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Flea Disease If You Please

 by zack on 24 Sep 2012 |
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Fleas are a pestilence to mankind. Their blood feud has been going on for centuries. A certain variety of flea was actually responsible for the widespread death and devastation wrought throughout the Black Death’s reign of terror in the 1300s. These days, most people don’t worry too much about catching the plague, but fleas are still carriers of this and other terrible and debilitating flea diseases. For the sake of public health and safety, this public service announcement is here to inform you of the dangers that can result from unrestricted flea bites and flea disease.

Cat Scratch Fever

Despite the incredible guitar talents of Ted Nugent, this particular flea disease is no picnic. Better known in the medical community by the name of Bartonella henselae, (not quite as catchy as the common vernacular) Cat Scratch Fever is transmitted via flea bite, and it preys on weak immune system and can result in serious complications for the victims. It has little to no effect on cats that contract the infection, but it plays havoc with humans. Symptoms include but are not limited to: fatigue, headache, fever, swelling of the lymph nodes, weight loss, sore throat, and a lack of appetite. Someone with the infection should also see a blister or bump form at the site of the infection, which is usually caused by a scratch or bite from a cat, hence the well thought out name.  
The Bubonic Plague
Believe it or not, people actually still catch this medieval epidemic, and it’s no ring around the rosy. Guess how it’s contracted. Pat yourself on the back if you answered flea bites. If you paid any attention in high school history, you probably remember the symptoms of the Black Death: gangrene, malaise, fever, grotesquely smooth bumps and boils, and oh yeah—Death. Luckily, medical science has come a ways since the dark ages, and there are antibiotic treatments that keep this flea disease in check.

Flea Borne Typhus

You know that any disease that sounds like a Greek god can’t be too much fun. Flea borne Typhus is caused by the bacteria Rickettsia typhi  is transmitted when a flea bites a rat then cats or possums and then on to human beings. It’s a nasty infection with some harsh symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes (a common trend, if you haven’t noticed,) severe headaches, stupor, chills, high fever, a skin rash, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches. Antibiotic treatment is a must if you contract this flea disease. If left untreated, the infection can prove fatal. There are plenty of other pathogens that a flea can transmit with a single chomp, but these are the culprits to look out for.  

While there are treatment options for most any flea disease, the real solution will always be preventative treatment. It’s far better to pay up front and not have to worry about the Black Death. So thank your lucky stars that such treatment is both affordable and conveniently available at your online pet supermarket


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