Flea Bites and Treating Your Infected Pet.

May 22, 2019
flea bites
Flea bites on a human.

Flea bites can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. And the fleas that cause them stick around; once fleas are in your home, you have to take action to get them out. That means calling an exterminator and treating your pet for fleas. If you notice flea bites like the ones depicted above, it's time to get moving.

How Many Fleas Can Get Into My Home???

It is important for your dog to be on a high-quality flea control medication year-round. If fleas get on your dog, then they will find their way throughout your home. If fleas get into your home, they can be difficult and frustrating to get rid of. A single female flea can produce up to 50 eggs in a single day and that single flea can lay 1,000 egg in her lifetime.

What Can I Use to Treat Fleas on My Dog?

There are flea products/shampoos available at stores, but the products that veterinarian offices carry are often much more effective. At ReadiVet, we carry a supply of prevention products with us to each appointment. The flea prevention product that we carry with us for cats also covers heartworms, the most common intestinal parasites, and ear mites all in one product. 

What Is a Flea Anyways?

A flea’s lifecycle has 4 phases and is similar to a butterfly/caterpillar. It starts with an egg which hatches into a larva (similar to the caterpillar phase). The egg can hatch into a larva in as little as 36 hours. The larvae can live anywhere inside or outside but thrive indoors in carpets, clothing, and furniture. The next phase is the pupa and then the adult flea emerges. The complete lifecycle can occur in as little as 21 days but can take several months if the conditions aren’t optimum. 

 Adult fleas can be difficult to see, and they only represent five percent of the flea population. So even if you could see all the adult fleas, you aren’t seeing 95 percent of the fleas infesting your home or pet. If you can’t see the adult flea, you may be able to see the “flea dirt,” which is actually flea feces and looks like pepper. Flea dirt is your pet’s digested blood. 

Get Rid of Fleas at the Source - YOUR PETS!

If fleas are present in your home, it is essential that EVERY animal in the home be put on a monthly, high-quality flea prevention product. If all pets in the household aren’t treated, the problem is likely to persist because the untreated animal will serve as a reservoir. It is also important that the pet’s environment (home and/or yard) is treated as well using an insecticide labeled for fleas (check individual product directions to see if it is safe around pets). Better yet, call an exterminator. 

Some dogs develop flea allergy dermatitis in which they become hypersensitized to a protein in the flea's saliva. Dogs that have this issue can become itchy all over their body from one flea bite.  

That's Right - The Bubonic Plague.

Interesting fact:  The bubonic plague or “black death” is transmitted by fleas. To this day, an average of seven people become infected with the plague in the United States every year. While Texas does not seem to be affected, this is the same bacterial strain that wiped out one-third of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages.

Contact Us With Any Questions

Fleas can be irritating and hard to get rid of. Reach out to us at info@readivet.com or book an appointment at ReadiVet.com if your pet has fleas or if you are worried about your pet getting fleas.

About ReadiVet

Based in Uptown Dallas, ReadiVet provides veterinary care in your home without charging more than a traditional clinic. After booking an appointment, ReadiVet will send one of its mobile veterinarians to you to provide wellness care like vaccines or sick care for your unwell pet.

Ben Clemmett, DVM
author

One comment on “Flea Bites and Treating Your Infected Pet.”

  1. Hello I have 3 large dogs and two very small dogs. I am almost sure the little ones are allergic to fleas or have some kind of skin condition because they itch all the time. And my large dogs have fleas. How much would it cost for flea treatments for all of my dogs. Looking for vaccines for the smaller dogs and then an oral solution for the 3 large dogs.

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