Fleas – What is the risk to my pet?

 Worried about the risk of fleas to your pets? Learn about the risks and how to protect  your pet here.


Fleas are the most common external parasite to affect pets and can cause a wide variety of health issues. The most common signs of a flea infestation are related to the irritation caused by flea bites, including scratching and nibbling or biting at the fur. In cats, overgrooming is often seen.

Fleas can also cause more severe skin problems in animals which develop an allergy to fleas. This condition is known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), and pets with FAD can suffer from intense itching, hair loss and skin infections. Treatment with topical creams, steroids and antibiotics may be required in these cases.

Dog infection

Fig.1. Skin infection in a dog with FAD

Unfortunately, the list of problems doesn’t end there. Severe flea infestations can cause anaemia, especially in puppies and kittens, due to the amount of blood loss. Fleas can also transmit several diseases to dogs, cats and even humans including tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum).

Fleas will also bite people, causing skin irritation and itching, and sometimes triggering an allergic reaction.

Regular treatment is important to prevent a flea infestaion from developing. Speak to your vet about the most appropriate treatment  for your pet. There are a variety of options available, including spot-ons, sprays, collars as well as oral chewable formulations. Regular re-administration of product is required for effective long-term control of fleas, and there are products available which provide protection for as long as 12 weeks.

For more information about fleas, visit www.bravopets.ie



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