Ectoparasites -Fleas

  • Created by: Kit-Novak
  • Created on: 23-11-18 13:06
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  • Flea
    • Description
      • Small
      • 6-legged
        • Specially adapted legs for jumping
      • Wingless
      • Specialized mouth parts for piercing skin and sucking the blood of their host
    • Life Cycle
      • 1 - Adult female lays numerous eggs after a blood feed, and eggs fall into the environment
      • 2 - Eggs hatch within 2-5 days, releasing flea larvae
      • 3 - The larvae feed on dust and dirt in the environment, molting several times before spinning a cocoon (7-20 days)
    • Symptoms
      • Excessive scratching and/or biting of fur
      • Patchy fur loss
      • Red, irritated skin
      • Flea dirt (small dark brown specs in the coat which when added to water turn it red/brown)
      • Thickening of the skin where animal has scratched repeatedly
      • In severe infestations or short haired breeds of animal, fleas may be visible
      • In young or old animals, the loss of blood can make them weak and lethargic
      • Some animals develop severe allergy to the flea saliva called flea allergy derma
    • Prevention
      • Regular use of preventative treatments such as treatments applied directly to the animal's skin/fur, sprays, a course of tablets or injections or anti-parasitic shampoos
      • Regular washing of pet bedding (dogs/cats) or removal of dirty pet bedding (rabbits)
      • Regular vacuuming of carpets where pets live indoors and disposal of the vacuum bags
      • Treatment of the environment to kill flea eggs and larvae and therefore break the fleas' life cycle

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