Friday, January 11, 2013

Fleas on Dogs- All about Dog Fleas

What is flea dog?
The dog flea is a species of flea (Siphonaptera) that lives primarily on the blood of dogs. Fleas pose a significant risk to dogs and other animals, even humans. It thrive in warm, wet environments, and eat on the blood of their hosts. Scientists have identified nearly 2,000 species of fleas, but suprisingly, it's Ctenocephalides felis(the cat flea) that gives dogs the most grief.
How did my dog get these fleas?
Dogs often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this fleas enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. (It don't have wings, so they cannot fly!). When dogs are troubled by fleas, they scratch and bite their selves, specially in areas such as the head, neck, and around the tail. Many dogs, sensitive to the flea's saliva, will itchiness all over from the bite of even a single flea.
What Are Some Signs of Fleas in Dogs?
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+ Flea dirt  in a dog’s coat
+ Flea eggs on dog (or in dog’s environment)
+ Allergic dermatitis
+Excessive scratching, licking or biting at skin      
+ Hair loss
+Scabs and hot spots
+ Pale gums
The dog usually experiences severe itching in all areas where the fleas may reside. Problems caused by fleas may range from mild to severe itching and discomfort to skin problems and infections. Because of compulsive scratching and biting, the dog can lose hair, get bald points, exhibit hot spots by to extreme irritation, and grow infections that result in smelly skin.
Dog Flea Treatment
When you are treating fleas, you need to focus on three things: the dog, the house and the yard. Sometimes if you address the house aggressively enough, you are possible to ignore the other two areas, so you should start by addressing all three.
The yard is the hardest area to treat, unless of course the dogs are kept in a pen outside. Cedar in a pen can help repel fleas, but beware, some dogs are allergic to cedar. Cut the tall grass, trim back the bushes and shrubs, after rake up all the leaf litter under the bushes. There are also yard sprays, which will help reduce the number of fleas in the yard
If the dogs spend any time inside, the house is often the biggest problem area. The best solution is to use Boric Acid to all surfaces the dog has been on. This includes all: carpet, couches, and hardwood. Boric acid is readily available as 20 Mule Team® Borax in the laundry aisle at the grocery store.
On your dog
Be sure to consult your veterinarian regarding which methods and products will be best for your dog. Common options include a topical, liquid treatment used on the back of the neck, shampoos, sprays and powders. Many products kill both adult fleas and their eggs, but they may be vary in efficacy.
If my dog has fleas? What should I do?
Consult your vet, who will confirm the diagnosis and discuss appropriate treatment options. Your veterinarian may determine the best plan for preventing fleas in the future.
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