When the weather warms up in the springtime, fleas are ready to barge into your home. These critters thrive in temperatures above 35°C and they have a voracious appetite for dog and human blood. They do not miss any chance to pounce on a passing animal, climb down their fur, and latch onto their skin.
Needless to say, their breeding on your pets is a terrible experience. Fleas can make your pets itch all over and cause severe inflammation. For best flea prevention, you can contact expert service providers such as Fleamail. But if prevention is no longer an option, you must try and identify the sources of the flea problem as well as seek medical help. It’s important to care for your dog as you would care for anyone in your home.
Meanwhile, this article summarizes six (6) tell-tale signs that your pet has fleas. If you see these signs, you should take immediate action and prevent a flea infestation in your home.
Excessive Scratching, Licking, and Biting
Some scratching isn’t necessarily a reason for alarm. Many pets have the compulsion to do that. However, when it turns into excessive itching, biting, and licking, it’s time to be alert. When this behavior is restricted to the neck, tail, groin, and armpits area, there’s a huge possibility your pet has a flea infestation. These places are hard to reach and therefore make ideal hiding spots for fleas.
Some pets have a serious allergy to flea saliva. Even a slight bite can cause them to develop a rare skin disease called flea dermatitis. Tiny red bumps and rashes may appear all over their skin as a result. Ruffle your pet’s fur to check for these patches. You’re likely to come across them on the belly, tail, and regions around the ears. Flea allergy dermatitis may also lead to alopecia (loss of hair), which may, in turn, lead to dry skin. You should also look out for these.
If you spot black flakes on your bedsheets and cushions or in your pet’s fur, these might be because of fleas. These spots are called flea dirt and are essentially flea poop. They’re excreted by fleas as waste and contain digested blood. Sometimes, however, these might only be normal dirt. It’s easy to confuse them because they look alike from afar. To distinguish between the two, you can do the white towel test. Place a white towel underneath your pet and comb the fur. If black flakes fall on the towel, wet the flakes, press, and check if they turn into tiny red dots. If they do, your pet definitely has a flea problem.
If your pet has a severe case of flea bites, their gums might turn pale. This could also make them susceptible to the life-threatening condition of anemia. Anemic pets lose the ability to produce red blood cells and lose excessive blood even when bitten by an insignificant flea. Check your pet’s mouth to see if they have pale gums. If you see this indicator, it is best to take your pet to the veterinarian.
Fleas are efficient reproducers. They lay eggs all over your pet as well as all around the house. Finding these eggs can be hard. They’re white, tiny and translucent and are often hidden under furniture or on beddings. You can place a towel on these places, and see if it comes back with black specks. You can also do the white socks test. Put on a clean pair of white socks and walk around the places where your pet has been. If there are flea eggs, they’ll attach to the whites of your socks. This is an efficient way to check your home for flea infestation.
Red Spots on Your Body
Fleas don’t discriminate between pets and humans. They will jump at every chance to feed on any blood source. If you have red itchy rashes and spots on your back, or your legs and ankles, you might have fleas. And there’s a high chance your pet might, too. Get yourself both checked.
Tapeworms Larvae in Feces
Fleas are sometimes carriers of tapeworm larvae. When your dog tries to itch or lick to satisfy their compulsions, they might accidentally ingest some of these larvae, along with the fleas. The tapeworm completes part of its life cycle in your pet’s intestine. Here, it releases some of its components into their poop. You can keep an eye out for them when you clean up after your dog.
Fleas on your pet are a recipe for disaster. Despite their microscopic size, they can make your pets miserable. Pets feel helpless in a flea infestation. They can’t eat right. They can’t think right. All they’re left with is a persistent and irritating itch. However, if you diagnose these parasitic invaders in time, you can treat your dog safely and minimize the effects of fleas in your home. You can even avoid this situation altogether if you take these tell-tale signs seriously and get your pets the medical help they need.