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Pest Test - Fleas

Posted in Doggie Health

By Kerry Andersen

Thanks to the bitter cold Wisconsin winter, most of us haven’t given much thought to flea prevention over the past few months. However, with flea season soon upon us, now is a good time to remind ourselves why flea prevention is so important. Brush up on your flea knowledge by taking this TRUE / FALSE quiz.

1. An important part of flea prevention in dogs and cats is maintaining good overall health.

. Fleas are most attracted to animals with compromised health. Healthy ones do not taste or smell as good to fleas. Start your prevention plan by giving your pet a well-balanced raw, home-cooked, or premium brand commercial food diet.

2. If you find just one or two fleas on your dog or cat, you probably don’t have a flea infestation.

. One adult flea can lay as many as 50 eggs a day and 2,000 eggs over a lifetime. If you find a flea, chances are you’ve got a problem.
3. All dogs and cats show a universal sign of flea infestation—excessive scratching.

. While it is true that many dogs scratch furiously when infested with fleas, not all dogs respond to fleas with the same intensity. Also, cats are more likely to lick excessively than scratch. The best way to check for fleas, is to search the animal’s coat for tiny black specs called “flea dirt” (the fecal matter of adult fleas).
4. Fleas can cause an allergic reaction in pets and humans.

. Dogs, cats, and people can be allergic to flea saliva.
5. Dogs and fleas come hand in hand.

. While this may have been true to some extent when you were a child, today there are very effective preventive flea products that, if used correctly, will keep your pet flea-free. (Research your options and consult your veterinarian before selecting any flea prevention or treatment product.)
6. Anemia may occur in your dog or cat if too many fleas suck their blood.

. Symptoms of anemia include pale gums, weakness, and lethargy. (If your pet experiences these symptoms, call your veterinarian to determine cause and treatment.)
7. Dogs and cats may become infected with tapeworms by ingesting an infected flea.

. Symptoms of tapeworm include intense anal itching and/or tapeworm segments in the feces or around the anal area. (If your pet experiences these symptoms, call your veterinarian to determine cause and treatment.)
8. The most common flea found on both dogs and cats is the “cat flea”.

. In fact, the “dog flea” is not commonly found on dogs or cats.

9. To control a flea infestation, a simple and effective plan is to kill the flea eggs. The adult fleas will die off by themselves in a matter of days.

. Adult fleas can live as long as a year. Therefore it is important that your treatment plan kills adult fleas and stops immature stages of flea growth.

10. Flea eggs are sticky, and stay on your dog or cat until maturation.

. Flea eggs quickly fall off of your pet, and into areas of your home. That is why it is important to treat your pet and home if you discover fleas on your dog or cat.

11. One way to rid a flea infestation from your home is to starve the fleas. Do not allow your pets to occupy the infested area of the home for a few days. Without the food that a host provides, your flea problem will die out naturally.

. If left undisturbed, pupae can exist for many months without a blood meal from a host. So, as soon as you open up the room and the fleas sense a host, the eggs will hatch and the rest is history!

12. A dog infected with fleas transmits the parasites to other dogs because fleas often jump from one host to another.

. Fleas live on one suitable host and do not usually jump from dog to dog. However, an infected dog will
transmit fleas to other animals by acting as a flea egg salt shaker—scattering the flea eggs wherever it goes.

13. Adult fleas hatch according to a set timetable, regardless of whether or not a suitable host is nearby.

. An adult flea can live in its protective cocoon for months. When the flea detects heat, carbon dioxide, and/or vibrations from a host, it leaves its cocoon, and hops on a host.

14. Thanks to the many new and effective flea treatment products, it can be quick and easy to rid your pet and home of a flea infestation.

. Even with a vigorous treatment plan and the best products available, it may take 3-4 months to kill all of the fleas emerging from the pupae in a household environment.
15. If you are battling a flea infestation in your home, you should not allow your newly treated dog to roam your home, picking up more fleas.

. After treating your dog with a product that contains active ingredients to kill adult fleas and prevent the development of eggs and larvae, you should allow your dog to act as a flea magnet—attracting newly hatched fleas that are ultimately killed on your dog.
16. Flea elimination is more costly, time consuming and invasive than plea prevention.

. While preventative measures take some time, initial research, and monetary commitment, nothing compares to the hassle and expense of treating a flea infestation on your dog and in your home.

Posted: 3/1/2009 | Updated: 4/14/2011

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