Tails from Ralston Vet

October 12, 2016

The Bite That Causes the Itch

Filed under: Omaha Veterinary,Veterinary Care — Ralston Vet @ 3:36 pm
Tags: ,

flea-crop2How many times have you seen your pet scratch and bite at their fur? Have you ever wondered if it’s fleas? The thought of your pet having those fast jumping parasites are already making you itch. Am I right?

Fleas are an external parasite that live amongst many mammals. They will feed and jump off of humans, but will most likely host on your fur babies.

Have you ever seen a flea before? They move very fast and are about the size of a grain of rice. They appear brown or black. They usually hide in the fur by your pets neck, bottom or under belly. If you think you see any grab a wet paper towel. With this paper towel grab some dirt from your pet’s skin. If you rub it on the wet paper towel and it’s a reddish color then this is flea dirt or flea feces.flea-crop2-flip

When a flea bites it punctures your pet’s skin to drink its blood meal. Simultaneously it excretes saliva. The saliva causes allergy inducing symptoms. This is why your boy or girl bites and scratches at themselves if they have fleas.

flea-life-cycleThe flea life cycle is a very resilient one. It starts with the adult female flea. When she feeds she lays eggs. She lays up to 50 eggs a day.  Take a moment to imagine all those fleas. Every time those females eat they lay all those eggs and if they do 50 a day think how many eggs are in your house? Hundreds! When they fall off into your home, on your couch, in your bed, on your floors, or even your yard, they now are getting ready to turn into larvae. This can happen as soon as 9 days. The larvae then turn into pupae. This stage cannot be killed or stopped from the cycle. The casing of the pupae is hard like a coconut shell and nothing penetrates it. It can stay in this stage for many months.
Thought the life cycle was a fast process? It’s not. This is why treating in the winter is still important. Who knows when those pupae are going to hatch? No one. When they hatch they are adult fleas and will jump and feed and start it all over again.nexgard-flea-preventative-omaha-ne

Gross right? It’s ok, we have medications to help! Give your dog a beef flavored chewable tablet monthly with Nexgard or Bravecto every three months to help prevent fleas from hosting on your pet. They are fast acting and they kill those little creepy crawlies. For cats we have Frontline or Revolution which are topical liquids to keep them protected all year round by applying monthly.

Still itching and want to inspect your loved ones. Go for it and call us if you see anything. If you want us to check call 402-331-6322 today and schedule a technician appointment. We will have the right product for your fur baby!flea-crop2

Information cited from veterinarypartner.com


1 Comment »

  1. […] in this area were diagnosed with tapeworms. Tapeworms are primarily transmitted by a pet eating a flea that contains a tapeworm egg. Fleas? Yes, Fleas. Oh ya, by the way, more than 70 of our patients […]

    Pingback by Why does my pet need a nose to tail exam? | Tails from Ralston Vet — February 16, 2017 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

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