Flea Infestation on Dogs
A flea infestation can be a real nightmare, especially for your dog. Luckily, there are numerous flea treatments available for both your home and your dog. Fleas are nasty little critters with very strong back legs that allow them to jump great distances from one host to another. Fleas don’t actually live ON your pet…they live in your home, returning to your pet to feed and lay eggs.
There are numerous flea remedies for dogs available today. There are choices at each end of the price scale and these remedies can keep your home and dog flea free. Whether you choose flea collars, flea shampoos, flea pills/tablets, or a topical flea remedy, each one offers protection against fleas and the nightmares that can come with them.
A female flea can live on a host animal for a couple of weeks, during which time she can lay up to 30 eaggs a day. These eggs can also be found in carpeting, furniture, and even your own bed. It is very important to treat your pet along with his/her surroundings so as to effectively stop the flea infestation.
Fleas also leave behind what is called “flea dirt” that resembles specks of black pepper. You can place this “flea dirt” on a wet paper towel and if it turns reddish within a couple minutes, you can be sure that your dog has fleas. This “flea dirt” is actually flea feces which is made of of digested blood from your pet. The areas on your dog with thinner amounts of hair allow you to inspect your dog closely. Checking the insides of the hind legs should allow you to effectively search for this “flea dirt.”
Flea remedies for dogs will also help keep your pet from becoming ill from said fleas. Fleas can cause some serious health issues and even death if not treated quickly. Some pets are highly allergic to the flea saliva and when bitten, they start scratching and digging themselves as a way to alleviate the unbearable itchiness. Dogs suffering from this “Flea Allergy Dermatitus (F.A.D)” can end up scratching bare/bald areas into their fur. The skin then gets moist from the reaction and this in turn makes the dog even more susceptible to other problems such as bacterial infections that will then spread. I had 1 dog with this severe reaction and even 1 flea would cause her to go crazy with itchiness. She had to be put on antibiotics and steroids to get her skin healed up and her hair grown back. If we didn’t keep her completely flea free, her life was miserable. In young dogs, older dogs, or dogs with ailing immune systems, F.A.D can be fatal.
Besides Flea Allergy Dermatitus, fleas can also cause other health issues that are also quite serious. Fleas are carriers of tapeworms. When your dog scratches and bites at his skin, he will inevitably end up eating a number of the tiny pests. This in turn can cause your dog to also have a tapeworm infestation. Tapeworms can look like tiny, white grains of sand, or longer, flattened looking ribbon in your dogs stool…both are tapeworm. The smaller sections are just a small piece of the tapeworm.
Flea Anemia is another health issue that can cause big problems for your pooch. Fleas feed on blood…a lot of blood. Flea Anemia is caused when there aren’t enough red blood cells in the dogs bloodstream. One way to check would be to inspect your pets gums. The gums should not be a pale color. Anemia, once it gets severe, will require a blood transfusion to fix. It is very possible that in a young dog, or an older dog, or in a dog with a weakened immune system…it can cause death.
It is much easier to prevent a flea infestation than it is to get rid of one. Once your pet becomes infested, more likely than not, your home will also be infested. Choosing a flea remedy for your dog is a smarter and CHEAPER alternative to waiting for the inevitable “flea season” to strike. Once that happens, you will have vet bills on top of the flea treatments for your dog as well as flea treatments for your home as well.