Things to notice if your dog is infested with fleas are that there will be hair loss in the neck, thighs and spine, discomfort and itching. Many dogs are hypersensitive to flea bites and can be allergic to the saliva which they inject into the dog’s skin while feeding on their blood. Treatment is needed repeatedly, but there are easy, safe and effective methods to completely prevent flea bites on dogs.
Flea Bites On Dogs
Flea bites on dogs are not uncommon. Fleas are parasites that suck on the blood of pets. They nestle among the thick coat of dogs and irritate them constantly. One of the major signs of a flea infestation is pets who itch themselves constantly.
The symptoms of a flea infestation are as follows:
- Vigorous itching and licking of skin (pruritis)
- Redness or scabbing
- Skin sores
- Hair loss
- Restless behaviour
- Fleas that you might find jumping about on your pet’s arms, legs or belly
- Copper-coloured tiny flecks among your pet’s hair (this is flea faeces)
- Listless and lethargic pets (due to excessive blood loss)
Where Can Dogs Pick Up Fleas?
There are a number of places from where your pet might pick up fleas. Some examples are listed below:
- Fleas might be dropped off by other animals, which can jump onto your pet if it is nearby. Fleas might be dropped off by squirrels, rodents, cats etc.
- If you have dropped off your dog at a public kennel or shelter, he might pick up fleas while mingling with the other animals there.
- There might be fleas or flea eggs on your furniture that your dog might pick up.
- Sometimes, even mice that sneak into your home can harbour fleas.
Are Fleas Dangerous To Dogs?
Fleas are an unnecessary bother that might affect your dogs or other pets.
- They are blood-sucking parasites, so of course, they can be harmful. If left untreated for a long time, a flea infection can lead to anaemia in dogs.
- Flea bites leave the skin of your dog exposed to secondary infections which can be particularly dangerous.
How To Treat Flea Bites In Dogs?
Try some of these methods to get rid of fleas in your pet:
- Flea shampoos – They are easily available in the market and can be used while bathing your pet. They kill the fleas present in your pet’s hair. You will notice the fleas falling off once you rinse off the shampoo. You can combine a flea shampoo treatment with other flea-repellant products. Depending on the infestation, you might need to repeat this treatment on your pet.
- Insect Growth Regulators – These are substances that do not allow the multiplication of fleas. They are not very toxic and can be used safely on pets. They can be your second line of defence against fleas after flea-repellant products.
- Topical Liquids – They can be applied to the back, arms and underbelly of your dog to provide relief from itching and redness. Use them on the warmer body parts of your pets as they have the maximum concentration of fleas.
- Flea collars and powders – They provide slight protection against fleas. They are best to be used as a preventive measure against pests.
- Insect Developmental Inhibitors – These can be given orally or sometimes might be injected into your pet by a vet. These are to be used only if advised by a vet.
- Other Treatments – Your vet might review the situation of your pet and prescribe medication that he feels is appropriate. It is always best to follow the advice of a professional in the case of a flea infestation.
Home Modifications After A Flea Infestation
It is not sufficient to only take your pet to a vet. There are certain home modifications that are necessary to be followed if you know that you have a flea infestation.
- Use a mild insecticidal spray for your home, especially in the areas that your dog frequents. You should ensure that the chemicals used are pet friendly.
- Wash your dog’s bedding and toys repeatedly in hot water to make sure there are no more fleas or eggs in them.
- Check any other pets in your house for possible cross-infection.
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