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Please release the fleas!

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Bo:  Do I see you scratching over there, Jessie?

Jessie:  Nah.  It’s just a little itch.  No big deal.  (Continues to scratch rather feverishly)

Bo:  Looks like more than just a little itch to me!  Sure hope you don’t have fleas!

Jessie:  No, not really.  I am just itching to get away from the likes of you!

Ah, fleas!  A pet’s and its owner’s worst nightmare!  These small dark brown insects prefer temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85%.  Depending upon where you live, fleas can become a year-round problem.  A dog or cat can come into contact with fleas through interactions with other animals or simply through their environment.  Since fleas do not have wings, they cannot fly.  However, their strong back legs enable them to jump from one thing (or pet!) to another.  Once the flea has bitten its host, it can cause itching.  For animals with sensitive skin or for those who have flea allergies, the bite can be much more severe.  In such cases, it can lead to hair-loss, inflammation and skin infections.  For those pets who are highly sensitive to the flea’s bite, they can feel itchy from head to tail from just one tiny bite!

Fleas can be seen frantically moving along the surface of the skin. They are dark copper colored and are about the size of a pin head.  Fleas do not like light, so you should tailor the search of your bet to the furrier areas or on the inner thighs.  You may find evidence of flea dirt, too, which consists of dark specks of a pepper-like substance on the skin’s surface.  According to www.thepetcenter.com, “If you see flea dirt, which is actually flea feces and is composed of digested blood, pick some off the pet and place on a wet paper towel. If after a few minutes the tiny specks spread out like a small blood stain… it’s definitely flea dirt and your pet has fleas! Flea dirt may be your only evidence of a flea infestation but believe the evidence! If there is flea dirt there are surely fleas present. You need to begin your war on the pests.”  (In other words:  seek advice and treatment from your veterinarian right away!)

Bo:  Oh, dear!  We now have a battle to wage here, dear Jessie.  I say we banish you to the backyard immediately!

Jessie:  (Still scratching a bit)  I tell you…it is not fleas!  I simply think I am having an allergic reaction to your annoying presence!

The pet sitting experts at My Joy of Living in Kansas City can help you to determine if your pet has fleas.  My Joy of Living pet sitting services want to help you and all of Kansas City’s pets stay flea-free for life!  We have plenty of other things that “bug” us on a daily basis!

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