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Video: Fleas On Pets, Prevention And Removal
An empty pocket - a louse on a lasso, a flea on a chain
Proverbs and sayings have always reflected the wisdom of folk experience. So this one - briefly and clearly connects poverty with external parasites. In fairness, it should be noted that in the Middle Ages, flea traps and combers were accessories for the toilet of society ladies and gentlemen. Fleas were treated like something unpleasant but inevitable. Since then, times, as well as ideas about hygiene, have changed a lot, fleas on people, even unfortunate homeless people, have become a rare phenomenon. But our furry friends still suffer from them. Fleas in the view of many insects are even mysterious. They appear and disappear. The appearance of fleas in an apartment on the first floor can still be explained by their penetration from the basement, but when a flea invasion happens on the sixteenth, it seems just mysticism. A domestic cat that has never talked to its street cousinssuddenly begins to itch and turns out to be flea. Suddenly, it is discovered that the animal, which, it would seem, never had fleas, picks up the disease that they carry. The answers to these questions lie in the peculiarities of flea biology. Fleas are small, wingless insects, no more than 3 mm long. There are many types of fleas - human, canine, feline, rat, wild animals have their own types of fleas. Flea specificity is not strict, so that "alien" species can easily pass to other hosts. Their favorite habitats on animals are the head, especially the area around the ears, neck, legs, belly, as well as the base of the tail. When bitten with saliva, fleas can transmit the causative agents of listeriosis, leptospirosis and piroplasmosis. In some animals, flea bites can lead to severe allergic dermatitis. The body of fleas is flattened laterally. Their distinctive feature is their long, powerful hind legs, which allow them to jump up to a meter. Interestingly, fleas bounce mostly vertically, and the horizontal movement is small. This is because the main biological meaning of these jumps is to jump onto an animal. The fact is that, according to some experts, no more than 10-15% of all fleas are on animals, the rest of the fleas hide on the ground and other surrounding substrate. These fleas are in a "creative search" - looking for a suitable host. When a flea feels a characteristic shaking of the soil, it jumps onto a passing object, and then begins to figure out whether this owner is suitable for it. If not, the search starts again. Fleas "shoot" eggs several at a time. The process of laying eggs can occur both on the animal and during the search for the owner, on the ground. Flea eggs do not stay in the wool. They shake themselves off on the bedding of the animal, on the floor of the apartment, on the ground while walking the dog. Naturally, the main source of flea eggs on the street is stray animals. The entire development of a flea from an egg to a new generation of fleas takes from three weeks to nine months. In the warm season, development is completed quickly, eggs laid before winter are delayed in development, and a new generation of fleas emerges in the spring. In the apartment, flea larvae emerging from the eggs hide in any crevices of the floor. They feed on organic matter in house dust. In the cracks, they turn into a resting stage - a pupa. It is noticed that if the floors are washed in a house where there are fleas, then the fleas become not less, but more. This is due to the fact that an increase in humidity stimulates the release of fleas from the pupae. Immediately after hatching, the flea should be engorged with blood. If she does not find a suitable animal, she can bite a person as well. However, fleas do not linger on a human body devoid of hair and go further in search. How do fleas determine which animal is right for them? It's not for nothing that I started this article by mentioning poverty. First of all, fleas do not stay on a healthy, well-groomed animal. The immune system of a healthy organism releases protective substances into the blood in response to the first bite of a flea. At the next bite, the flea receives these substances with blood, and if it does not die, then, in any case, it "understands" that it cannot live here. Then the flea leaves this animal and again sets off in a free search. Fleas do not remain on animals,protected from insects with the protective equipment now available. I will describe these remedies below, but here I want to emphasize that if the protective agent acts through the blood, then flea bites, then leaving the animal, are quite possible. Such episodes of periodic visits go unnoticed by the owners, while a flea, when bitten, can infect an animal with those diseases that these insects carry. Fleas from rodents, as well as birds, can pass to dogs and cats. Recently, a grandiose action against urban rats took place in our city. After the death of the owner, fleas do not die, but go to look for a new one. So now the number of hungry fleas in intensive search has increased. Naturally, their most accessible prey is stray animals, but they will not refuse to "taste" homemade. Fleas enter apartments in several ways. A dog or a walking cat can bring them on themselves. If you use protective equipment, the flea will leave the animal and start looking for a new owner in the house. We ourselves bring fleas and especially their larvae on shoes or trousers with street dirt. These larvae crawl into the crevices of the floor and develop further into fleas. Fleas can enter the upper floors of the house from the attic if homeless animals live there or birds, especially pigeons, nest there. A few more words about immunity. In a previous article about the cucumber tapeworm (which fleas transmit to animals), I mentioned that the most abundant infection with this parasite is detected in animals that are taken out of town in summer. The explanation for this phenomenon lies in the field of immune responses. The fact is that when conditions change, even to seemingly more favorable,the body must adapt to the new environment, and at the same time immunity is temporarily reduced. Therefore, during this period, it is most likely to catch any invasion or infection. How to protect an animal from fleas? Now in veterinary pharmacies you can find a large selection of remedies for these insects. These are collars, shampoos, sprays, dusting powders, and drops from parasitic insects ("spot-on"). Domestic ones are relatively inexpensive, but, according to some experts, not very high quality and, accordingly, reliability. The series of anti-flea drugs "Bolfo" and "Advantage" from "Bayer", the gamut of drugs from "Beaphar" and "Bio-Groom", as well as "Frontline" from "Merial" have proven themselves quite well. The most popular are flea collars. Really,for many animals, this is a convenient means of prevention. Most flea collars are impregnated with synthetic pyrethroids, which are harmful to fleas. However, while a flea gets into the collar's area of effect, it can have time to bite the animal with all the ensuing consequences. Collars are more effective on smooth-haired animals. In addition, pyrethroids have long been thought to be safe for animals and humans. It turned out that this is not the case. They have a fairly pronounced neurotoxic effect, which is dangerous not only for animals, but also for humans. Cats are more sensitive to this effect than dogs. There have even been cases of death of cats that managed to suck pyrethroids from the collar. In some animals, the allergy is not caused by pyrethroids, but by substances that are used when they are dissolved to soak the collar. If the animal has fleas, you need to remove them with shampoo, and then put on the collar. For long-haired animals, it is recommended to first treat with insect shampoo, and then combine the collar with periodic treatment with sprays and powders. It is important to observe the reaction of the animal. Excitement, disobedience, usually unusual for your pet, or, conversely, lethargy, drowsiness, indicate that the animal is highly sensitive to these anti-flea drugs, and other means should be tried. Most of these drugs are contraindicated in puppies and kittens up to 4 to 8 weeks old, as well as in pregnant and lactating animals. Only a combination of several means gives a reliable effect; it is not for nothing that manufacturing firms are developing a whole series of drugs. If fleas appear in the house, you can use zoo shampoos to clean the floor. Maybe,this procedure will have to be repeated several times - flea eggs are resistant to substances harmful to larvae and adult insects. Recently, a new non-toxic drug "Stronghold" has appeared, which allows you to reduce the fight against fleas and some other parasites in the simplest procedure. The drug in the form of "spot-on" is applied to the withers of a dog or cat and is quickly absorbed into the blood through the skin. Then it begins, on the contrary, to stand out through the skin. Thus, the animal is reliably protected from infestation by fleas. The active substance of the drug released with skin and hair particles also destroys flea larvae that eat them, if they find themselves in the house. The dose, contained in one tube, lasts for one month. Then the processing is repeated. Front Line, which is also available in tubes,acts differently. It does not penetrate into the bloodstream, but is gradually distributed over the surface of the animal's body and accumulates in the sebaceous glands. The effectiveness of one treatment is 3 months. Frontline spray can be used for even more intensive treatment required for long-haired animals, and it is also the only product that can be used for puppies and kittens from the first day of life. Like Stronghold, it contributes to the elimination of fleas in the environment. To protect animals sensitive to pharmaceuticals from fleas, concentrated decoctions of wormwood or tansy can be used. After thorough washing, the hair of the animal is soaked with these broths and allowed to dry. However, the reliability of these funds is low. In addition, decoctions of these plants are also toxic to animals and humans. As you can seeprotecting animals from fleas is not an easy task. It must be cared for with the use of the entire complex of means, selecting them taking into account the individual characteristics of the animal. It is especially necessary to dwell on allergic dermatitis caused by flea saliva. This allergy develops gradually. The body cannot "get used" to the allergen, on the contrary, with each new bite, the body's sensitivity (sensitization) to it increases. Another flea bite can be the trigger that develops flea dermatitis. Flea bite allergy is based on an immunopathological reaction. Therefore, antihistamines such as Suprastin, Tavegil or Claretin can only slightly reduce itching, but do not relieve the actual allergy. In an animal, the skin becomes inflamed and itchy, scratching is accompanied by the addition of secondary infections. It is characteristic thatthat allergy manifests itself not only at the bite sites, dermatitis captures a large surface of the body. Animals lose their hair, lose weight, become nervous. Flea bite allergies should be treated by a veterinarian.