Connersville Veterinary Clinic

808 East County Road 250S
Connersville, IN 47331


 Fleas / Flea Prevention

Fleas are not just a simple nuisance.  These vile creatures can actually be deadly, especially to younger or smaller pets.  The flea is not specific when it comes to a host.  It has been known to kill a dairy calf through heavy infestation.  We have noticed that not many people realize that fleas can be deadly until it is too late.  
Flea Anemia 
This is one condition that can be brought on by fleas.  This is very common in smaller pets and pets that are younger.  Just because your pet isnt scratching DOES NOT mean that they dont have fleas.  Pets only scratch if they are allergic to the saliva that is left behind from the flea bite.  Very young kittens, elderly cats, and outdoor puppies are at a high-risk for flea anemia.  In all of these situations it is very hard for the pet to groom themselves, but they are also small/ weak enough that with such little blood it is very easy for a flea "infestation" to deplete it quickly.  What you need to look for is pale gums.  Your pet is supposed to have a "shell-pink" colored gum.  If you notice your pet has pale gums we recommend calling your Veterinarian ASAP!
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
With flea allergy dermatitis there are many signs.  The first indicator is that your pet is scratching.  This is because they are allergic to the saliva left over from the flea after they were bit.  With continuous scratching your pet can experience hair loss and "hot spots".  Hot spots are cause by infection on the skin due to your pet scratching and causing open sores.  Your pet may then lick the open sores and cause bacteria to spread across the skin.  If a "Hot Spot" is brought to us, we will do a "Clip and Clean".  We then shave all the hair on and around the hot spot.  This may be bigger then you realize as the infection can spread very quickly.
Cat Scratch Fever
Although I must admit to being a fan of the song.. Cat Scratch Fever is no joke.. It is spread through the fecal matter of fleas ("flea dirt"- which is actually the digested blood of their host).  What happens is this.. your cat has fleas, it scratches itself, flea dirt becomes lodged in its claws, and then it scratches you.  The flea dirt is then transferred to you through the open wound.  
Prevention of exposure is very important especially in HIV-infected persons.  These persons are extremely immunosuppressed and are at unusually high risk for developing Cat Scratch Fever.  Therefore an person that is infected with HIV or is immunosupressed, should avoid rough play with cats and situations where scratches are likely to happen.  They should also avoid letting a cat lick an open wound or cut.
Tapeworm is one of the most common internal parasites we see here at the clinic.  Your pet can contract the tapeworm from ingesting an infected flea.  Now i get a lot of what i like to call "Flea-nial".  The infamous "well my pet doesnt have fleas, so idk how she got this!"  The thing with tapeworms is..  your pet doesnt have to have fleas.. all it takes is them going outside to use the bathroom and a flea jumping on them.. they groom themselves and swallow the flea and there you are!  The good thing is there is a treatment for this!
Now here is how we are going to beat these pesky fleas!  We have preventatives!  But the thing with a preventative is that its not a one and done.. Fleas can and will come back.  As soon as the preventative is out of their system it stops working.  The preventatives we carry here at the clinic last for 30 days.  So heres the thing.. a female flea can lay up to 100 eggs a day.  When they do this, they jump off of your pet and into your carpet, your floor boards, your bedding... These eggs can hibernate for MONTHS.  They can lay dormant and hatch when you least expect it.. This is why it is important to keep your pet on a preventative even if its "too cold" for fleas.  We highly recommend vacuuming and washing any bedding your pet has touched.  
At the Connersville Veterinary Clinic we carry several different Flea Preventatives!
Nexgard is for Canines only! They need to be 8 weeks of age or older and at least 4 pounds.  Nexgard prevents against fleas and ticks.  It is a beef flavor chew that lasts for 30 days.

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