Fleas are what we call an external parasite (something that lives on the outside of an animal). Fleas are very common in the environment and your pet can pick them up if they’re out on a walk or playing with another pet that has fleas. If one pet in the family picks up fleas the other pets will likely also get them.
How do I know if my pet has fleas?
Fleas are visible to the naked eye, you will see small black parasites moving through your pet’s coat if there are a few of them there. If there aren’t many on your pet the only think you might notice is your pet scratching. Fleas are a nuisance and will cause your pet to scratch. When they bite, fleas can cause a small raised spot on your pet’s skin. Some pets can suffer from flea allergy dermatitis. This is when your pet is allergic to the flea saliva. For pets that are allergic to flea saliva just one bite from one flea is all it takes to cause a severe reaction. These pets will be extremely itchy and may develop bald patches.
How do I treat my pet for fleas?
If you pet has fleas you will need to treat both your pet and your house/the environment your pet lives in. You pet can be treated with a spot-on treatment bought from a veterinary clinic. It is very important to get the spot-on treatment from a veterinary clinic as there are some herbal remedies available but most of these will not actually kill the fleas. This spot on treatment is usually applied once monthly. The clinic where you buy the treatment will advise you how to correctly use the one you buy.
Why are the fleas coming back?
The biggest reason fleas come back is because the house/environment the pet is in hasn’t been cleared of them. To fully rid the house of fleas and flea eggs means vacuuming every room your pet goes into. It’s very important to remember to vacuum the sofa, including all nooks and crannies, and in between floorboards as flea eggs can fall off your pet’s coat and contaminate the environment. Any bedding needs to be washed at a very high temperature or thrown out. There are some household sprays available in veterinary clinics that will treat any eggs in the house if vacuuming hasn’t resolved the problem. The veterinary clinic where you buy the spray will advise you on how to use the spray you buy.