If you have a dog you probably have a fear that they will get fleas. Fleas are busy little insects, once your dog has them they pass easily to other pets or humans in the household. You don’t want your dog to get fleas and you most certainly do not want to get them but, would you be able to detect fleas on your dog? The earlier you catch them, the better, so it is important to know the signs. But first, it is important to know who is more prone to getting fleas, which PetMD elaborates on, “Fleas and ticks pose more of a problem for dogs and cats in certain parts of the United States than in others. A climate where the environment is warmer and more humid allows populations of fleas and ticks to explode, causing serious health concerns for the cats, dogs, and humans in these locations.The distribution of certain tick and flea species varies depending on an area’s climate. Climates that experience colder winter seasons get some respite from dealing with ticks and fleas for a few months during the year, while hot, dry climates are less hospitable for fleas and ticks year round… Even if you live in an area of the U.S. that may not be known for having large numbers of fleas and ticks, your pet may still benefit from preventive medications. Your veterinarian can give you the best advice as to your pet’s risk for flea infestation or tick-borne diseases.” Did you know that fleas can consume 15 times their own bodyweight in blood? This is not only disgusting but concerning; it can mean that your dog or you may develop anemia. Further, some dogs or humans can have allergic reactions to flea bites. Because of these reasons, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of fleas so that, should you spot them, you can take your dog to the vet immediately and begin receiving treatment to rid your dog (and/or yourself) of fleas.
- Itching, scratching or chewing coat (tends to be excessive, not just an occasional scratch here and there)
- Hair loss (as a result of an allergic reaction to fleas or from frequent scratching/chewing)
- Flea dirt (small “pepper like” spots on skin, which is actually flea feces an dried blood)
- Pale gums (a common sign of anemia)
- Flea eggs (on dog or where dog commonly lays or sleeps)