Fleas Affect Your Pet
Fleas are difficult
to see, but you can certainly tell when they're around--especially
when they're on your pet.
are warning signs that there may be fleas on your pet:
black specks on your pet or in your dog's or cat's bed may
be "flea dirt"--the fecal matter from adult fleas.
There are two easy ways to check for black specks:
* Flea Comb--available
from your veterinarian (the metal ones are the best). Run
the comb over your pet, making sure the comb reaches the skin
through the coat. If black specks are on the comb when you
pull it off, they might be flea dirt. If fleas are on the
comb, drown them in a bowl of soapy water before they can
get away or jump back on your pet.
* White paper towel--place a white paper towel beneath your
pet and rub your hands across its fur. If black specks appear
on the towel, they may be flea dirt.
If infested with fleas, your pet will become very nervous
and annoyed and will probably scratch excessively.
If these warning
signs appear, consult your veterinarian. You can control your
pet's existing fleas and prevent them from ever bothering
your pet again with monthly applications of Progam, K9 Advantix,
Advantage or Frontline Plus.
Fleas can affect
your pet's health in the following ways:
Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
When a flea bites your dog or cat, it deposits a small amount
of saliva in the skin. Your pet can develop FAD in reaction
to this saliva, which causes severe itching. In addition to
your pet scratching or biting excessively around the tail,
groin or backside, scabs or bumps may also appear on your
pet's neck or back.
Anemia occurs in young, older or ill pets if too many fleas
suck their blood. The symptoms of anemia include pale gums,
weakness and lethargy in your pet.
Infected cats may not have clinical signs or show symptoms,
but this disease can be passed to humans. People with this
infection may have severe headache, high fever, delerium and
Three forms of plague are seen in cats and people: bubonic,
septicemic, and pneumonic plague. Bubonic is the most common
in cats and is associated with high fever, dehydration and
enlarged lymph nodes.
Dogs or cats infected by tapeworm may have intense anal itching
and weightloss. However, they may show no signs at all. People
can also be infected. Symptoms include intense anal itching
and presence of tapeworm segments in feces. As with pets,
people may also have no symptoms.
Although cats usually have no signs of this disease, it can
be passed to people. Symptoms in infected people include a
pustule at the infection site, low-grade fever, enlarged lymph
nodes and listlessness.
If you believe
that your pet is suffering from any of these ailments, consult
your veterinarian. Contact your physician if you believe you
may be infected with any of these diseases. You may be able
to lower both your and your pet's risk of suffering from these
flea-bite related ailments by regularly applying Program,
Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix to your pet.
Frequently vacuum the areas your pet is around, especially
carpeted areas in your home, any furniture that is frequented
by your pet, and in your car (if your pet rides in your car).
This will clean up as many immature fleas (eggs, larvae and
pupae) as possible.
Regularly wash your pet's bedding, blanket and other washable
items in the hottest water possible (check the laundering
instructions to make sure that washing in hot water isn't
Mow your lawn and rake up any leaves, brush or clippings.