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Posted on 03-08-2013

Preventing and Treating Fleas: Our Animal Hospital Answers Your Questions

animal hospital treats flea problems.jpgWith spring just around the corner, our Austin veterinarian is reminding pet owners about the importance of flea prevention for both cats and dogs. Fleas are more than just a nuisance – they are a top allergen affecting dogs and they can also transmit parasitic worms. Worse, if your pet has fleas, there’s a good chance that your home has been transformed into a breeding ground for these parasites.

Does Your Pet Have Fleas? Learn Common Dog Symptoms and Cat Symptoms

Our animal hospital frequently receives questions about flea treatment and prevention. Here’s what every pet owner needs to know:

How do I know if my pet has fleas?

If your pet is not currently on a medicated flea preventative, your pet could have fleas. Dog symptoms and cat symptoms include frequent itching and scratching. Check for fleas by taking your pet outside and having him stand on a white towel. Next, run a fine-tooth comb through your pet’s hair. If your pet has fleas, they will fall off and appear as dark specs on the white towel.

How do I treat my pet for fleas?

In order to eradicate fleas, you must not only destroy the fleas that are currently living on your pet, but also eliminate any flea eggs. Shampoos and dips contain insecticides that will kill fleas on your pets and eliminate eggs. A flea comb can also help remove fleas; our animal hospital recommends coating the comb’s teeth with petroleum jelly to help fleas stick to it. A flea collar or medicated topical treatment help will stop fleas from returning. Our Austin veterinarian can recommend the right treatment option for your best.

Could my home have fleas?

If your pet has fleas, your home probably has fleas as well. Eggs can fall off your dog or cat whenever they jump, scratch or move. These eggs will live in your home’s carpeting, upholstery and bedding and can survive even during cooler temperatures. In extreme cases, a flea fogger or visit from pest control may be necessary.

Has your pet ever had fleas?

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