Monday, May 3, 2010

Fleas - The Tiny Parasite That Causes Big Problems

Did you know fleas are parasites? They are called that because they feed off the blood of their victim. They are tiny, but vicious. And the bite isn't the worst of it. If the dog is allergic, just one bite can make him itch and scratch for hours, or even days. And you too, if you get bit.

                                                              Dog Flea   
They also can spread some pretty nasty diseases such as Haemobartonellosus which targets and destroys the red blood cells which are responsible for carrying oxygen. Plaque, which is usually transmitted by rodent fleas, it can also be found on cats and dogs. Typhus, which does not cause disease in dogs and cats, but does in humans. The effects in people are fever, chills, headache, and general pain.  And Tularemia, also known as "rabbit fever", is also spread by fleas. Dogs who suffer from this may exhibit loss of appetite, listlessness, and fever. Even blood loss can be a problem for puppies and kittens who don't have much to loose, if there is an infestation.

Mammal Flea

Make sure you use a preventative method of controlling fleas if they are a problem in your area. There are plenty of options. Talk to your vet about was is most helpful in your area. If you see a flea, get rid of it immediately before it becomes an infestation and big problems. They multiply like rabbits!


  1. Very informative, Karen. I truly hate the little bugs! Thankfully, we've stayed on top of them here in my kennels. But, it's a year round proposition.

  2. I've always used the Program from Novartis. Its a pill that prevents fleas from laying fertile eggs. In the 15 years that we've had the dogs, we have never seen a flea in the house. The pill doesn't kill fleas so you have to start with a clean area. I don't know how the cost compares to some of the other products but its worked well for us. It easy to give the pill once a month. No problem with allergic reactions either. YWe also get it combined with an additive for heart worm and worms so it does everything at once.

  3. Randy, I can only imagine how bad the fleas could get back there in Ga. if a person didn't stay on top of them. And that IS the key.

    Art, Good info as always. I'm so glad we don't have to treat for fleas or ticks. Novartis sounds like a good way to go.

  4. Several months ago I read that Merck had developed a pill that would protect against fleas and ticks. I thought that was such a great idea that I actually bought some Merck stock. Here is some info on the drug. I don't know if its available but it should be a winner. These are two real problems for dogs and their owners and anything that would help control them both would be a real plus for all concerned.