5 Signs Your Dog Has Fleas
One of the hardest things in life is to see your friends go through constant pain. It is even more heartbreaking if it is your favorite pet buddy. We admire our dogs, but fleas love them too. Fleas take their strength and energy off their victims’ blood. Also, like most predators, once they identify this delicious food supply, they invade, breed, and begin a new home. Itchy fleas can be annoying, stressful and can cause health problems for your dog. To prevent this, we will be giving you the low downs and how to get these bloodsuckers off your dog’s back. So, if you’re ready for war, let’s lay siege.
So What Exactly Are Fleas?
First, let’s identify who the enemy is. A flea is a tiny wingless and functional insect, feeding off the blood of dogs and humans. These clever creatures jump onto random animals and create a home in the skin of the animal. They breed, stay hidden, and at the same time biting and sucking blood.
Signs Your Dog Has Fleas
Now that we know who the adversary is. Let’s identify how we can track them. Below are signs of fleas in house.
- Unusual Scratching, Biting or Licking
Fleas are devious parasites that feed off our dogs’ blood, and once you notice scratching, biting, or licking at certain parts of your dog such as the armpit, tail, head, or groin, then it is an indication that your dog has company in the form of fleas.
- Abnormal or Strange Red Skin
Some dogs are allergic to the saliva of fleas, especially when bitten. Hence, they have rashes or red skins on certain parts of their skin.
- Loss of Hair
The loss of hair is one of the most obvious indications. Bites from fleas can result in the loss of hair or Alopecia areata. However, the form and condition the alopecia takes are vital for appropriate diagnosis and care.
- Unhealthy Gum which overtime turns Pale
The gum turning into a pale color is a familiar sign of the presence of the condition anemia and a sign that your dog has been invaded by fleas. This infestation is due to
the fact that your dog doesn’t have enough red and healthy blood hemoglobin or cells to fight the amount of blood your dog loses after fleas have extracted blood.
- Reddish or Small Brown Dirt
This involves a lot of careful monitoring. When you find reddish or small brown spots on your dog’s body, then it is highly likely that they are feces of fleas. These feces of fleas that look like dirt can be differentiated from the normal dirt by using a white towel, which can be paper to wet the reddish small brown flecks that drop off the dog. If the dirt becomes reddish-brown, then it is the absorbed blood or feces of the flea generated and defecated via the anus of the flea.
Circumstances That Contribute to Dogs Having Fleas
You may be wondering why fleas attack your dog and not your neighbor’s. Has your neighbor been doing something differently that you’re not doing? Well, don’t be too hard on yourself because some of the climatic factors that contribute to your dog getting infected are out of your control.
The nature or condition of the environment your dog lives in or underplays a determinant role. Dogs living in conditions that are moist and hotter climates have a greater risk of catching a flea since fleas flourish in warm conditions. Also, when you put dogs and other animals together, there is the likelihood of the dogs getting infected. Again, the higher the number of visitors we welcome in our homes, the higher the probability of the dog succumbing to a flea infection. Animals such as raccoons, cats, and squirrels are regular bearers of ticks and fleas.
How Do I Check My Dog for Fleas?
Spying on your enemy is essential in defeating them. Now that we know the signs of fleas in house, let’s discuss how we can check for them or spy on them. Below are three basic methods you should apply to monitor for fleas.
- You Can Check Using the Towel Test
One of the efficient ways is to use a white sheet or towel, particularly if the dog’s fur is thick or blackish. You can test by having your dog lay on one half on the white sheet or towel as you brush him or her. If you notice any spots of dark dirt dropping off and falling on the towel, then it is a signal that you have a major issue at hand.
- Conduct a Visual Inspection for Fleas –
Visual monitoring can be challenging as fleas are very small and maneuver very fast, making them difficult to locate. It is even more daunting if the dog’s infestation is caused by just a few fleas instead of heavy fleas. To carry out a vivid examination, let the dog lie down on her back and begin with checking her abdomen. If the flecks you find are dark in color, then it is evidence of feces of fleas. The poop of an older flea comes off as patches of dark dirt on the dog and is similar to that of a blackened and charred pepper. The commonplaces to locate fleas are the abdomen of a dog and the bottom part of the dog’s tail subject to climatic conditions.
- Using a Comb
One of the affordable items you can use to monitor the presence of fleas is a small size Flea comb. Considering the parasites are ensnared between double layers of the comb’s teeth, it is advisable to use a basin of hot liquid, preferably water, to dip the comb in at the end of every swipe. Dipping the fleas in water is the best way to eliminate them.
What to Do if Your Dog Has Fleas
Ideally, we panic at the sight of our opponents. But you should be calm and instead take action to fight these insects. Here are a few tips on what to do if your dog has fleas.
Since we don’t want our fleas to multiply, we need to eliminate the female eggs to prevent them from hatching. Do frequent vacuuming to get rid of the female flea eggs that may be hidden under your carpet and on your floors in your room. Clear the vacuum and deposit the vacuum outside after use.
Also, wash the dog’s sleeping items such as blankets, rugs, towels, or wood chips regularly to prevent another infestation. Because most people allow their dogs to sleep on their furniture or couches, it is advisable to clean them also.
Alternatively, you can spray the yard where your dog usually hangs out. Using a home or yard spray is effective in killing fleas. Lastly, consult your Veterinarian if all the above eradication methods are not yielding results. Your Vet will prescribe other medications or treatment alternatives.
Are Fleas Fatal?
As discussed above, dogs who are infected by fleas usually have a greater risk of getting anemia. Anemia is a severe and constant loss of blood. Anemia can be fatal, especially in puppies since they have a low amount of blood. Also, the bigger dogs who are infected can’t produce blood cells in a fast manner like uninfected dogs, and this can be deadly. Thus, consult your vet immediately you suspect your dog has dog fleas.
Congratulations, the siege was a success. Fleas infestation can be fatal, and more often than not, looking for signs of fleas can be the determining factor on whether your dog stays healthy or dies. When next, a flea infestation hits your buddy don’t be in a panic mode as you now know how to spot and defeat them for good.