Pet Health

Why are Fleas a Problem?

May 24 • 3 minute read

Fleas are tiny pests that can attack your pet and cause problems ranging from discomfort from itching and scratching to health issues. Due to their size, you may not spot them easily which allows them to go undetected until it gets worse. If you own a cat or dog, your pet is highly susceptible to fleas from other dogs and animals, as well as the environment.

They can hide in your pet's beddings, carpeting, and even flooring cracks, meaning pets that stay indoors most of the time can still get them. This post provides you with more information about why fleas are a big problem no matter where you live.

Can Fleas Survive in the Desert?

If you live in a desert climate, you may be wondering, "are there desert fleas?" While the dry conditions may make it difficult for fleas to survive in the desert, they still do. Most desert fleas come from other infested pets interacting with your pets, hiking in wild areas, or taking your pets to the beach.

Rodents can also carry fleas and pass them on to your cat or dog. Once the fleas get on your pet, they can get into your home, where they will multiply due to the warm and humid environment. Fleas can survive in many settings, including the desert, but they prefer humid, moist, and shady conditions best.

5 Common Health Issues in Pets Caused by Fleas

Regardless of your location, it is necessary to be proactive about keeping your pets safe from fleas. Here are five common health issues that fleas can cause in your pets.

  1. Flea Allergy Dermatitis: Flea allergy dermatitis occurs when your pet is allergic to flea saliva. It can show as hair loss and lower body or scabs and welts all over the body. The condition causes skin irritation which may eventually lead to skin damage from continuous scratching. Since cats know they are allergic to fleas, they tend to eat them, making it difficult to spot the pests.

  2. Tapeworms: Infested fleas can pass tapeworms to your pets when they ingest them while grooming. If your cat or dog swallows tapeworm larvae, the parasite grows into an adult tapeworm in their intestines. Tapeworms may result in abdominal pain, itching around the animal's anus, and diarrhea.

  3. Anemia: A flea feeds on blood to at least 15 times its size. If your pet has a flea infestation, the pests can suck out significant amounts of blood, leading to anemia and low levels of iron. The main symptoms of anemia are pale gums and tiredness.

  4. Cat Scratch Fever: Cats may get cat scratch fever through skin contact with infected flea droppings. Although they may not show symptoms, cats can pass the infection to humans. Cat scratch fever is associated with various diseases, including eye inflammation, gum diseases, and heart disease.

  5. Feline Infectious Anemia: The disease comes from a bacterium known as M. Haemofelis that attaches to a cat's red blood cells. Cats get the infection from fleas, and if untreated, it can result in death due to severe anemia. Symptoms to watch out for include tiredness, pale gums, and jaundice.

Get Comprehensive Flea Preventive Measures at Anthony Animal Hospital

Fleas can be difficult to eliminate as they can exist as eggs for a long time until they find the right conditions to hatch and develop. What's more, one flea can lay up to 100 eggs. It is therefore advisable to protect your pets from infestation. Anthony Animal Hospital in Hesperia, CA, offers comprehensive preventive measures to keep your pets free of fleas. Contact us today for reliable flea solutions!

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