In my practice as a veterinarian I must constantly battle fleas. Worse, and much more frustrating, I also must do daily battle against human ignorance regarding the vile, pestilence-spreading blood sucking parasites.

People’s knowledge of history is poor. Very few of my clients are aware that merely six hundred and fifty years ago fleas spread a disease (bubonic plague, also known as black death) that wiped out a third of Europe and changed the nature of society forever. Only in the last 80 years has the plague receded as the preeminent threat to human existence.

Now that in the United States plague isn’t the imminent threat it once was, many people view fleas as merely pests.

Indeed, fleas are pests. But they are much more than pests. They are vectors for many diseases other than plague in cats and humans.

A page published recently on the NAVC Clinician’s Brief website discussed some of the vague, creepy diseases that fleas can spread to your cat–and to you.

I suggest you check it out. Also, don’t forget to read what I have written about the parasites on my website:

http://drbarchas.com/fleas

Image: The little fella almost looks cute. Don’t be fooled: he’s deadly!

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