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E. Flea Control | Columbia Animal Hospital

Flea Control

These small dark brown insects prefer temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85%… so for our area they are no more than just a “summer” problem.

Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this insect enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. (Fleas can not fly because they do not have wings!)

The flea’s bite can cause itching for the host but for a sensitive or flea-allergic animal, this itching can be quite severe and leads to hair-loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Some pets, hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva, will itch all over from the bite of even a single flea! The easiest way to check for fleas on your pet is to look for “flea dirt”. “Flea dirt” looks like dark specks of pepper scattered on the skin surface. If you see flea dirt, which is actually flea feces and is composed of digested blood, pick some off the pet and place on a wet paper towel. If after a few minutes the tiny specks spread out like a small blood stain… it’s definitely flea dirt and your pet has fleas! Flea dirt may be your only evidence of a flea infestation but believe the evidence! If there is flea dirt there are surely fleas present. Frontline Plus, Advantix, and Revolution are commonly used treatments for pets with fleas. If you think your pet has fleas, then our recommended solution is to treat your pet with one of the previous products.