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Help Pets Fight Fleas: Symptoms, Complication And Treatments

  • Post By: DDr Vandhana
  • 28 Nov 2016
Pets Fight Fleas

Fleas are the pests that can cause itchiness and irritation in our furry friends. These are small parasites that feed on the blood of birds and mammals like humans, cats, dogs, rabbits, hedgehogs, and foxes.

They are either dark brown or reddish brown, measuring 2.5 mm length, have six legs, possessing flat and wingless bodies. Their structure allows them to move easily within an animal’s fur. They have mouthparts that they use to extract blood.

The most common flea that affects humans, cats and dogs is the cat flea (Ctenocephalidesfelis), although anyone can be infected with either the dog flea (Ctenocephalidescanis) or the human flea (Pulexirritans).

They usually infest domestic house pets like dogs and cats.Your pets can pick up these parasites even when they just walk or play in locations that may be flea-infested, whether you know it or not. Your pet could also be infected when he is placed in a kennel and interacts with other animals that may already have been infected. Wild animals like rabbits, raccoons, and possums can also act as carriers of fleas.

Symptoms

In dogs you may find:

  • Red raised, small, pinhead-sized, welts on the head, neck and along the tail area
  • The bitten area may be inflamed and grow bigger (especially if the dog keeps scratching the area)
  • Red and sore areas on the body.

In cats you may find:

  • Tiny pink or red crusty bumps with a slightly pointed centre
  • They tend to scratch or lick their skin
  • Hot spots where scabs develop due to constant scratching and itching
  • Ulcers on the lips.

Other common symptoms:

  • Flea dirt or flea faeces over the pet or areas where the pet has been
  • Red skin
  • Scabs
  • Unusual skin colour
  • Ear infections
  • Weakness
  • Immune disease
  • Hair loss
  • Crusty skin.

Complications

  • Severe discomfort such as scratching, chewing, biting and restlessness
  • Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD)
  • Anemia
  • Tapeworm infections (if the flea was ingested).

Treatment

In dogs:

Rosemary flea dip: Take 2 cups of fresh rosemary sprigs and boil them in water for half an hour. Strain the liquid and add it to 1 gallon of water. Once the solution is warm (not hot), pour the water on an infested dog and let it air dry.

Lavender essential oil: Apply a few drops of the oil at the back of your dog’s neck and at the base of the tail to control a flea infestation.

In cats:

Apple cider vinegar: Prepare a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water in the 2:1 ratio and fill a spray bottle with the solution. Spritz the mixture on the cat’s skin.

Lemon spray and Diatomaceous Earth (DE): Cut a whole lemon into quarters and place it in boiling water, submerging it completely. Let it steep overnight. Pour the liquid in a spray bottle and squirt on the body parts of your pet where they are affected with fleas. You can also soak a piece of cloth in the solution and rub it gently on the affected areas.

Crush DE into powder: Put on gloves and dust your hands with the substance, while making sure to avoid contact with your eyes or nose. Then, sprinkle DE onto a cat’s coat and rub thoroughly. The sharp edges of DE may slice through the flea’s waxy and tough exoskeleton, causing the parasite to become dehydrated and die.

If your pet does not respond enough to any of these natural treatment methods or if it already has a drastic flea infestation, consult a veterinarian immediately for an effective solution.


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