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Fleas have plagued dogs, cats, and their owners since time began so ways to kill or repel them has been a constant search. Today, with the shake of a can, the spray of a bottle, or a flea dip fleas are more easily controlled. But before these controls were available, pet owners were constantly on the lookout for a better way to free their pets of these disease carrying insects.
The flea can cause many illnesses including anemia, tapeworms, typhus, and skin infections, according to veterinarians. The National Institutes of Health says that bubonic plague was, and still can be, transmitted by fleas. Rocky Mountain Fever and Lyme Disease are the most common illnesses caused by fleas. The last two diseases were thought to be transmitted only by ticks.
Common foods and herbs were used to help keep pets flea- free. Brewer's yeast, sprinkled onto the dog's coat like flea powder is today, was used as a deterrent. Unlike flea powders, it wasn't harmful to the dog if the dog licked the brewer's yeast off. Internally, the yeast fortified the health of the dogs skin because it is high in B-vitamins. Keeping the skin healthy is necessary for good control of fleas.
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