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Flea Facts

Do you get the creepy-crawlies when you think about your pet having fleas? What is it about these little pests that make them so horrible? In the WebMD Pet Health Community, M. Duffy Jones, DVM, dispels common myths about fleas and shares some need-to-know facts with pet owners, such as:

  • Contrary to popular belief, indoor pets can get fleas. Guess how? The fleas come in with you, the pet owner.
  • Fleas can survive even in homes where there is no carpet at all.
  • It's not enough to spray your home and yard for fleas. You have to tackle an infestation directly on your pet with regular flea treatment.
  • Fleas will start feeding on your pet within minutes of landing on her skin. And their lightning-fast reproductive cycles means that within 20 days from when you see the first scratch, if left untreated your pet could be covered with more than100,000 fleas!
  • Fleas don't just make your pet itch. They can lead to internal problems such as tapeworms.
  • Historically, fleas have been even more hazardous. Rodent fleas were responsible for spreading the bubonic plague, which killed about 25 million people in the 14th century.

Don't worry. The fleas on your cat or dog aren't spreading the plague. But they aren't good for him, or for your household. So Jones advises pet owners to take a proactive approach to flea protection and prevention.

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