A flea infestation can be a nightmare for any pet owner. It’s the singular reason why many dread the arrival of the Colleyville, Texas summer months. It doesn’t matter your level of cleanliness or meticulousness, you could still find yourself uttering the dreaded statement ‘my pet has fleas!’ Pets can become infested with fleas by both the environment and through contact with other infested animals.
It might interest you to know that fleas actually do not have wings. They simply jump around from one animal to the other or from the environment to an animal with the aid of their strong hind limbs. The immediate effect of a flea bite is itching. For animals that are allergic to flea-bites, the itching could become intractable and it could lead to severe complications.
The fact that fleas are almost ubiquitous isn’t enough reason to just give up on your pet. The sheer discomfort they cause could seemingly drive a dog or cat crazy and any pet owner or pet lover would feel for the animal in this state. Here is a guide on what you need to do if your pet has fleas.
Confirm Your Pet Has Fleas
Before you declare war on the insects, you need to confirm that you are actually dealing with fleas. Not all incessant itching is caused by fleas. It could result from a food allergy, chemical allergy or any of the other sources of allergies or infections in pets. The surest way to confirm the presence of fleas is by actually seeing them. You can do this by combing through your pet’s fur with a flea comb. Look for them everywhere on your pet; under the hair, at the feet or abdomen and other remote parts. Fleas are tiny insects that are no larger than a grain of rice. Their bodies are usually fat and they do not have wings. If you find it difficult to locate fleas on your pet, you might look carefully for their poop. It appears as tiny crumbles of dirt on your pet’s skin.
Delouse Your Pet
Once you are able to confirm you are actually dealing with fleas, then you need to act as quickly as possible. The longer you leave the infestation unattended, the harder it is to get rid of the fleas from your pet and home. There are numerous pesticides that are capable of killing the adult fleas as well as their larvae. You should ensure any product you are buying is capable of rendering the larvae inactive. If that can be achieved, the reproductive cycle of the flea is broken and as long as your pet doesn’t come in contact with more fleas, he or she would eventually be rendered flea-free.
Skip Bath Day
If you’re applying a spot-on flea treatment, you should refrain from bathing your dog for at least four days after the application. If you bathe the pet too early, you may wash the pesticide away or prevent it from properly migrating into your pet’s skin. Typical over-the-counter flea medications can help kill all the fleas on your pet within 6 hours. You may need to follow up the treatment by bathing your pet with flea-killing shampoo a few days later.
If you have tried many products to no avail or you are confused about which product to try, you can always consult your Dr. Trussell for advice and recommendations.
Delouse Your Home
To ensure your pet stays flea-free, you need to delouse your home. Fleas are known to hide on carpet or rugs and other remote parts of the house. Thoroughly vacuum the whole house. You may choose to sprinkle small volumes of borax on the rugs or carpets that might house high the fleas. This treatment makes them sluggish and easy to collect and it’s safe for everyone. You should also wash your pet’s beddings thoroughly or replace them even.
If you still notice the fleas after this treatment, you should consider employing the services of a professional exterminator.
Prevent Future Infestations
As always, preventing a flea infestation is better and cheaper than trying to control it. You should treat your pet with a recommended flea repellent at least once a month. If your area is notorious for having a population of fleas, consider getting a flea collar for your pet when on outdoor forays.
A flea infestation may prove difficult to control but as long as you are thorough about it, it is not impossible. Remember that the earlier you detect the presence of fleas on your pet, the better. A flea population could escalate from one to many hundreds in a matter of weeks. If you do not want a flea crisis, watch out for the early signs on your pet, comb thoroughly to confirm the presence of fleas and act swiftly. For more information on flea preventatives and treatment contact Heritage Veterinary Hospital in Colleyville, Texas today!