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Fleas on Dogs and Cats and What You Can Do About Them

 Submitted by Michael Adams on November 27, 2009

Skin problems are common in dogs and cats. Most of these skin rashes, irritations, and sores are caused due to parasitic attacks on the bodies of the pet. Of these parasites, fleas have emerged as the leading cause of skin irritations in most pets.

Fleas grow all year round, though they prefer warmer climates. They usually live indoors, feeding on the blood and tissue of your pets. Though they usually feed only on the blood of cats and dogs, when the infestation is heavy, they can even turn to humans.

Most of your pets will experience severe itching when bitten by fleas. However, in some cases, the dogs may even develop severe allergic reactions. Such a skin condition is known as flea allergy dermatitis. If the flea infestation in your pet goes unnoticed, the pet may suffer from anemia and eventually death. Fleas are also carriers of tapeworms and usually transmit the eggs into the petís blood stream. If the infected flea bites your pet, your pet may experience more than just an itchy rash. Therefore, it is important to keep the flea infestation in your dog under check. Adult fleas leave dirt and eggs behind. Usually a diagnostic test involves seeking the presence of these droppings. The flea dirt and eggs can usually be seen on the belly and the rump of the pet. The feces of the fleas or the flea dirt appear black in color. The eggs are tiny and appear as grains of sands. Fleas are brown in color and donít have any wings. They are fast moving and capable of jumping great distances. Fleas can lay eggs on your furniture, carpets, rugs, bedding and other areas where your pet rests or roams around. Most of the eggs and fleas remain unseen in such a case. To control flea infestation, it is important that you control the fleas on your pet as well as those in your house. Fortunately, the problem of fleas has been recognized as worrying and there are a lot of flea products that you can find. Flea shampoos, sprays, powders and medicines can help kill off adult fleas. There are other household products that can be used to clean out the fleas from other parts of your house. For heavy infestation, treat your rugs, furniture, the bedding of your pet and your yard with specially formulated flea products. These ensure that the fleas hiding in your house are exterminated so that there is no chance of a re-infestation.
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