Texas Veterinarian Warns of Flea-Spread Disease on the Rise

Fleas are the worst. Do you know that flea comb that vets use during your dog or cat's wellness appointment? This is standard practice as fleas are the worse and they're looking for flea dirt. There are now confirmed cases of bacteria that is causing people to get sick.

A San Antonio veterinarian is warning pet owners to keep watch for and prevent a flea-borne disease after a case of it hospitalized her!

A story reported on KSAT News tells us that this vet thought she was going to die.

"Dr. Olga Jaimez, believes she and one of her vet techs caught murine typhus while working at her clinic, 4 Paws Animal Hospital."

This story confirms that the disease is caused by a bacteria called Rickettsia typhi, and is spread by fleas who have bitten infected animals such as cats, rats and possums, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The flea is biting the rat and then — then transmitting and jumping on the dog and cat that's carrying that safely," Jaimez said. "And then the dog can bring it to the house, and then the clients are getting bit."

In the San Antonio area, there have been 56 confirmed cases in 2019. There are more fleas in the summer months which is causing a lot of concern.

If you become sick with flu-like symptoms, check this list from the CDC.

According to the CDC, symptoms of murine typhus, which begin within two weeks after exposure, include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Body aches and muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Cough
  • Rash (typically occurs around day 5 of illness)

If you live in Texas, you need to keep this in the back of your mind. Flea control products are so important. Talk to your vet about what you can use on your dogs and cats that are safe. 56 confirmed cases is a lot and with fleas causing so many issues it's better to avoid any and all flea bites.

Get rid of those fleas with prevention medication, have you seen fleas on your animals? We have! Please leave a comment below. 

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