Fleas in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 7/33 - Tips for dog's health
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Fleas in dogs
Fleas in dogs are an unpleasant matter, even for humans. Because they can rapidly spread, you have to react quickly and effectively here. Learn how you can recognize fleas, what diseases they may transmit to your dog and how you can protect and liberate your dog from fleas.
Fleas are very small and nasty parasites that bite and suck and are about one to three millimeters in size. In the adult stage they live on the animal and feed on its blood. Once the flea has jumped on the animal, it starts a few minutes later with the blood sucking. Already in the first two days the fleas lay large numbers of eggs, which then fall away from the dog. Consequently, the entire environment of the dog is affected by the flea attack.
After several days, larvae are arising from the eggs. The larvae then form a cocoon-housing, where they safely protected can survive as a chrysalis for a while. In optimal conditions, a flea hatches from the chrysalis and seeks a host. A flea can lay up to 60 eggs a day.
Detect fleas in dogs
If the dog has a flea infestation so he scratches, bites and licks to an increasing degree, because flea bites itch. Nevertheless, intense scratching does not occur with any dog. A small flea infestation is usually not noticed by the dog. Furthermore, due to the increased grooming of the dog, hair can fail, and the skin can irritate or inflame.
In extreme cases, the fleas can usually be detected very quickly on the dog's fur. In dense or long dog fur, this is not so simple. The preferred approach here is a flea comb and a paper towel or a damp cloth. Comb the fur in several places and then knock the flea comb on the cloth. Here you can see maybe the fleas. Traces of faeces of fleas look like little black crumbs.
Then you can grind the content of the comb in the damp cloth. Should your dog be infested with fleas, then the feces of the fleas when grinded would turn reddish. Fleas feed from the blood of the dog, so this is digested blood.
(Picture right: Dog flea; Source:Wikipedia)
What diseases can be transmitted on the dog by fleas?
Flea saliva allergy
This allergy is the most common disease to dogs, which is caused by fleas. Proteins in the saliva of the flea trigger an allergic skin reaction in the dog. In allergic dogs, all it takes is one bite to cause a strong reaction in the dog. Immediately after the flea bite a severe itching occurs. The dog wants to help oneself through intense scratching and biting. Due to the strong scratching open wounds can develop, which can ignite in the course.
If the dog has a flea saliva allergy, you should consult a veterinarian who can prescribe drugs against threatening infections of wounds. In addition, an anti-flea agent is added to eliminate the cause of the allergy. The best preventive measure is here a year-round flea prevention (see next point below).
Tapeworm larvae (Dipylidium caninum) occur in the gut of fleas. If the dog swallows during his grooming, a flea, the tapeworm larvae can spread in the stomach of the dog. Such a tapeworm infestation shows usually no obvious symptoms.
Only a large number of worms can produce symptoms such as diarrhea, poor appetite or bowel spasms. Tapeworms can be eliminated with a deworming. These tapeworms can, in case of accidental swallowing of a flea, spread even in human’s intestine.
How can I protect or liberate the dog from fleas?
Liberating the dog from fleas
Because fleas can spread rapidly, you have to react here very quickly and effectively to fight them successfully. First of all the fleas on the dog should be killed. Here you can use a special dog shampoo or a spot-on product, which you also get from the vet, to trickle into the neck of the dog. The effect develops then to the complete dog so that the parasites will be killed.
Cleaning the environment
Just as important is the thorough cleaning and treatment of the environment. This includes all places where the dog has stayed. In all these places they could be eggs, larvae or chrysalis. At best wash all blankets, bed stuff, carpets and pillows, if possible at 60 ° C. The same applies to the clothing worn by the family-members. Do not forget to vacuum and clean also your car.
Furthermore, you should vacuum all these places as well as places under the sofa. Pay attention that fleas can survive in vacuum cleaner bags. You should then accordingly change the bag. Then you can treat all these places treat with an anti-flea spray. In the next few weeks the dog should be regularly examined with a flea comb for new traces of flea-faeces or fleas.
As described above, fleas can also transmit tapeworms. Thus, it is recommended to deworm the dog after a flea treatment.
You can protect your dog against a flea infestation with a regular prophylaxis. Here you can use flea collars or spot-on preparations. This is especially recommended for dogs with flea saliva allergy.
Now you have a good overview of fleas in dogs and the transmitted diseases as well as the various treatment and preventive measures.
In the next part of this article series I will address the issue of "mites in dogs". Until then, keep it puggy!
---> Mites in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 8/33 - Tips for dog's health
---> Ticks in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 6/33 - Tips for dog's health
---> Worms in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 5/33 - Tips for dog's health
---> Fever and cough in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 4/33 - Tips for dog's health
---> Diarrhea in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 3/33 - Tips for dog's health
---> Vaccinations for the dog - How my dog stays healthy - Part 2/33 - Tips for dog's health
---> Overview - How my dog stays healthy - Part 1/33 - Tips for dog's health