Fleas aren’t just annoying and gross, they’re also dangerous to your pet’s health. Fleas can transmit tapeworms, cause anemia and cause allergic reactions, such as those flea bites and flea saliva.
Because of the many dangers that fleas pose to your pet, it’s important to be able to recognize them so you can deal with them appropriately before they spread to other pets or infest your home.
What are the signs of a flea infestation?
The most obvious sign of a flea infestation is seeing fleas on your pet. Other signs include scabs, skin irritation, and dandruff. These are all indications that something is wrong and your pet might have an allergy or be infected with something else.
If you find any of these symptoms, it’s best to take your pet to the vet. They will run some tests and prescribe medicine if needed. Also, make sure to vacuum often!
Vacuuming can reduce and even eliminate a flea problem in your home. A high-quality vacuum cleaner has the suction power to suck up adult fleas and their eggs from carpets, furniture, bedding, draperies, rugs, and other areas.
Maintaining your yard can also help prevent a future flea infestation. There are insecticides available for use outdoors that keep pests away for months.
It’s also important to wash pets’ bedding every week and keep them inside as much as possible. Keep grass cut short and brush off the sand when they come back from the beach.
Pets should never go outside without wearing a collar treated with insecticide so they don’t bring fleas into your house!
Signs of Active Infestation
There are a number of symptoms that your pet may display in the event of a flea infestation. Such symptoms may include scratching, excessive licking and chewing, redness on the skin, hair loss, and scabs on the skin.
Additionally, your pet may also have black specks along their back or even fur missing from areas of their body. These spots may be caused by the flea’s excrement which is called flea dirt because it looks like tiny specs of dirt.
A sign that your pet has fleas is when they start biting themselves and this can lead to self-mutilation as well as hair loss. The bites usually appear in clusters of three or four at a time.
The most common place for these bites to occur is near the head, neck, armpits, and lower abdomen region. If you notice any of these signs with your pet then it would be wise to bring them to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
It is important to know how to get rid of fleas because not only do they cause irritation for the animal but also carry diseases such as tapeworms, cat scratch fever, and ringworm.
One way to find out if your pet has fleas is by combing through their fur using a nit comb. Flea eggs will come off onto the comb and look like grains of salt so be sure to throw away the comb after you have finished checking your pet.
Is my dog at risk of getting tapeworm from fleas?
Most dogs are at risk for tapeworm from flea infestation, but some breeds such as Greyhounds and Tibetan Terriers may be more susceptible because they have a higher number of larvae on their coats.
As the flea begins feeding on the pet, it releases its stomach contents which include tapeworm eggs. The worm larvae then enter the dog’s bloodstream when they swallow blood-infested flea droppings or when their skin is scratched by a hungry flea.
These larvae grow into adult tapeworms that attach themselves to the lining of the intestines where they grow up to a foot long.
If this does not sound like something you want your pet to deal with, read on for ways you can tell if your furry friend has these pesky little creatures crawling around in his fur!
What should I do if I think my dog has fleas?
There are a number of ways you can find out if your dog has fleas. In the evening, take a flashlight and comb through your pet’s fur. Look for small dark specks about 1/8 inch in size.
These specks are often hard to see on light-colored animals, but easier to spot on dogs with dark fur. If you find any, use a flea comb to remove them.
When done, put the comb in a sealed baggie or container and bring it to your vet so they can identify it as an adult flea or larva.
If they’re adults, they’ll need medication that will kill the fleas within 24 hours; larvae might not be visible until after treatment.
You should also check their bedding and other resting areas like carpeting and upholstery, including under couches, chairs, pillows, and mats. You may even find larvae in cracks of walls or crevices between floorboards.
A good way to control fleas is to keep your house clean by vacuuming carpets at least once a week. Also, ensure that all pets have flea treatments every month.
To prevent these pests from infesting your home, try to seal off any cracks where they could come in contact with indoor spaces, and don’t leave food sources like pet bowls or scraps outside overnight.
Lastly, avoid using insecticides inside because they can cause health problems for both pets and humans when inhaled or ingested.
Other Helpful Tips
If you notice your pet scratching, itching, or biting at themselves frequently, this could be a sign of fleas. You may also see small brown flecks on your pet’s skin or bedding around their nest.
There are also other ways to tell if your pet has fleas. Make sure to comb through their fur as well and look for black spots or eggs that have been left behind by the bugs.
Make sure to treat them with shampoo as soon as possible because it can lead to an allergic reaction in some pets. It is recommended that you get one from your vet because there are many types out there!
If you’re looking for something more natural, however, tea tree oil is always a good option. You should never use it without diluting it first so it doesn’t irritate your pet’s skin and make them more uncomfortable.
Another alternative is lavender oil which will make your home smell nice while they’re fighting off those pesky pests! You’ll need to give them baths every week with warm water and then put a few drops of either tea tree or lavender oil into the water.
Keep in mind, though, that your pet might not like this treatment – but if you don’t want fleas anymore then it might be worth it!