Fleas are not only a nuisance, but can also carry various disease and they are extremely prevalent in warm, humid environments cautions Dr. Rebecca Marr, DVM, at Owl Creek Veterinary Hospital in Virginia Beach, VA.
Many people believe that if they don’t see any fleas on their pet, then they don’t need to use a flea preventative; however, fleas are stealthy little parasites that have no trouble alluding detection by us while feasting on our poor companions. Their bite may only last a second but can leave a pet with a very strong itching sensation similar to when we get a bee sting. While your pet may have only been bitten once or twice by fleas, it could cause him to itch for hours afterwards depending on how sensitive he or she is to the bite. One female flea may lay thousands of eggs in the environment, leading to a severe infestation that may take months to eliminate from the home. You only see visible evidence of fleas on the pet or around the house if there are already too many of them!
Being blood sucking parasites, fleas have the ability to spread bacterial diseases to animals and humans in the household. They also carry tapeworms which the dog/cat ingests and becomes infected with. The best way to prevent exposure to diseases and tapeworms spread by fleas is to use monthly flea preventative on all of the animals in your household. Currently, there are many very safe and efficacious products flooding the market; everything from an oral pill to topical spot-ons. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss the best option to protect you, your home, and your pet(s).
Rebecca Marr, DVM
Owl Creek Veterinary Hospital
587 S Birdneck Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23451