Fleas are among the most feared and dreaded animal parasites and pests by most pet parents. The little creatures, usually dark brown and shiny, can jump up to 40-100 times the length of their bodies.
While this seems impressive, it is one of the things that make them such formidable parasites. These bloodsuckers can transfer from one animal to another or from the environment, at the park or yard.
Many consider fleas a summer problem, but in some areas, these parasites can affect your dog all year round. Flea bites cause itching in the host and sometimes transmit disease or cause other undesirable symptoms.
How Do You Know Your Dog Has Fleas?
Dogs usually scratch and itch, but you may notice your dog scratching rather vigorously. This rough scratching can occur for multiple reasons, one of them being because of fleas. To confirm that fleas cause it, you must examine your dog. You do not need to be a professional to inspect your dog for fleas or flea dirt. All you need is good lighting and a fine toothcomb.
Flea dirt is flea feces comprising digested and clumped-up blood that looks like specks of pepper. They will usually be scattered on your dog's skin, especially in the mentioned areas. When you spot flea dirt, take some out and place them on a wet paper towel to confirm. If they are flea dirt, they will spread like small bloodstains after some time.
Why Is Flea and Tick Prevention Important?
Fleas and ticks are some of the most bothersome pests that can affect your pet. Moreover, they are bad for your pet, you, and your family. These little critters carry diseases and germs that can cause nasty infections and diseases.
They can transfer diseases from animals to humans, like Lyme disease and plague. Fleas also multiply fast once they find a host; for instance, ten adult females can lay up to 10,000 eggs in 30 days. Prevention ensures that the chances of disease or infestation are much lower.
How Do You Treat Your Dog for Fleas?
Topical and Oral Control
These are some of the quickest ways to eliminate these persistent and annoying pests. Some treatments target adult fleas, while others target flea eggs and larvae. Others may combine flea treatment with heartworm prevention in the same drug, and others require prescriptions.
Flea control and treatment products are common today as the brands keep popping up. New prescription drugs are fast becoming favorites because of how effective they are. You can talk to your vet about the right flea and tick medication.
Nonprescription Flea Treatments
You can find products on the market that do not require prescriptions but still keep your dog free of fleas. However, some of these are less effective than prescription medications. Some of the most common ones are:
Spot on products
Oral flea treatments
Flea prevention and treatment is essential for your dog’s health and happiness. For more information, visit Highland Veterinary Clinic at our office in Evansville, Indiana. Please call (812) 710-4300 to discuss any questions with our team of experts or to schedule an appointment today.