Fleas are a very common problem in our pets - most cats and dogs will experience a flea infestation at some point in their lives. It can sometimes be difficult to identify that your pet has fleas, as some pets will show minimal signs!
Fleas survive by feeding on blood, and can cause a range of symptoms. Some pets only experience a mild irritation to fleas, but animals can be allergic to flea saliva, causing intense itching and skin damage, a condition known as flea allergic dermatitis.
Fleas can also carry tapeworms and can be involved in the transmission of bacterial diseases. They can even be responsible for life threatening anaemia in kittens and puppies.
Remember that your pet may not be the only one to suffer and you or your family may receive itchy bites too.
Adult fleas will jump onto your pet as they are attracted to body heat and movement. They bite and start to feed on your pet's blood. Within 48 hours they begin to produce eggs (up to 40 a day!). These eggs drop off the animal into the environment of your home and develop into larvae which hide in carpets and bedding where they feed on organic debris such as flea droppings and shed skin cells. The larvae then become pupae, which can survive for many months, waiting for suitable conditions to emerge into adult fleas.
The lifecycle can take as little as 2-3 weeks to complete in warmer temperatures such as a central heated house. This means a population explosion can take place very quickly if your pet is not treated regularly for fleas. A female flea can produce more than 40 eggs per day.
There are a variety of products available to protect your dog or cat from fleas and please discuss the problem with one of our very helpful vets, nurses or reception staff and we will be pleased to help you decide on the most appropriate treatment option available for your pet.
How do you apply spot-on flea treatments to your pet? Watch this handy video