Dog Fleas
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Dog Fleas

As all dog owners know, dog flea infestation is a risk you are going to have to take if you don’t make your dog wear a flea collar all of the time. Luckily there are treatments and tips that you can follow to get rid of these nasty pests. But before you start treating the problem, you should understand it. The dog flea is a small parasitical wingless insect that form colonies on hosts. It feeds on the blood of the host and the bite can be awfully annoying since most animals are allergic to the saliva of the dog flea. The allergic reaction will show itself through a swollen rash that itch terribly. The dog will respond to this by scratching and gnawing something terrible, this and the visual presence of dog fleas and eggs are the symptoms of this nuisance.

Dog flea – Lifecycle

Like many other animals the dog flea begins its life in the form of an egg. Once hatched the egg will reveal a larva that actually isn’t parasitic but that feeds on organic debris such as hair and dead skin. This means that both the eggs and larvae not necessarily is anywhere near your dog, and therefore is a total infestation of an entire home possible. When the larva has eaten as much as it needs it will spin a cocoon to become a pupa. The transformation into does not take very long but the adult flea will stay inside its cocoon until it feels the presence of a potential host. It is therefore one might find that a house that has been abandoned will be infested with fleas as soon as someone moves in, the fleas has been there all along as pupae. The adult fleas will then get onto their new host and form a colony where they feed on the blood of the host, mate and lay new eggs. The eggs are placed so that they may fall off, hence allowing the infestation to spread to other hosts. Thus is the dog flea lifecycle complete.

Dog flea – Diseases

The dog flea can carry many diseases but luckily your dog is immune to most of them. This still means that the infestation must be dealt with as swiftly as possible. Once recognised that the dog has become infested with fleas one should pay extra attention to the dogs stool. Seeing a combination what looks like grains of rice and bits of tape in the dogs stool confirms that it has been infected by tapeworm. When as a larva the dog flea will eat anything it can find, including tapeworm eggs, making it a carrier of the parasitical tapeworm. The tapeworm is a flat snakelike creature that will attach itself to a dogs intestine and feed on whatever that passes by, in other words it will be stealing important nutrition from the dog. What look like grains of rice are actually tapeworm eggs and the bits of tape are tapeworm segments. Getting rid of both the dog flea infestation and the tapeworm infestation is crucial for a dogs wellbeing.

Dog flea – Pet treatment

There are lots of different treatments for a dog flea infestation but the easiest is probably using flea shampoo. There are lots of different brands of flea shampoo out there so it is hard to recommend one. Ask at the store or call a veterinarian for advice. Once a bottle of flea shampoo is purchased it is just as simple as following the instructions on the bottle. If flea shampoo of some reason is out of the question, then an extensive grooming using a flea comb can be an alternative. Cutting the dogs hair may also help as it will make grooming much easier and make the dog fleas more visible. A flea collar should be placed around the dogs neck from the first day you recognize the infestation. It will not only kill some of the fleas but also hinder the dog from becoming a new host once treated.

Dog flea – House control

Although there are some home treatments that are quite efficient, the very best would still be to call an exterminator. These people are professionals that deal with dog fleas on a daily basis. They will know what to use, where to use it and what one as a dog owner should think about so that the whole thing doesn’t repeat itself. The exterminator might even be able to give you some advice on how to manage a smaller situation by yourself before it gets out of hand. That way there might not be any need to call an exterminator if it happens again.

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