Fleas and Diseases in the Valley

Veterinarians are finding more instances of bacteria in dogs the cause is being linked to FLEAS.

According to many vets in the Valley, we have been hit really hard and as a result our poor pets are being inundated.

Fleas are parasites.  Once feeding begins, fleas become dependent on host blood.  They will died in about 4 days of being removed from the animal. So cleaning the pet as well as environment is critical. Also, without continual feeding, females can’t lay eggs.

There are several diseases that your cat or dog are at risk and this all stems from a flea bite.  

Anemia (symptoms: weakness, lethargy, rapid breathing and potentially, death if the fleas are not killed).

Flea allergy dermatitis (symptoms: intense skin irritation, skin itchiness which can occur beyond the area of the bite, hair loss and skin infections that can make the problem even worse).

Tapeworms (symptoms: once a flea is ingested, if the flea has been infected with tapeworms, your dog potentially have them.  They attach themselves to the intestinal lining, using sharp, beak-like mouth parts.  You may see pieces of the worms stuck around the anus of your dog. They look like white grains of salt and these are actually sacs of eggs.  These break open and the whole cycle of tapeworms starts over again.  Your dog will be very uncomfortable and even rubbing his or her bottom on your rug or carpet - releasing more eggs).

Bartonellosis (symptoms: Hey! Cats AND dogs get this! It is a bacteria and has been linked to medical conditions associated with the heart, eyes and liver.  All stemming from the flea).


How to prevent fleas

No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to avoid a flea.  A flea can jump vertically up to 7 inches and horizontally up to 13 inches.  (I wonder who and how they actually got to officially put that in the books?).

Avoid shady, wet areas.  Fleas love this kind of environment.  

Don’t let your dog walk on the manure! We take for granted that the steer manure some Gardeners are putting onto the soil is not filled with anything but just that, steer manure.  But, I read a label on a pile of bags couple of days ago said,  “Steer Manure Blend, Ingredients: Processed steer manure and processed forest Products”.  It came from a company called Superior Quality Soils (7325 Edison Ave. Ontario, CA 91762).

I don’t know about you but I know my nose won’t fail me when I smell something REALLY BAD.  

Non-stinky steer manure exists!  Why are we choosing this revolting crap?

So, I can’t help but wonder, really, what on Earth is actually being put into our yards?

Most importantly, use an effective flea preventative.  You have to use this EXACTLY according to the product directions.  Choose a product that kills fleas through contact so fleas do not have to bite your dog in order to die. Oral flea control exists but they also require the flea to bite your dog in order to be effective. http://www.villagepetsupplyla.com/ is a great place to go for pet supplies including FLEA CONTROL.

You have to be vigilant about screening your dog so having a flea comb and going outside to inspect your dog daily is very important.  Go through from top to bottom and if you do find one, pinch it tight in your fingers and try to kill it by rubbing hard back and forth.  They are hard to kill.  I actually find rinsing it down a drain more effective.

Having your dog groomed every 3-4 weeks is essential.  Some dogs may need to be bathed sooner than that and you can always ask your vet or groomer what is best for your dog.

I hope this helps prevent or manage your dog through this awful situation that is not going away.

Please contact your veterinarian for any further help you may need regarding the maintenance of fleas.