Pet Talk With
Corinium Vets: Facts about Fleas
The cat flea is extremely common on cats and dogs. It will live on cats, dogs, rats and rabbits will quite happily feed on humans too. Cat fleas represent the great majority of fleas in human homes. The dog flea is closely related to the cat flea and is very similar to it in appearance and biology. Despite its name it is actually less common on dogs than cat fleas.
Recent studies have shown that 5-17% of dogs and 12-23% of cats carry fleas throughout the year in Europe. And this is only the tip of the iceberg – only 5% of the flea population is found on the animal – i.e. 95% is in the environment. Damp summers and warmer winters – coupled with improvements in household insulation which provide warm, humid conditions all year round – allow the flea population to thrive throughout the year.
Fleas can cause flea bite dermatitis by irritating the skin of animals. Flea allergic dermatitis is caused by an allergy to flea saliva. Fleas feed on the blood of their host and a heavy infestation particularly in smaller animals can lead to anaemia. Fleas can be responsible for the transmission of viral and bacterial disease and other parasites to animals and humans. They are a vector for tape worms. Fleas are known to harbour and sometimes transmit cat scratch disease which can be a serious health hazard to people.
Flea infestations can be prevented. Please speak to our team at Corinium Vets about a combination of environmental and on-pet control measures. We can prescribe safe and effective flea treatments such as Spot-On Solutions, palatable tablets and collars. Your pet’s bedding should be hot-washed frequently. Treat the whole house with a veterinary recommended spray, vacuum daily and empty vacuum contents daily and outside. Don’t forget to spray your car if your animal has been in it.