Fleas are the most common external parasite of dogs and cats and it is likely that every cat and dog will suffer an infestation at some point in their lives.
Did you know?
- Flea fossils date back to the Lower Cretaceous period, meaning fleas have been around for about 100 million years. Fleas may have even infested a T-Rex!
- Fleas are not just an inconvenience
- Fleas are blood sucking parasites that can cause considerable discomfort for pets and be responsible for;
- Intense itching and scratching, chewing and biting which can result in areas of hair loss.
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis – a very common and unpleasant skin condition caused by an allergy to flea saliva.
- Severe flea infestations can even cause anaemia, especially in young puppies and kittens.
- Fleas ingested during grooming etc. can transmit tapeworm to the pet.
- Fleas will bite people too!
- Fleas multiply fast!
- A flea can begin feeding on your pet within seconds of ‘hitching a ride!’
- Within 24 hours of its first blood meal, the female flea can begin laying eggs at a rate of 40 to 50 per day, laying an average of 2000 eggs in her 2-3 month life span.
- This can quickly result in an infestation as the eggs fall off the hair of the pet and into the environment to begin their own life cycle of egg to larvae to pupae to adult flea.
- The female flea can also consume 15 times her own body weight in blood daily and can bite up to 400 times in that 1 day – that’s a rate of 4,000 bites a day if your pet has just 10 fleas!
- Fleas actually rarely jump from one pet to another
- Cats and dogs pick them up from infested environments such as your garden, the local park, a friend’s house – any place where an animal that has fleas, such as a rabbit, hedgehog, fox or another cat or dog, may be found.
Prevention is better than cure
As you can see just 1 flea can become multiple fleas very quickly. It would be impossible to prevent your pet from encountering fleas so to avoid flea infestation it is necessary to prevent the flea from laying eggs, therefore using a continuing program of effective flea control is key to avoiding a rapidly growing flea population.
We offer free flea checks – ask your team at The Vet the most appropriate treatment plan to suit both you and your pet’s needs.