Flea Treatment & Prevention in Pasadena
As a pet parent, you’re probably aware of the problem fleas can cause your pet and your family. These tiny parasites are a force—if one pet has fleas, they all do! In Pasadena, we do go through flea seasons, but they are a problem all year long. Fleas can easily complete their life cycle indoors, meaning a cold spell won’t necessarily kill them—and just because your dog is rid of fleas once doesn’t mean they can’t come back! At Spencer Animal Hospital, our goal is to equip pet parents with knowledge about flea treatment for dogs and cats and why it's so important.
The Bigger Problems with Fleas
Fleas are tiny parasites that feed off of your pet’s blood, but that’s not all they do. A flea infestation on your pet can cause a whole range of issues including:
- Tapeworm transmission – Fleas are an intermediate host for tapeworms. When your dog or cat self-grooms and consumes a flea that has ingested a tapeworm egg, the tapeworm egg is released and hatches inside the intestines, where it latches on to the intestinal lining.
- Anemia – If an infestation is severe enough, fleas can cause anemia in your pet. This is especially true for young puppies and kittens who can’t afford to lose too many red blood cells.
- Disease transmission – Fleas go down in history as the main transmitter of the bubonic plague, but can more commonly transmit Bartonella (cat scratch disease) and typhus, which are dangerous to both pets and humans.
- Flea allergy dermatitis – Some pets are allergic to flea saliva, meaning every flea bite can elicit an allergic reaction that causes severe irritation and subsequent scratching. As your pet tears at their own skin, other infections, both bacterial and fungal, can develop, causing even more discomfort.
The Key for Flea Treatment is Prevention
While fleas are treatable, the best treatment for your pet (and your wallet) is flea prevention. At Spencer Animal Hospital, we offer a range of flea preventatives that can protect your pet from fleas as well as other parasites such as ticks. Common flea medicines we recommend include:
- Bravecto (for dogs and cats) – a 3-month flea and tick chewable preventative for dogs; 3-month topical for cats
- Trifexis (for dogs) - a monthly chewable flea preventative that also prevents heartworms and other internal parasites
- Nexgard (for dogs) – a monthly chewable tablet
- Revolution (for cats) – a monthly topical solution that protects again fleas, heartworms, ear mites, and other intestinal parasites
- Flea shampoos, flea sprays, and other topicals are also available to help you treat fleas.
Keep in mind that purchasing parasite preventatives directly from your veterinarian, or a trusted online pharmacy, is the only way to guarantee the product’s efficacy and safety for your pet. Purchasing your pet’s medicine elsewhere without a prescription could mean you’re getting an expired or otherwise faulty (and possibly dangerous) product. Please consult your vet for proper flea preventatives!
Signs Your Pet Might Have Fleas
Fleas can be difficult to detect because they are tiny and hide in your pet’s fur. If your pet is scratching more than usual, look for these signs:
- “Flea dirt” (or droppings) in your pet’s coat – brushing your pet over a white sheet of paper may reveal what look like specs of dirt. If it turns red when you apply water, it’s flea dirt.
- Flea eggs – tiny white grains
- Excessive biting or licking at the skin, especially around the neck and at the base of the tail
- Hair loss
- Scabs and hot spots
- Pale gums
Fleas can easily be brought in from outdoors. They thrive in warm, humid weather and while they spend most of their life on the animal, their eggs can drop into the carpet, furniture, rugs, and curtains where they’ll hatch, and the flea life cycle begins all over again.
Contact Us for Flea Treatment & Prevention
If you think your pet may have fleas, please bring them in for an exam. We’ll assess their condition and ask you about their flea treatments at home. If they are not on any flea preventative, we’ll recommend one for you. Contact us at 281-476-0066 or make your appointment online.