~ Fleas Can Escalate From a Nuisance to a Nightmare Quickly ~
If you are a pet lover, chances are you are already familiar with the annoyances of fleas. Fleas are tiny parasites that can cause several health ailments for your pet, which can be life threatening.An infestation of fleas can lead to anemia, severe allergies and tapeworms.An undiagnosed flea infestation can also lead to more severe skin ailments such as Malassezia and Cheyletiella dermatitis, sarcoptic or demodectic mange, food allergies, and bacterial folliculitis.
Flea allergy dermatitis is commonly associated with flea bites.Every bite from a flea can cause a minor skin irritation and some pets may develop an allergy to the saliva transmitted by fleas.Simply put, just one bite from a flea can cause significant skin irritation, aggravation, and itchiness for your pet.Flea allergy dermatitis is a skin condition that can lead to excessive scratching, which may also result in hair loss.Your pet may develop a rash or itchy raw ďhot spots.ĒA hot spot is a condition where the outer layer of skin and hair is missing and can be quite painful.
Tapeworms are a parasite associated with fleas. Though not transmitted by bites, fleas cause tapeworm infestations when your pet ingests a flea carrying the tapeworm larva. Once ingested, the tapeworm larva continues to mature in your petís gastrointestinal tract. When developed, the tapeworm will attach itself to the intestinal wall.Next, small egg filled segments will break off in intervals and are carried out through the rectum. While tapeworms do not usually result in illness in your pet, removal of the tapeworms is recommended. Anemia can occur in severe flea infestations or in tiny puppies or kittens. When a flea bites, it feeds on your petís blood. An infestation will result in several fleas feeding at the same time and significant blood loss can occur. In severe cases, blood transfusions, iron supplementation and hospitalization are often necessary. Left untreated, your pet can develop severe anemia and may not survive flea bite anemia.
Many pet owners make the common mistake of simply treating their pet for fleas, which neglects the eggs that have already been laid.While many treatments are capable of killing the fleas, one must remember that the eggs will hatch and new fleas will reclaim their territory.Your veterinarian can prescribe oral medications that will effectively kill the eggs, which will prevent new fleas from infesting you pet again. Additionally, use a flea treatment that will kill the existing fleas that already dwell in your yard. Finally, wash your petís bedding and vacuum your home thoroughly. Fleas can escalate from a nuisance to a nightmare quickly; however, once you identify them, they can be eliminated. Early prevention and a clear understanding that something may be wrong are the keys to providing good health support for your pets.