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 Among the most common dog parasites, fleas can be noted. These blood-sucking insects can not only cause discomfort to the pet but also adversely affect its health. Biting the animal, the flea causes him pain, but what is much worse is the saliva of parasites, which is a breeding ground for the causative agents of the most severe infections. Dog owners have a primary task - to protect their pet from infection, or try to identify it as soon as possible and save the animal from unpleasant and dangerous "neighbors".





What do flies look like in dogs?

The body of a flea has a pressed shape on both sides and is covered with scales, bristles, and spikes. In length, it reaches from one to five millimeters, although there are especially twice as many. Oral stabbing type. Fleas do not have wings, which gives them additional maneuverability in the thick hair of animals. Strong, long tips on the abdomen allow you to move quickly.

The parasite multiplies incredibly quickly but prefers to do this not on the body of the animal, but in secluded places from the external environment. On carpets, in cracks behind baseboards, or fallen foliage. Every few days, the female lays a large number of eggs from which larvae appear, outwardly similar to small larvae covered with a dense protective shell. It feeds on organic waste and after several cycles of molting turns into a sexually mature individual waiting for a new victim.






basic rules

Before you start removing fleas in your dog, you should make sure that the itching in your dog is caused by these parasites, and not ticks, helminths, or skin diseases.

For example, if the dog is itching not in different places, but only in one place, then perhaps the tick has clung to it.

When inspecting, in the presence of fleas in his coat, you can find white grains resembling salt. These are insect eggs that indicate the vital activity of fleas.

Also, black and white grains - insect feces - can fall from the animal's hair when scratched.

The main rule for getting rid of parasites is always bathing the animal. When bathing, fleas largely move to the pet's head or jump into the water. This method will also help identify fleas in the dog.

Another way is to comb the pet's coat with a comb with small teeth. As a rule, fleas remain on the ridges along with the wool.

It is very difficult to determine the places where fleas can be infected. On the street, it can happen anywhere. There are frequent cases when people themselves bring parasites into the house on their clothes or shoes. In cases of spotting flea, you need to know the following:

Effective control of parasites is possible when starting right away. Fleas reproduce very quickly. Therefore, within two weeks after the injury, the dog can become very agitated from the violent activity on his body.

The right choice of pest control means. In each case (depending on the neglect of the infection, the age of the dog, etc.), it is better to choose one or another method of treatment. First, you should familiarize yourself with the methods of getting rid of fleas in a dog and only then act.

During treatment, it is necessary to adhere to the instructions for use of the drug. The treatment of the animal should occur strictly on time while maintaining a certain time for "rest". Neglect of these rules can have a bad effect on the general health of the pet or lead to incomplete removal of parasites.

It is important to observe preventive measures during treatment. Do not allow the animal to come into contact with other dogs, especially with members of the yard.





What could be the signs of fleas in a dog?

Knowing them, you will be able to answer the question: "How to determine that a dog has flea?"

Symptoms 1 : Flea eggs and feces. One female flea per day can lay 20 to 50 eggs. They are white and have an oval shape, similar to grains of salt. Of course, if the flea eats (drinks blood from a pet), it produces a large amount of waste (feces) similar to black pepper granules. These signs can be detected together and separately by displaying the pet's hair or detected in your pet's resting places.

Symptom No. 2: Pale gums. Fleas are very voracious and can drink blood 15 times their weight. As a result, if there are a lot of fleas around, they can cause anemia, especially in puppies and elderly dogs. How to understand that a flea puppy is simple, you need to lift your lip and look at the gums, if they are pale or white, this may indicate anemia. One of the reasons may be just the presence of fleas.

Sign number 3: severe itching, lesions on the skin, and hair loss. In some animals, strong allergic dermatitis develops on the saliva of fleas, which is manifested by severe itching of the body, scratching, sores, and alopecia (bald spots). Most often, these lesions can be observed in the tail,  (base of the back), and back, as well as in the abdomen, thigh, and hind legs.

Symptoms 4: Disturbed behavior. Because of flea bites, the animal may show signs of anxiety, such as suddenly starting to bite the back or paw area, looking back, bouncing, whining when trying to scratch, and unreasonable trembling of the hair on the back.

Mark No. 5: Parasitic worms (worms) in animal feces. Fleas carry tapeworm larvae. And when the animal scratches, licks, or bites the hair, it naturally swallows the flies, as a result of which infection with helminths occurs. While growing in the intestine, the tapeworm sheds its segments and excretes, and you can find it in the feces. Also, passing the analysis of feces to the laboratory, you can get the conclusion that the dog has a tapeworm. Tapeworms in your pet's feces equal the presence of fleas in your dog.

The danger of flea bites

Fleas certainly cause animals discomfort and pain, but this is not the greatest danger to them. What can we expect from these little bloodsuckers? The main problems that can arise due to fleas are as follows:

They, along with blood particles, can transmit all the diseases of the previous animal on which the parasites lived. Typhus, distemper, tularemia are just a few of the serious diseases that can infect fleas.

Flea saliva causes irritation and itching of the skin at the bite sites. The dog, tearing the skin with its claws and teeth, which causes itching, provokes re-infection of wounds, the development of skin diseases, and allergic manifestations.

Fleas can act as an intermediate host for cucumber tapeworms - the causative agents of dipylidiasis and some types of worms.

In weak, elderly animals and young puppies, against the background of infestation with fleas, the body can be significantly depleted or anemia can develop.

Owners need to closely monitor the pet and eliminate fleas in time so that complications do not occur. And for this, you need to know the signs of this phenomenon.





How do you know if your dog has fleas?

Often, the pet owner discovers an insect infection only when they are already in abundance on the animal and cause significant harm to its health. To prevent this, it is necessary to carefully monitor the pet, and the following behavior should alert the owner:

The dog sleeps restlessly, constantly changing the place for rest;
pets, being in a calm state, can suddenly jump up;
often arches his back and freezes in this position for a few seconds;
the animal gnaws at its skin, while you can hear how the teeth are pecking;
There is certain chess - the dog itch very quickly and furiously, and this behavior is not like the usual scratching.

If fleas are suspected, it is necessary to examine the skin of the pet. If inflamed areas, dots of baked blood are found on the skin, this means that the pet has these parasitic insects.
 
If the dog is prone to allergies or has sensitive skin, then a rash of reddish color may appear against the background of flea bites. It is most often localized on the abdomen, inside the thighs, on the shoulders, behind the ears. Also, with allergies, tearing from the corners of the eyes increases, and hair loss is possible. Severe bites over time.

With a severe degree of damage in a dog, bald spots form on the withers, trunk, and in the region of the base of the tail. If the dog is not treated in time, it can completely lose its hair, and death is also possible due to secondary infection.

How do dogs get flea?

Some dog owners are sure that their pet living in the apartment will not be infected with parasites in any way, however, there are risks of infection even in those dogs that relieve the need in the tray.

It is worth considering which methods flea use to get on the skin of animals:
Contact with an infected person - if the yard itches, often and violently bite itself, and bites into the hair, then, most likely, he has parasites. Did the pet communicate with such a dog? Therefore, immediately after walking it is necessary to carefully examine her coat.

Fleas can fall on dogs from the grass - if the animal is practically "infested" with fleas, some of them remain on the ground where the dog walked. Fleas are very tenacious insects and can wait for their future victim for a long time, climbing on blades of grass. Parasites - vampires jump very well, especially if you take into account their small size - 30-33 cm in length and up to 20 cm in length, so it is very easy to get into the dog's coat.

Not only adult parasites are dangerous, but also their larvae. They can also fall from an infected person anywhere - on grass, roads, fallen leaves, on the ground, etc. Often, flea eggs penetrate the house with shoes, sticking to the soles of shoes and even clothes. This is a threat to dogs that do not go out or are rarely there.

Given all of the above, we can say that a person can be infected with fleas, even the most pets.

It should also be borne in mind that after treating the dog from blood-sucking parasites, there are risks of re-infection, since fleas, their eggs, or pupae can be kept in the animal's habitat - in the kennel, on the litter, in a basket, or bed. They can also penetrate furniture and carpets. Therefore, all objects that the sick dog has come into contact with also require cleaning and treatment with disinfectants.




How to remove fleas in a dog

The following actions are very important:
animal bedding should be discarded or, if possible, boiled;
treat all places in the apartment where the sick animal was located with flea repellent;

Vacuum the floor, and if the vacuum cleaner is loose, destroy the dust container.
If the pet is prone to allergies, it is better to seek advice from a veterinarian, who will prescribe a safe remedy that does not cause complications.

Your vet may prescribe the following anti-flea medications:
in the form of a spray.

drops.
Detergent gels and shampoos;
Insecticide collars.
Chewable tablets.
popular recipes.

After finding parasites, do not panic and fear, because this problem is completely solvable. It is necessary to choose a suitable tool and follow the instructions:

Flea sprays for dogs

Anti-flea sprays are very effective, but problematic in the application. When using, you need to protect yourself with a respirator and rubber gloves and do not direct the spray on the animal's muzzle. In addition, it is important to prevent the possibility of licking the coat for several hours, otherwise, some side effects may occur, such as vomiting and difficulty breathing. If this happened, you should contact the veterinary clinic, which tool was used.

You should try to spray not on the coat, but the dog's skin while protecting it from licking the medicine with a special neck. Two days after using the product, the animal should not come into contact with children and other animals, it should not be wet and subject to water procedures.

The drug is sprayed all over the cover. Somehow, it is not the most suitable treatment for fleas in dogs, as they can get into the eyes of the animal; high risk of licking the product; after a day of treatment, you can not touch the dog; If the pet is accustomed to sleeping in the owner's bed, it can not be allowed yet Spray therapy, the procedure with gloves should be carried out in a well-ventilated room, and even better - in the fresh air, this tool is very difficult to take, so it is possible to exceed the necessary norm.

fly drops

An effective remedy for getting rid of fleas, but it does not begin to act immediately. It will take effect in about two days. At this time, you can not wash the dog, otherwise, you will wash off all the means from the dog.
How to apply: Flea drops should be applied carefully. The drug is contained in a small tube, the upper part of which must be cut off and a drop of the product applied to the skin from the back of the head to the withers. Spread the wool so that the drops get on the skin. Read the instructions carefully: the drops are selected according to the age and weight of the dog. Many drops cannot be used on puppies for 3 months.

Anti-flea collars

The most effective treatments for parasites are special collars. A specific smell repels or paralyzes insects.

Fleas "sniff out" on the leash, falling off the dog in a weakened state.
The tool is good because it allows you to bathe the pet and is used everywhere. That is, the collar can be taken with you for a walk, as a means of preventing fleas.

Its disadvantage is the unacceptability of use by puppies under six months. Not recommended for lactation, dogs over 10 years old, and pets with weak immunity. The toxicity of the product can adversely affect the health of the pet itself. Therefore, it is not recommended to wear it all the time. Also, the collar can cause dermatitis, more dangerous to the health of animals than insects. Another drawback is the deterrent effect, which does not last long. So in one quarter, the pet will need to change 3-4 collars.




Insect shampoo

Flea shampoo is the most harmful, but also the least effective in the fight against parasites. Its action has a low duration - up to 7 days. In addition, it will not withstand all soap and prolonged showers. Some pets do not tolerate such manipulations at all.

But this is the only allowed method of removing fleas in puppies. But the first time a young pet is bathed very carefully, adding a minimum amount of shampoo and checking the dog's reaction to the soap solution.
Adults after water procedures love to lick their coats. That is why it is not recommended to use such shampoos for them.

cereal

Some means designed to get rid of insects in dogs also include tablets against fleas. But this tool is considered dubious and rarely used. Most often, after taking the pills, some fleas go down but then multiply again. And for a dog, this method of exposure can have unpleasant consequences for the organs of the digestive system.

Giving the dog pills from parasites, you can not increase the dose indicated in the recipe, so as not to poison the pet itself along with fleas.

home remedies

Unfortunately, today not everyone can buy for their pets various drugs for flea. Is it possible to rid the dog of these parasites through home remedies? It turns out that it is possible, because dogs have been living next to a person for 10 thousand years, and, of course, during this time many effective folk recipes have accumulated.

Laundry soap. Yes, yes, the same brown laundry soap that our mothers and grandmothers washed the laundry with. You should always stay at home for any housewife today, because nothing else can wash your hands cleanly, including from pathogens, while it is harmless and hypoallergenic. To rid your dog of fleas, prepare a soap solution (sometimes laundry soap is sold immediately in powder form), adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil. One or two bathrooms will suffice.

Medical Herbs. Fleas do not tolerate the smell of wormwood, so if you wash the dog with a decoction of this plant, they will disappear. A decoction of eucalyptus, tansy also works well. But with the latter, be careful - a high concentration of the decoction can cause poisoning in the dog.

Onions and garlic. Each of these products is also effective against parasites, for which a small amount (half an onion, or 2 to 3 cloves of garlic) is brewed with 200 ml of boiling water, allowed to brew, and mixed with a soapy solution. However, in no case can the resulting ointment be treated with the whole dog, if you do not want to poison it. Lubricate only those places where you will not be able to lick the remedy.

An aqueous solution of apple cider vinegar. Ratio 1 part of vinegar to 3 parts of water. It should be rubbed into the dog's skin, and after an hour bathe it.

Essential oils with a pungent odor. Eucalyptus, coniferous trees, and citrus plants are suitable. At the same time, you should remember about dogs' highly sensitive sense of smell - a very strong smell can strike them.

Catch fleas manually. An activity for those who have a lot of time and patience. Of course, this will work only if there are not many fleas on the dog, and the dog is light in color - on black you simply will not see them. However, in some cases, this may be almost the only way out, for example, when it comes to a very small weak puppy, which can be harmed by any, even the most gentle means. Do not try to destroy fleas with your fingers - the chitin shell is so strong that it can be crushed only with metal tweezers.

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