, tularemia and several other diseases. Another very common side effect of the flea bite is a Flea Allergy Dermatitis where the dog or cat has a severe reaction to just one flea bite. They will affect dogs, cats, sheep, cattle and goats, but they also carry some nasty diseases that people can catch as well.

  • They transmit several blood borne illnesses
  • Flea allergy dermatits and itchy skin
  • Tapeworms 

Public Health Concerns

 “Parasites - Dipylidium Infection (Also Known as Dog and Cat Flea Tapeworm).”  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Jan. 2012, www.cdc.gov/parasites/dipylidium/.

“Parasites - Dipylidium Infection (Also Known as Dog and Cat Flea Tapeworm).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Jan. 2012, www.cdc.gov/parasites/dipylidium/.

One of the scariest diseases spread by fleas is the plague. It is more commonly found near the Rocky Mountains and southwestern states but should be considered in any flea bite. They also can transmit cat scratch fever, typhus and tapeworms. Tapeworms are often spread to the dog or human by ingestion of the infected flea. Not only can they pass along these deadly diseases, they also can cause sever local reaction to the bite site. When a home is infested with fleas, it can take months to clear the infestation and can be quite costly. 

  • The plague
  • Cat scratch fever
  • Typhus
  • Tapeworms
  • Salmonellosis

Prevention

 “Seresto.”  Seresto® for Dogs - Product Details, Application & FAQs , www.petbasics.com/products/seresto/?WHGRedir=1.

“Seresto.” Seresto® for Dogs - Product Details, Application & FAQs, www.petbasics.com/products/seresto/?WHGRedir=1.

 “Bravecto Chew for Dogs.”  Merck Animal Health USA , www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/bravecto/chew-for-dogs.

“Bravecto Chew for Dogs.” Merck Animal Health USA, www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/bravecto/chew-for-dogs.

 “Tasty Bite-Sized Flea & Tick Control.”  NexGard® (Afoxolaner) Protection for Your Dog , nexgardfordogs.com/pages/about.aspx.

“Tasty Bite-Sized Flea & Tick Control.” NexGard® (Afoxolaner) Protection for Your Dog, nexgardfordogs.com/pages/about.aspx.

Thankfully we have several options for treating fleas and better yet, we offer several products for flea prevention. If you can prevent the infestation from happening in the first place, you will save hundreds of dollars and protect your family from zoonotic diseases. Most of the flea prevention available in our clinic is safe 7-8 weeks old pets. 

We recommend year round prevention even during the cold winter months. In the event that your pet was exposed briefly to fleas in an outside environment, that is all it would take to have a full blown infestation take place in the household even during the dead of winter. Our prevention comes in several pet friendly options to choose from. We have topical spot on treatments that last 30 days in dogs or 90 days in cats, collars that last 8 months, flavored treats that last 30-90 days in dogs, and lastly topical sprays that last only a few short weeks but are able to be applied to the bedding and environment. 

When it comes to infestations, we like to treat every pet in the household. We also treat the environment, bedding, carpets, furniture, yard and anywhere else a pesky flea would hang out. 

  • Year round treatment
  • Treat every pet in household
  • 30-90 day, or 8 month options in topical or treat form

Click on the picture below to check out flea prevention in our online store

 
 

References

  • “Bravecto Chew for Dogs.” Merck Animal Health USA, www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/bravecto/chew-for-dogs.

  • “Fleas.” CAPC Vet, 19 Sept. 2017, www.capcvet.org/guidelines/fleas/.

  • “Parasites - Dipylidium Infection (Also Known as Dog and Cat Flea Tapeworm).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Jan. 2012, www.cdc.gov/parasites/dipylidium/.

  • “Seresto.” Seresto® for Dogs - Product Details, Application & FAQs, www.petbasics.com/products/seresto/?WHGRedir=1.

  • “Tasty Bite-Sized Flea & Tick Control.” NexGard® (Afoxolaner) Protection for Your Dog, nexgardfordogs.com/pages/about.aspx.