Fleas are a pet owners worst nightmare. They infest pets and can be quite hard to get rid of. Fleas prefer warm weather and a lot of humidity. For some areas, summer is the only time owners have to worry, other areas aren’t as lucky. Both cats and dogs are infested with fleas through contact with other animals or the environment. Fleas can be treated with a variety of medication and chemicals.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Flea bites make your pet itch all over and in some cases animals with sensitive skin can have severe reactions to it. Flea allergies are also a common phenomenon where a dog with the allergy will start itching all over even if it is bitten by only one flea. Constant scratching can lead to hair loss, skin infections and inflammation.
To see if your pet has fleas, go through it’s body with a fine comb. Fleas like covered, hot areas so you will likely find them on your pet’s stomach, inner thighs and other furry areas. Unlike mites and ticks, you can see fleas crawling on your pet’s skin. They are tiny and usually have a dark brown color to them.
Flea dirt is another sign of the presence of fleas. Technically, this “dirt” is flea feces and contains processed blood. To make sure it is flea dirt, you can pick them out and place them on a wet tissue. After a while, the dirt will start spreading out like a blood stain. This is a definite sign of fleas in your pooch.
To relieve your pet of the symptoms of a flea infestation, you can either use natural or chemical treatments. Chemical treatments are spot-on and quickly eradicate fleas. Pills are also effective with flea removal as they work within 30 minutes to remove over 90% of fleas on the body. The pills are not effective for dogs that are allergic to flea bites. There are also preventative medications that stop your pets from getting infested in the first place. Some medications target grown fleas and some target just the eggs. Depending on how far you pet has been infested, you can administer accordingly.
If you do not prefer the chemical way, you can use flea shampoos. They are effective in getting fleas as long your pooch is okay with being covered in lather for 10 minutes. Once you wash off the shampoo, all the dead fleas can be combed out with a flea comb. Flea collars also stop fleas from getting on your pets. As long as they’re high quality, they can repel or kill fleas with ease. Various home remedies like lemon juice, apple cider, rosemary dips and lavender oils are also recommended.