Fleas 101

Depending on the season and where you live, fleas can be a big problem. Unfortunately, if you live in warmer climates, fleas can be a year-long concern. While some colder areas have a few months to rest easy, fleas are never far from finding their next home. What’s more is that these small pests are nothing more than a pain and concern for you, your home, and your pet’s health.
The Health Concerns for Cats and Dogs
Fleas can cause a number of health concerns for your pet. Fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis - a very common dog and cat skin disease, and hair loss from excessive itching and scratching. Anemia is also associated with flea bites. Dogs and cats who are suffering from anemia may have pale skin, chills, weariness, and shortness of breath. During peak season, taking the time to avoid a full infestation can have a lasting impact towards your pet’s health and happiness.
Signs Your Pet Has Fleas
1. Excessive scratching or chewing. Flea bites secrete saliva that causes an itching sensation on the skin. This can lead to many problems including flea allergy dermatitis and secondary bacterial skin infections.
2. If you notice any black peppered spots in the fur and on the skin it might very well be flea dirt. Flea dirt is flea waste and blood that develops as the flea bites and sucks the blood out of the pet. If you are unsure whether the spots are flea dirt, use a moist paper towel and grab the spots, flea dirt will leave a brownish-red stain.
3. Noticeable skin problems such as hair loss, rashes, or hot spots are a common sign of fleas. Flea saliva can cause this if your pet suffers from a serious allergic reaction.
4. If you have not found any trace of fleas, but your pet continues to scratch, consider taking your pet to the veterinarian for a professional help.