For all of us, fleas are a headache, we constantly find ourselves worrying that our pet doesn't have any of them and the truth is that that's pretty good. These tiny parasites can not only cause significant discomfort to our four-legged companions, but also trigger more serious health problems if not treated properly.
Waggy's cares about the well-being of both and that is why in this article we will explore the importance of understanding and treating flea bites in dogs, we will share the causes, symptoms, treatments that can be used and we will seek to educate pet owners on how Identify the symptoms and provide the necessary care to your faithful friends. Stay reading!
What are dog fleas?
Fleas are insects that measure approximately two millimeters, are generally reddish black in color and are characterized by jumping a lot because they have long legs adapted for that function. They are parasites with a small head, short antennae and that feed on the blood of various animals, including us. It is important that we know information about them since there is knowledge of at least 1,900 different species of fleas that can transmit diseases such as typhus, the black plague, among others.
Another important aspect to consider is that these insects have a life cycle that varies between two weeks and eight months depending on conditions such as temperature, humidity, food and species. During this cycle, fleas usually go through a complete metamorphosis in mainly three stages:
- First, the adult fleas jump on the host, that is, our pet, and after a few minutes they begin to feed on its blood. Flea bites cause itching and irritation and can also transmit serious diseases such as those mentioned above.
- Then, in less than 48 hours, the fleas begin to lay an impressive number of eggs that will remain on our furry and also in the environment. Did you know that the female flea lays between 15 and 20 eggs per day, up to 600 in her entire life? Scary!
- Finally, in a few days the eggs hatch and flea larvae emerge that flee from the light and immediately hide in the carpets and cracks in the floor. The larvae spin cocoons inside which they evolve into pupae that, when the right conditions are met, emerge as adult fleas ready to jump on another warm-blooded host and perpetuate the cycle.
Waggy's recommends always being alert and preventing every illness you can and this is no exception. A single flea bites its host about 10 times a day and ingests up to 15 times its weight in blood, so in the event of a massive infestation, fleas can cause anemia and even the death of our pet.
Some of the reasons why your pet contracts fleas may be the following:
Transmission of fleas from other animals
Dogs can acquire fleas by interacting with other infested animals, such as cats, stray dogs, or wild animals.
Fleas can live in the environment, such as carpets, furniture, pet beds, and outdoor areas. A dog can pick up fleas from its environment if it is infested.
Lack of prevention
Lack of preventative measures, such as the use of flea products, can increase a dog's susceptibility to flea infestations.
Other animals in the home
If you have other animals at home, such as cats or even rabbits, that are infested with fleas, there is a risk of the fleas spreading to your dog.
Symptoms of Flea Bites in Dogs
As with other conditions, the symptoms and consequences of flea bites will be different in each case due to many factors such as your pet's age, breed or clinical history, to name a few. However, these are the most common symptoms that your pet could present in this case:
Itching is one of the most common and annoying symptoms. Affected dogs may constantly scratch, lick, or bite the affected areas.
Flea bites can cause redness, inflammation, and rashes on your dog's skin.
Hair loss in the affected area
Constant itching and excessive scratching can lead to hair loss in the affected areas.
Scabs and wounds
Continuous scratching can cause scabs, sores and wounds to form on the skin.
Flea allergy dermatitis
Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva and may develop a severe allergic reaction known as flea allergy dermatitis. Symptoms may include extreme itching, redness, swelling, hair loss, and wounds.
Changes in behavior
Dogs affected by flea bites may show changes in behavior, such as irritability, restlessness, and agitation due to itching and discomfort.
Anemia (in severe cases)
In severe flea infestations, especially in small puppies or weakened dogs, the fleas can consume enough blood to cause anemia, which can lead to weakness, lethargy, and pale gums.
Excessive scratching can open the skin and allow bacteria to enter, which can result in secondary skin infections.
Some dogs may develop compulsive behaviors, such as constant licking and biting, in response to flea bites.
Weight loss (in severe cases)
In cases of severe infestations or in very small dogs, constant blood loss due to flea bites can lead to noticeable weight loss.
Diagnosis of Flea Bites
Inspecting our pet from time to time to make sure it does not have any of these parasites will always be good. With a massive infestation, fleas can already be seen with the naked eye. In addition, symptoms such as bites and redness in areas preferred by fleas may be suspicious.
Waggy's recommends always going to a professional, they will be able to diagnose your pet's flea bites through a combination of observing clinical symptoms and, in some cases, additional tests to confirm the presence of fleas or to evaluate other flea problems. health related. The veterinarian will probably take into account your pet's medical history, perform a physical examination or require some additional laboratory tests to provide an adequate diagnosis of the situation.
Treatment of Flea Bites in Dogs
Treatment for flea bites will vary depending on the severity of the infestation and symptoms, but in any case we will describe some of the treatment options available, both medical and home or local:
These are tablets or tablets that the dog must ingest. Oral flea medications, such as lufenuron, nitenpyram, and afoxolaner, are effective in killing adult fleas quickly. There are also medications that prevent fleas from reproducing by interfering with their life cycle.
Topical treatments are liquids that are applied directly to the dog's skin, usually on the back of the neck. These products, such as flea pipettes and collars, provide continuous protection against fleas.
Shampoos specifically formulated to kill fleas can help remove adult fleas from the dog's coat during bathing. However, these products generally have a temporary effect and do not provide long-term protection.
Flea sprays can be applied to the dog's coat and may be helpful in temporarily eliminating adult fleas and relieving itching. Again, its effect is usually short-lived.
Baths with oatmeal products can help relieve itching and skin irritation.
Using hot creams or lotions
In cases of severe dermatitis, your veterinarian may recommend topical creams or lotions with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to prevent flea bites in dogs?
If your dog has fleas, we recommend examining and treating other animals you have. You should also clean the entire environment to kill the young stages of fleas. It is important to pay attention to cracks in the floor, carpet bases and other dark areas where the larvae take refuge. Also vacuum the floor and car thoroughly. After vacuuming, remove the vacuum bag and throw it away as soon as possible. Another option is to wash cushions and blankets at at least 60 degrees. Additionally, to reinforce cleaning you can treat the environment with antiparasitic sprays or nebulizers.
Dog Care During Treatment
As such, it is not difficult to take care of our best four-legged friends; we simply have to pay close attention to hygiene and ensure that they are comfortable at all times. We recommend that you have constant flea treatment, that you clean the spaces regularly, that you pay attention to their diet as well as their comfort so that they can get relief more quickly.
When to Consult the Veterinarian
We know that it can be stressful and confusing to decide when it is necessary to take your pet to a veterinary consultation, however, in the presence of any of these cases it is necessary that you go:
- It shows serious signs such as redness, extensive swelling, hair loss, and skin wounds.
- It presents signs of secondary infections on the skin, such as oozing, pus, or bad odor.
- If the flea infestation persists despite home treatments.
- Shows other serious symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or breathing problems.
It is important to remember that the veterinarian can make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment for the dog. It can also provide guidance on how to prevent future flea infestations and keep your pet free of these parasites.
If your dog doesn't like those trips to the vet, you can help him relax with Waggy's treats. that contain CBD for dogs , these products help reduce stress and anxiety in dogs , so that they are calmer during their medical visits. In addition, they contain Omega 3 for dogs , a necessary and essential component for the development of our pet, so they are the best option to choose.
How did you like this information? In conclusion, fleas are quite common animals in our environment and it is our responsibility to ensure that our pets are free of them. Remember that if bites are not treated properly, they can cause more serious conditions such as anemia or even trigger an event that would be disastrous such as the death of our pet.
There are many prevention measures that we develop in this article and that we hope will be very useful to you. Also, remember that visits to the veterinarian are necessary and it will never hurt to know that a health professional is taking care of our pet and guiding us through these conditions.
Finally, to conclude with this information, we recommend that you continue reading the following articles: my dog has a cough , my dog vomits white foam , dyspnea or breathing problems in dogs , leptospirosis in dogs , epilepsy in dogs , respiratory rate in dogs , cold in dogs and diarrhea in dogs . These talk about other conditions and/or diseases that can affect your pet and it is important that you know how to prevent them.
Thank you very much for reading us and we are waiting for you in the next blog. See you later!