The keepers of the city pets have almost forgotten what a flea dog is. Well-groomed, domestic dogs have no contact with these skin parasites. However, it is enough for our client to sniff a stray, neglected animal for these lively insects to find their way into its fur. How are fleas manifested in a dog, why are they dangerous and how to get rid of them?
What are fleas?
Fleas are several millimeters long, wingless insects that feed on the blood of mammals. So they can feed on both dogs and cats. And even on people! The unfilled flea is white-gray, but as soon as it eats it turns into a dark red, mobile dot. These parasites reproduce extremely intensively – in one day a flea is able to lay as many as 20 eggs, from which more adult insects are formed after 40 days. Not all flea species lay their eggs on the host. Some of them establish nests outside the pet, for example in its den or in the gap in the floor. Therefore, even if we get rid of parasites by bathing in an appropriate shampoo, we can count on their recurrence after less than a month.
How do fleas appear in a dog?
The season for skin parasites lasts all year round – similar to demodicosis or biting lice. Therefore, the time of year will not help us identify the problem. Fleas in a dog primarily cause severe itching. The animal attacked by these parasites persistently scratches itself and gnaws its fur. He can also be irritated and even become aggressive. After all, constant itching can really irritate you! These symptoms, however, are not clear-cut – this behavior of the dog may also indicate some skin disease or allergies. Therefore, if we want to make sure that our client has caught fleas, we should perform a simple test.
Fleas in your dog leave their droppings on the pet’s coat. They are mainly made up of the tetrapod’s remnant blood and appear as small dark red dots. If, after parting the dog’s hair, we notice such dots, we should collect them on a cotton ball or kitchen towel and sprinkle a little water. Flea droppings will dissolve on contact with moisture and turn into bloody spots.
Dog fleas – why can they be dangerous?
Unfortunately, the problem with fleas does not end with itching, although it should induce us to help our pet, as constant biting of the fur and scratching can cause wounds and baldness. Fleas in your dog may also be responsible for flea allergy dermatitis, which initially appears as tiny spots on your dog’s skin. Over time, they can develop into erosions and open wounds that will require long treatment. Fleas can also cause other parasite problems as they are an intermediate host for tapeworms. A flea swallowed by a pooch can therefore cause serious worming. Therefore, if we spot fleas in a dog, we should act immediately!
Dog fleas – how to get rid of them?
There are many preparations on the market that will help us protect our client from fleas. Skin drops, tablets, and collars are the most common forms of these remedies. However, when starting the fight against fleas, we must remember that it is important not only to destroy the adult insects on the dog. In the case of a strong flea, we can suspect that these insects have made a nest outside of our pet’s hair. Therefore, simply bathing your pet in an anti-flea shampoo will not be very effective.
So it will be necessary to take a close look at the dog’s lairs and accessories, and wash everything in a high temperature, which will kill the eggs and larvae of the parasites. In addition, all carpets, sofas and nooks and crannies should also be thoroughly vacuumed. It is worth repeating these activities after a week. Also, do not forget to regularly protect your pet against parasites – flea infestation is much easier to prevent than to combat it!