In the Texas Hill Country we don’t have a “flea season” and with our mild winter we have already seen lots of problems with fleas on our furry friends. These parasites not only cause issues with itching, but also cause more serious problems like blood loss, allergies, and tapeworms.

The most common and frustrating problem we see from fleas is a skin allergy. Some dogs and cats can be so sensitive to flea saliva that even one bite can send them into an itching frenzy. The skin can then become infected and hair loss can occur. By using products which kill fleas on contact, we can minimize the problems associated with flea allergies. In puppies and kittens, fleas can suck so much of the animal’s blood that they become anemic, which means they have less blood than their body needs. They can even die from the massive amounts of blood they lose. Another common problem results from the ingestion of fleas, which causes tapeworm infestation. These worms can grow up to several feet long and are found in the feces in segments. Dogs that live indoors can spread tapeworms all over the house if they are not dewormed. While not infectious to people, these nasty parasites are gross to look at and can cause your pet harm.

A small flea problem can quickly turn into an infestation in your home or yard and fleas will bite people if given the chance. For these reasons, controlling their population is extremely important. We have several options for flea control for your pet. Environmental treatment is also a very important component of flea control. Make sure you use a product that is labeled for fleas and is pet-friendly. If you have any questions on flea control or would like to discuss these issues at length, please call Kerrville Veterinary Clinic for an appointment at 830-895-5533.