The winter days have recently passed and now springtime is here. Not only are we pleased for this warmer weather, but so are the blood sucking parasites living on our pets.
Fleas, as we know are common external parasites that live on our pets skin and feed off their blood. They are about the size of a sesame seed and can be quite difficult to find, especially when dealing with animals that have darker fur. Generally you will tend to find these parasites in warmer areas of your pet such as the armpits, belly, around the groin and rump area or where hair tends to be thicker such as around the chest.
Normally our pets will show signs of fleas through scratching more than usual, licking and/or biting areas on their body. You may also notice flea dirt (faeces) in their fur, which looks like dark/black specks, a little bit like pepper or dirt in appearance.
Some preventative measures can be taken to reduce our pets’ exposure to flea infestations. Keeping them and their environment clean is very important. Making sure to wash their bedding regularly and bathing them with soapy water helps to kill fleas and can help to remove flea eggs and larvae from the coat.
Brushing their coat and using tools such as flea combs may also help to remove fleas. Ensure you have a bowl of soapy water close at hand when doing this, so you can drown the fleas that are caught in the comb.
There are also a range of monthly flea treatments available that can be purchased over the counter from pet shops and veterinary clinics that kill adult fleas, development of flea eggs, larvae and pupae.
Paying close attention to our pet’s behavior, conducting regular routine checks of their skin and ensuring both them and their environment remain clean can help to prevent a flea infestation, keeping our pets, and us, happy and bite free!