Do you think your dog has fleas? Are you worried that he might have fleas and you won’t recognize it until the infestation becomes severe? Most of the time, it isn’t too difficult to tell if your dog has fleas. However, there may be some factors in Port St. Lucie, FL that make this more difficult, including dogs with black fur or dogs with very long hair.
What To Be Look on the Look for with a Dog that has Fleas
In this article, we’ll show you some of the most common ways to tell whether or not your dog has fleas. Use this information to keep tabs on your dog’s health and wellbeing and to stay on top of his care and maintenance, too.
Before any other symptoms are readily noticeable, your dog will start scratching. Of course, many dogs scratch now and then; just like humans, they get itchy for no apparent reason sometimes, and they need to scratch. But if your dog’s scratching doesn’t stop or it just seems to get worse, this is a clear indication that he likely has fleas.
Scratching is sometimes the only symptom dog owners notice before they jump into action and give their dogs a full flea treatment. This includes topical medication, a flea bath, plenty of brushing or combing, and more. The faster you respond to an itchy dog, the better off you and he will both be.
Flea dirt is the common name for the debris left behind by fleas. Although many may think this is flea poop, it is actually small pieces of dried blood that are left when fleas break the skin to bite your dog. Flea dirt looks like small black or dark brown crumbs and can usually be found on your dog’s bedding or on the floor near where he spends most of his time.
If you pick up some flea dirt on a slightly damp paper towel, it will turn red again. This is one way to tell whether or not you’re really looking at flea dirt. If you are, this means you have a lot of fleas to deal with, and you’ll likely need to talk to your veterinarian in Port St. Lucie, FL for more information about some heavy-duty treatment options for your pet.
Eggs and Larvae
Sometimes, you may be able to see flea eggs or larvae, although both are hard to spot. If you do see them, you’re likely to find them on your dog’s bedding. Eggs and larvae usually fall off of a dog while he is in the same spot for a while, rather than while he’s up and moving around.
If your dog has fleas, you may also notice the eggs and larvae on his body. They are usually easier to spot on dogs with dark-colored fur, since the eggs stand out better against darker hair. However, you can part your dog’s hair and look at his skin in several spots on his body to see if you can find larvae or eggs, regardless of his hair type or color.
If you part your dog’s hair and look closely at his skin, you may notice that his skin is very red. He may also have red skin on parts of his body where his hair is thinner, so check his legs, paws, snout, and ears for this sign as well.
Dogs with very long hair may not show skin redness easily, however, so you may want to look for other signs and symptoms if you have a long-haired dog. Be on the lookout for any open wounds on your dog’s skin that may occur from his scratching as well.
As your dog scratches more and more to relieve his flea bites, he will cause his fur to fall out. This may occur in patches of baldness or it can occur as thinner hair all over his body. Either way, it’s not a good sign, and it means you need to do something fast about the fleas he’s dealing with in Port St. Lucie, FL.
If your dog’s hair is affected by the fleas, he will need a medicated bath to soothe his itchiness and help restore his skin and coat health. A professional groomer or a vet may be able to help, and it’s likely a good idea to use a professional if your dog’s fleas have gotten to this point. Over-the-counter dog shampoos may not quite cut it.
Last but not least, your dog may simply have visible fleas crawling on his body. You may see them on his fur if he has light-colored fur, or you may see them on areas where his fur is thinner, such as on his snout or ears.
If the fleas hop off of your dog, you may see them on your furniture, on his bedding, on the floor, or even on you. This is another obvious way to notice that you have a flea issue going on in your household.
Noticing Fleas on Your Dog and What You Should Do
Did you learn something useful about spotting fleas on your dog? With the help of this information, it should be easier than ever before to tell whether or not your dog is dealing with fleas.
If you do think your dog has fleas, a topical flea treatment is a great way to help. You may also want to take your dog to the vet and get a prescription oral flea treatment medication instead. A medicated flea bath is another great way to help your dog get over his fleas fast.
If you have more concerns give your veterinarian a call at The Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie County at (772) 337-8570.