Totowa
Animal Hospital

819 Riverview Drive
Totowa, NJ, 07512

Fleas, Are They Dangerous to Your Pets?

 

Fleas are a parasite that feeds on the blood of it’s host.  There are several species of fleas. In fact there are over 2500 species of them worldwide. Some families of these species feed and breed only their hosts.

Since these parasites are wingless and can not fly from host to host, they use their legs and jump. Although not all of them jump. The ones that don’t jump have adapted by feeding on animals that fly or nest. A vet once told me that for every flea on an inside house pet, there are 95 in the carpet. So you can see how it can be a vicious cycle that needs to be treated by a vet to eradicate the flea from your animal.

Side Effect of Flea Infestation

Fleas cause a variety of problems for a pets and animals. Intense itching and skin allergies are the most common problems. Skin allergy, also known as flea bite dermatitis, is caused from the saliva of the flea.

Another danger is tapeworms. Since tapeworms are initially inside of the flea, they are transferred to the pet when they ingest it. The tapeworm can be anywhere from 1/2 inch to 12 inches in length causing weight loss in your pet. Usually the pet will have an itchy rear end and weight loss.

Anemia can occur in your pet from the infestation of fleas. Usually it attacks puppies and young animals, such as kittens. Also anemia can cause red blood cell counts to drop. Left alone,  a medical emergency and death can in the pet. However, caught in time, the pet can be treated and the effects reversed.

Always seek professionals when ridding your pet and home from infestations of fleas. This can include pills for your pet, shampoos, and sprays for the pet’s bed and your carpets.