When you have pets nearby, fleabites are not unusual. The first sign is typically your dog scratching themselves a lot. Due to their frequent fur coverage, dogs are known to have flea infestations on their ears, necks, abdomens, lower backs, and tail tips. Fleas are little parasitic insects that prey on people, animals, and occasionally even pets.
Is it at all unexpected that there are about 2000 different types of fleas in the world?
What Do Flea Bites Look Like On Dogs?
It is assumed that dogs get infested with dog fleas, but that is far from the truth, the most common fleas dogs get are cat fleas, also known as Ctenocephalides felis. Pet owners have at some stage had to deal with dog fleas and treatments around it, however new pet owners and others generally frequently ask, what do flea bites really look like on dogs? Here are a few pointers that could help you spot fleas on your dog:
Signs of fleas on dogs
- Loss of fur – In most cases, patches of skin without fur can be seen on various parts of the body
- Skin irritation and redness – Flea bites secrete flea saliva which can cause allergic reactions and lead to redness and irritation around the bites
- Constant biting and chewing of skin – This is one of the most common indicators of flea infestation. This is usually seen in stray dogs very often
- Frequent itching and scratching – Skin irritation can cause itches and resist all you want, but we all know how tempting itching is and the momentary satisfaction we get before we can create sores and secondary infections. Well, dogs are no different in this regard.
- Visible scabs – A scab is a protective tissue covering that is formed when your skin gets damaged, leading to a blood clot and eventually a hard protective crust. In the futile effort to ward off fleas, dogs may end up with scabs on their body parts most accessible to their teeth.
Some other indicators of fleas on dogs
As humans are thankfully not covered in fur, flea bites are much more obvious and easy to spot, as flea bites leave tiny red dots on the skin. In the case of dogs, however, identifying flea bites in dogs is definitely not a piece of cake, as we cannot always see flea bites on dogs. It is therefore important for us to rely on other signs of flea bites on dogs.
Apart from the above-mentioned symptoms, the next best way to spot a flea infestation is by looking for fleas themselves or alternatively, their droppings. Flea droppings usually look like scattered pepper over the infested part of your dog’s body. Heavily infected dogs can suffer from more than just itching. Here are some complications you could anticipate in dogs that have been long term victims of flea infestations:
- Anaemia – Fleas are known to consume more than their weight in food. An adult flea can drink up to 15 times its body weight in blood in a single day. So you can imagine if the canines are infested heavily or for a longer duration, they are most likely susceptible to anaemia. Puppies are an easy target in such cases.
- Flea allergy dermatitis – This is one of the most commonly recorded skin diseases in American dogs. This could be a result of allergic reactions dogs have to flea saliva and their constant itching could lead to scaly skin, hair loss, and secondary infections.
- Tapeworms – Fleas don’t just stop with their bites, they are carriers of various bacteria and tapeworm eggs too. So when a dog eats a flea containing tapeworm eggs, they usually move into the small intestine, hatch, and mature into adult tapeworms.
Fleas cannot be ruled out until a thorough investigation has been conducted. Even if you groom them well, give them all the necessary vaccinations, and take all the necessary measures, they could still wind up with fleas from your backyard or from other animals they come into touch with. Understanding the flea life cycle will help you find the best remedies to treat fleabites and get rid of pest infestations. Flea removal can be extremely difficult.
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