The Importance of Regular Flea Checks and Treatments for Your Pet

The world is a complex ecosystem that includes big creatures, small ones, and others that are incredibly tiny. Often, these creatures rely on each other for survival, either symbiotically or parasitically.

Symbiotic relationships are helpful to both creatures involved, but parasitic ones are detrimental to one. Flea-pet relationships fall under the parasitic category, with the pet receiving the bad end. Fleas are tiny creatures that are about three millimeters long at full maturity. They have a shiny brown-black color, and they are wingless.

These tiny bloodsucking creatures can jump 40–100 times their length in a single leap despite being wingless. They can also move quickly through the fur of animals and escape any grooming attempts. These two factors make them dangerous parasites that can escape quickly or hide effectively.


Signs of Flea Infestation in Your Pet

One of the easiest ways to determine if your pet has fleas is through their behavior. Pets will scratch, bite, or lick themselves occasionally but will likely have fleas if they do it excessively and aggressively. When you notice this behavior, you can use a fine-tooth comb to brush your pet’s fur.

Brushing the fur with a fine-tooth comb will pick up some adult fleas, if there are any. You will usually find adult fleas on the head, the abdomen, or the base of the tail. If you do not find adult fleas, you can look for other telltale signs like flea dirt. Flea dirt is the feces of fleas, primarily made from digested blood. They are typically tiny black or dark brown specks that resemble pepper.


How Do You Manage or Treat Fleas?

The best way to handle fleas is to ensure they never enter the home. If your pet already has fleas, they are already in the house. You must thoroughly sanitize the house and the pet’s sleeping place. You will also need to treat your pet for fleas. Some effective flea treatments include:


  • Systemic oral treatment

  • Spot on formula

  • Flea prevention or shampoo

  • Flea collars

  • Flea tablets

  • Flea sprays

The products you use to sanitize the house of fleas should never be used on your pet. Moreover, it would be best to talk to your vet to know the correct treatment for your pet.


Why Are Regular Checks and Treatments Important? 


  • They Can Survive Anywhere

Fleas are resilient creatures that do not require a host to survive, meaning your pet can pick up fleas from anywhere. They do not need contact with animals because fleas can breed indoors. They can hide in the walls during the winter and reappear after. Moreover, flea eggs can survive for almost ten months in your pet’s fur without hatching.


  • They Are Hard to Spot


Unless your pet starts to scratch aggressively, fleas can breed into the hundreds before you know they are there. Regular treatments and checks will keep them from growing in numbers.


  • Transmit Pathogens

Fleas can spread the tapeworm Dipylidium caninum to both pets and humans. Fleas can also carry and spread other diseases, like blood parasites, that can be fatal.

For more on the importance of regular flea checks and treatments for your pet, visit Animal Hospital of Whitefield County at our office in Dalton, Georgia. Call (706) 226-3710 to book an appointment today.

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