PetMed Animal Health Center

2400 Gateway Dive
Dubuque, IA 52003

(563)583-8387

www.dbqpetmed.com

Fleas

What Are They: Fleas are agile, wingless insects that feed on hematophagy on the blood of mammals and birds. They are commonly found on dogs, cats, rabbits, and other species. Although preventing these pesky parasites is quite simple, they can be quite difficult to get rid of due to their different life cycles. Because of this, they cause great health concerns for your pets!

Common Myths: "My pet can't have fleas because he lives indoors only." - Fleas are great jumpers and are able to hitch a ride on you by clinging to your clothing and drop off into the flooring of your home. If that happens, they can easily jump onto your pet, even without them going outside themselves. 

"I don't see any fleas so therefore my pet does not have them." - Fleas are very small and can hide in the fur of your pets.

"My pet does not need prevention in the wintertime as there are no fleas imminent in the colder months." - If your pet had fleas during the warmer months, there is a greater chance they will continue to have them through the cold months as fleas are able to thrive in your home. Due to the many life cycles of fleas, they also don't disappear quickly. 

Health Concerns: If left untreated, your pet may develop severe allergies to the fleas bites. This is called flea allergy dermatitis and can cause continuous scratching long after the fleas are gone. Fleas are also responsible to transmitting tapeworms to dogs, cats, and even humans. Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae and when ingested, the tapeworm larvae can live inside your pet's intestines. 

Treatment & Prevention

Prevention: The best way to ensure that your pet does not get fleas is to keep him/her on regular prevention medication all year round. We supply both topical and oral prevention for dogs and only topical prevention for cats. We carry the product Bravecto, which lasts for 12 weeks. 

Treatment: It could take up to three months to completely rid your pet and home of fleas. The first thing you should do is treat ALL pets in your home with prevention medication. Make sure to thoroughly clean and vacuum your home regularly as well. As mentioned above, you're not only taking care of the adults, but all life stages of fleas.