For those who are parents to dogs, no word strikes more fear than, fleas! The mere thought of your dog picking up fleas is enough to give anyone the creeps. It’s not just because fleas can infest your dog, but fleas can invade your home. The only real way to prevent a serious home infestation is by being on the lookout for early warning signs.
This guide aims to educate you about the way to detect these subtle signs and take quick action. Without much delay, here are 4 subtle early signs of flea infestation.
More Scratching and Nibbling Than Usual
While it’s normal for dogs to scratch, bite, and lick themselves, they shouldn’t be doing it constantly. If you suddenly notice that your dog is scratching and nibbling more than it usually does then it could be a definite indication of flea activity. Fleas tend to flock certain areas such as groin, tail, neck, armpits, and head. To be sure, checks these areas by parting the fur using a flea comb.
Localized Hair Loss
Another warning sign of flea infestation is localized bald patches. This happens because dogs tend to scratch and nibble certain areas more than others. Flea infestations can also lead to skin rashes, which may cause hair fall.
Red Patchy Skin That Looks like Rash
Dogs can also develop a reddish rash-like skin condition following a flea invasion. These reddish patches are usually allergic reactions to flea bites and saliva. If left untreated, these rashes can lead to an open lesion and infection.
The Remnants of Flea Dirt
Fleas are known to leave behind something called flea dirt. These appear as very small reddish-brown or black specks. You guessed it, these are flea poop. These specks are digested remains of blood that fleas have consumed. This can be spotted on your dog or even around your home if the infestation has reached serious proportions. The dirt feels rough to touch when you are running your fingers through the dog’s fur.
How to Deal with Fleas?
Fleas are something that demands a quick and effective reaction. There is absolutely no reason to delay flea treatment. What makes flea treatment urgent is the fact that the infestation can quickly get out of hand. Flea populations can spread from a single dog and end up affecting the entire neighborhood in a matter of months. Chemical treatment to kill fleas present in the yard and in your home may be warranted following a serious infestation. In early stages, fleas can be controlled by treating the dog. Anti-flea solutions such as Capstar Flea Killer, an orally administered medication, can potentially eliminate the entire population within just six hours. Apart from that, these pills last for 24 hours.
Being on the lookout for the early warning signs of fleas is the smart way to sidestep a serious flea problem. Use a quality flea comb to check for fleas and administer periodic flea medication to keep your dog safe.