How to Protect You and Your Pet From the Bubonic Plague
It's that time between summer and Fall. During this transitional time, it's not too hot out and the weather is ideal for long walks with pets. Although it's great to spend time in nature – you should be aware of the increased risks of fleas getting on your canine friend!
It's getting nicer out and you're happier to go on longer strolls through the woods with Spot. But in tall grass and where deer frequent lay fleas in waiting. These pesky critters don't just cause itching to your pet – they can jump to you and cause dangerous diseases!
The Arizona Daily Sun reveals that some fleas in multiple Arizona counties are carrying the bacteria responsible for causing the infamous Bubonic Plague that decimated Europe's population centuries ago. This disease is also known as leprosy, an infamous biblical disease.
In fact, the common way medieval Europeans contracted the plague was by being bitten by fleas. Do fleas really pose a serious threat today of spreading plague? Yes, in recent news, two California elementary school children contracted leprosy. If you start noticing your lymph nodes getting bigger and have flu-like symptoms, see your doctor immediately to rule out plague as a possibility.
The good news is, the National Institutes for Health states that most flea-caused plague infections come from cats. It's very rare that dogs get plague or pass it onto their owners via flea bites. But they warn you to be very careful if your immune system is compromised, which increases your risk for contracting the dangerous disease.
The best way to avoid contracting dangerous diseases from fleas is by protecting your pet from them when you're outside with them. Frontline and related flea spot treatments usually start killing fleas within 24 hours – this gives the critters plenty of time to bite your pet and transmit deadly pathogens. Ingestible flea-killing Capstar tablets are better because they kill fleas within half an hour.
Alternatively, you can apply a solution of half-half vinegar and water to your dog's coat before and after you go outside. Vinegar is a natural flea and tick repellent that also kills these parasites. But no studies show it's more effective than current commercial flea control products.
Enjoy the warmer weather, but keep aware of the dangers fleas can cause you and your pet. Remember to protect your pet from fleas with flea control products. Fleas can also jump on you directly, so make sure to avoid walking in tall grass and wear protective clothing.
Image source: Flickr.