An Itchy Situation

Fleas have to be one of the biggest annoyances when it comes to owning a dog.

These tiny parasites have powerful legs that help them jump making them difficult to catch and remove.

Insecticides like Frontline Plus are purported to kill fleas, ticks, and their eggs. Simply squeeze the liquid on the back of the neck. Over time, the insecticide spreads all over the dog transforming your dog into a walking flea bomb. One drawback to using an insecticide is that it is often necessary to reapply once every 30 days.

Controlling fleas is not as simple as using a pesticide. If you have carpet, veterinarians I have worked for often recommend vacuuming the floor. The vacuum will suck up eggs and larvae living in between the fibers of your carpet. Immediately throw the vacuum bag away and take it outside your house.

Fleas are capable of causing discomfort and illness in your pets. Discomfort manifests itself through itchiness and a skin condition known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). FAD may cause itchy red blistering skin and hair loss. This is definitely something I wouldn’t wish upon my pets.

Fleas are the intermediate host for tapeworm. When fleas eat tapeworm eggs, the tapeworms begin their life cycle. Because the dog is the specific host for tapeworm, something must happen for the dog to become infected. Your dog must eat a flea infected with tapeworm to become infected. That’s pretty easy to do when your dog is bitten by a flea and uses his or her teeth to scratch the itch.

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