Year-Round Flea Prevention is Important - Here's Why
Fleas, while irritating, may carry and transmit other diseases or parasites that affect pets. Some of these diseases may even be transmitted from animals to humans. Dipylidium caninum, or the tapeworm, is a parasite that is transmitted through ingestion of an infected flea. The tapeworms mature to adults in the intestinal tract and their egg packets are the segments which are then shed in feces. While the disease caused by Dipylidium caninum is generally mild and is easily treated, it can be unpleasant for pet owners to see egg packets in their pet’s feces. Humans may also become infected if they ingest an infected flea. Children are most often infected with Dipylidium, which can be very distressing to the family.
Another disease transmitted by fleas is commonly known as “Cat Scratch Fever”. Although this disease, caused by Bartonella bacteria, can infect both dogs and cats, it can be transmitted to humans when a cat carrying infected fleas scratches or bites a person. The symptoms are generally mild in humans, however some people develop serious complications and require more rigorous treatment.
The best protection against flea-borne disease is through controlling flea populations in your pet’s environment and killing fleas on your pet. There are many safe and effective products available now to help pet owners combat fleas. Every pet in the home should be treated year-round with a flea control product to achieve success! Your veterinarian is the best resource to offer advice on your specific situation. It's also important to ask your veterinarian about routine fecal examinations to aid in detection of infections such as Dipylidium.