cat scratching itself behind ear.

Flea infestations can be a real headache for your pet and for you. 

Not only do fleas cause discomfort and itchiness for your furry friend, but they can also lead to other health issues—hair loss, hot spots, anemia, skin infections, and more. And fleas can cause allergic reactions in some pets, further exacerbating the itching and scratching.

For you, flea infestations can be a pain to deal with. Fleas can quickly spread throughout your home if left unchecked, and flea bites are itchy and uncomfortable for humans too. 

As a pet owner, it’s important to be able to spot the signs of a flea infestation and get rid of these pests promptly. This post will discuss the symptoms of a flea infestation and offer tips on how to treat fleas on kittens, puppies, dogs, and cats.

Signs of a Flea Infestation

The first step in treating a flea infestation is to recognize the signs. These are common signs of flea infestation in pets:

  • Excessive scratching: Fleas feed on your pet’s blood, which causes them to itch and scratch.
  • Red or irritated skin: Red bumps or sores on your pet’s skin could indicate a flea infestation.
  • Flea dirt: Flea dirt is a term used to describe flea feces. It looks like black specks on your pet’s skin or fur. If you notice flea dirt on your pet, it’s a sign that they have fleas.
  • Hair loss: Persistent scratching can lead to hair loss, so keep an eye out for patches of missing hair.

Treating Fleas on Dogs and Cats

A range of flea treatments, including topical and oral medications, are available. Talk to your veterinarian before administering medications to your pet. 

Topical treatments: Topical treatments are applied directly to your pet’s skin. Follow the instructions carefully and only use cat-specific or dog-specific products as appropriate.

Oral medications: These medications are administered to your pet in pill form and kill fleas from the inside out. 

Treating Fleas on Kittens and Puppies

Kittens and puppies require special attention. Some flea treatments aren’t safe for young pets, so ask your vet for recommendations. 

Allergies in Dogs and Cats

Is your dog or cat constantly itching and scratching? It could be a sign of allergies. Allergies in pets can be caused by several factors, including food, pollen, and flea bites. 

If you suspect your pet has allergies, talk to your vet to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. These are common signs of allergies in dogs and cats:

  • Itching and scratching: Pets with allergies may scratch and bite themselves excessively, leading to red and irritated skin, hair loss, and infection.
  • Sneezing and coughing: Pets with allergies may exhibit symptoms similar to humans with allergies, such as sneezing and coughing.
  • Runny nose and eyes: Allergies can cause your pet’s nose and eyes to become watery and inflamed.
  • Ear infections: Pets with allergies may be more prone to ear infections, which can be caused by bacteria or yeast.

Your vet may recommend antihistamines, steroids, or other medications to help alleviate your pet’s symptoms and can help you identify and avoid the allergens causing the problem.

With proper care and attention, you can help keep your pet free from fleas, and parasite prevention can help avoid any repeat infestations. Please let us know if you have questions about treating flea infestations or preventing them altogether. We’re always here for you at Shiloh Mobile Veterinary Hospital.