We all know that preventing flea infestation in our pets is important to their health, but did you also know that it is just as important for yours as well? In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza looks at the human benefits to flea control.
Fleas and ticks are not only annoying, they can carry infectious diseases and parasites that can have a negative effect on our health and the health of our pets. A nasty parasite that fleas can give to humans and pets is tapeworm. Fleas act as the host for tapeworms, and infected fleas can pass these tapeworms to humans.
“Tapeworm can cause an infection of the intestines and basically when they inhabit the intestines they are eating all of the nutrients the animals are eating and trying to absorb themselves. So it can cause GI symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. It is easily spread by fleas. It something that can be easily diagnosed with a fecal sample at your regular vet but can cause chronic symptoms if it goes unnoticed for a long period of time,” said Dr Maureen Luschini, veterinarian.
If that’s not enough, there are many other reasons to do our best to prevent a flea infestation. They crawl and bite, which can start you and your pets scratching at the skin, creating open wounds that can become infected. Some pets and people are also allergic to flea bites and can develop a nasty rash. Fleas also can transfer bacteria, like Bartonella, aka Cat Scratch Fever.
You have heard the expression an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and in this instance it is absolutely true. Flea and tick control can seem expensive but it is money well spent to keep you and your pets happy and healthy.