Flea infestation worse this year than in previous years, veterinarian says

Here is article from KSAT in San Antonio By Ashly Custer – Reporter
Posted: 8:41 AM, August 03, 2016
Updated: 8:44 AM, August 03, 2016

SAN ANTONIO – While flea problems tend to spike during the warmer summer months, the infestation this year seems to be worse than previous years.3 retrievers

A local veterinarian told us that she’s seeing more pets being brought in with flea-related issues.

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“They are going crazy. What we’re seeing is that people will call that have never had fleas before and they are seeing fleas on their pets. Some of these pets are indoor only — they go outside to go to the bathroom and they come back in and they are getting fleas,” said veterinarian Dr. Lori Stephens.

As a result, Stephens is also noticing more of her furry clients with allergies.

“(They have) a rash, hair loss, and (are) real itchy. The pattern of it is usually around the back end and tail area,” Stephens said. “Another good place to look into is when they are on their back.”

The tiny, jumping bloodsuckers may seem small, but they can cause big problems.

“Some dogs are very allergic, and they will chew themselves up until we get the fleas under control,” Stephens said.

Not only can constant itching lead to open sores vulnerable to infection, but fleas also carry tapeworms and can cause anemia.

“Under 12 weeks of age, (dogs) can actually get anemic from the flea bites and pass away from that,” Stephens said.

The pests are increasingly tougher to eradicate,” she said.

“The last few years, what we’ve been seeing in San Antonio especially, is that the fleas are not dying off with the topical medication. So we’re seeing I don’t know if you’d call it a resistance, but we are seeing live fleas on these dogs that have been treated with these medications that we’ve used for so long,” she said.

Stephens recommends oral flea treatments and suggests that pet owners see a vet so your beloved pettheir pets can be placed on a customized flea treatment plan.

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