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What to Do When You See a Flea

Fleas are one of the most common causes of itchiness in our furry family members. The good news is, this article will give you everything you need to deal with them!  

What are fleas? 

 Fleas are small little jumping insects that sit on your pet’s skin and feed on their blood.   

Why are fleas a problem? 

 Don’t worry – they don’t suck enough blood to become life threatening. But they are a nuisance! Their presence is enough to make most dogs and cats itchy and uncomfortable. Further, while a flea is “feeding” they inject a special saliva, and some pets have an allergic reaction to this saliva, making them VERY itchy. Vets will term this “flea allergy dermatitis” or “flea bite hypersensitivity”. Lastly, scratching and irritation will often lead to hair loss.  

How do I know if my pet has fleas? 

 Often you will be able to see the fleas on your pet. However, this is not always the case. Cats are excellent groomers and often get to the fleas before you can spot them. Sometimes, it only takes a single flea to trigger the “flea allergy”, making them hard to find! If you are worried, or unsure, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.   

I’ve found a flea – what do I do now? 

 The most important thing to remember when dealing with fleas is that 5% live on an animal, and 95% are in the environment. Put simply, this means that if you find 5 fleas on your dog or cat, there are probably 95 fleas somewhere in the house or garden!  

  • If you have other pets in the house, treat them too! Remember, just because you haven’t found a flea on your other pets, this doesn’t mean they don’t have them. Treating all animals in the household is imperative to solving the problem quicker! 
  • Stay up to date with flea treatment! When your pet is due for his or her next flea treatment, it’s vital that you give it on time even if you can no longer see fleas. Remember, just one flea can trigger an allergic response! 

 

Nexgard Spectra - Flea, Tick and Worming Monthly Chew #1

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  • Give your pet a flea treatment!  Have a hard time getting your dog or cat to eat a chew? Don’t stress, there are lots of good topical or “spot on” treatments that you simply apply to the skin over the back, behind the neck. If you are unsure, chat to your vet!
Febreze Laundry Pet Odour Eliminator #1

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  • Wash all bedding and furniture that your dog or cat is in contact with. This includes beds, rugs, cushions and soft toys. Wash for 10 mins at 60C and leave to dry in the sun. This kills all those pesky fleas hiding in the home environment! A great detergent for your pet's bedding and toys is here 

or if you need something to help you remove pet fur, this is a great help.

FurZapper - Pet Hair Remover for Laundry Both Washer and #1

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  • Or if you need something to help you remove pet fur to find the fleas, this would be a great help.
Home Flea Bomb Killer #1

Where to buy:

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And, of course, chat to your vet if the itchiness persists. Sometimes the itchiness leads to so much scratching that your pet develops a skin infection, which warrants a course of antibiotics. They may also advise you as to anti flea shampoos and anti-itch medications.  

 

Author’s note: Swipet writers select and write about topics we think you’ll like and need to make your choices simpler and easier. Swipet uses affiliate links in our posts, so we can get a small revenue from your purchases.