Fleas are small wingless, brown, fast moving insects you can see in your pets’ fur. Fleas have survived millions of years in a variety of environments. Some species can leap 15 to 36 inches high. That’s equivalent to a man jumping over the 555-foot Washington Monument. Flea dirt, the by product of fleas, looks like coffee grounds or pepper and can usually be seen by looking on your pet’s abdomen or by combing your pets coat using a fine tooth comb, called a flea comb. Some pets are allergic to the saliva of fleas, which can cause inflammation and more discomfort. Fleas can also transmit tapeworm, an intestinal parasite, if ingested while your pet is grooming themselves.
The flea is a hardy insect with a lifespan of six to 12 months. During that time, a pair of fleas could produce millions of offspring. Flea eggs can remain dormant in your house or environment for years and can hatch under the proper conditions. It only takes 21 days for a flea egg to develop into an adult flea. The easiest way to prevent this type of infestation is to use flea preventative. Detroit Dover Animal Hospital recommends two diiferent flea medications. These medications are easy to use and are given monthly, Frontline (fipronil) and Nexgard (Afoxolaner). Nexgard is an flavorful oral chew that is given monthly. Frontline, is a topical medication that is applied to the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. These medications work very quickly, in 1 to 24 hours, to kill any fleas on your pet. By giving these medications monthly, they act as a preventative and you decrease the risk of serious infestation of your home.
Please visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council for a map of what parasites your pet may be in contact with. The Companion Animal Parasite Council is a non-profit, independent group of experts that includes veterinarians and veterinary parasitologists.
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