5 Signs of a Flea Infestation

by VetDepot on March 14, 2014

flea blogThe official start of spring is just a few days away! Saying goodbye to the cold winter weather may be a relief, but for pet owners, springtime unfortunately also means the start of flea season.

Fleas may be a year-round threat in some areas, but spring and summer are the seasons to be especially proactive against infestations. Monthly flea prevention, like Frontline Plus or Advantage II, is a great way to ensure pets are protected from parasites.

Pet parents should be on the lookout for the following signs of an infestation:

  1. Restlessness: Pets don’t have to be scratching incessantly to be suffering from flea bites. If you notice your pet is more restless than usual, this could be a sign of fleas.
  2. Scratching, chewing, and licking: This is an obvious one. If you notice your pet is displaying these behaviors, check for fleas. These tiny parasites are most likely to hide out in the armpit and groin areas of an animal.
  3. Head shaking: An itchy pet is likely to do a lot of head shaking. However, this behavior can also be a symptom of other conditions, like ear infections, so be sure to consult with a veterinarian.
  4. Hair loss: Loss of hair can result from excessive scratching.
  5. Presence of flea “dirt” on your pet or around the house: Tiny black specs, often referred to as flea dirt, are a sure sign of an infestation. This “dirt” is actually flea feces. To be sure, wipe away some of the specs with a damp paper towel, flea feces will turn a reddish-brown color due to the blood that fleas ingest.

If you suspect a flea infestation, consult with your pet’s veterinarian for the best treatment plan for your individual animal.

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