What You Need to Know About Flea Bites

killing adult fleasTwo of the most common skin diseases in pets are flea bite hypersensitivity and flea allergic dermatitis. These can begin at any stage of their life, but it mostly develops when they are quite young – around one to about five years of age. The root cause of the allergy or sensitivity can be traced back to the saliva of the flea.

The life cycle of a flea includes the adult flea, egg, larva and pupa. While adult fleas bite, they cannot survive long if they aren’t on your pet. They will fall off once they are able to lay their eggs and those that hatch then take over and repeat the entire life cycle process. This continues on until something is done to control the flea population.

Both dogs and cats are affected by flea bites.

What are the symptoms?

Flea bites cause severe itching of the skin. In medical terms, the condition is referred to as pruritis. Even one or two flea bites in a given week is enough to have your pet scratching like mad. Most of the time, the symptoms for flea bites are episodic, but as your dog ages, the symptoms do get worse. In some cases, your dog might even develop some behavioral issues as a result of being affected by any of the skin conditions mentioned here. When this happens, the medical term for that condition is called neurodermatoses.

When you notice severe itching and scratching on your dog, as well as hair loss and scabs on the skin, those usually point to a problem. Although dogs affected can have lesions all over their body, it’s normally the hind that is affected more than anywhere else on the body.

In addition, it may be hard to spot fleas or flea dirt.

How to diagnose the problem?

Use a flea comb to inspect the hair of your dog for fleas or flea dirt. In case you can’ find any, you might want to get a skin test for mites or bacterial skin diseases. Otherwise, the best thing you can do is treat for fleas.

How to treat pets with the problem?

If your dog is in anyway affected, flea control and prevention is the best thing you can do. Although there are numerous option that you can try, one of the best ways to kill adult fleas is through spot-on treatments like topical treatments that will be applied to an area at the back of the neck which is hard for dogs to reach.

If you want a more practical approach, then there are oral treatments available. This way, you won’t wonder about whether they’ve licked off their treatment or not.

You can also use flea shampoos, especially if your dog is still young and shows signs of an acute flea infestation.

It’s also important to note that these treatments are not a one-time thing. You need to repeat it for as long as possible for continuous flea control.

Treatment for dogs living outdoors

It’s quite hard to treat dogs who live outside of your home because you don’t know what’s in the environment, especially when the area they can roam in is quite large. You can still use the treatments mentioned above, but you might also want to take action with environmental treatment to protect your pet as well as those you live with.

Treatment for dogs allergic to flea bites

Your dog might need steroids or antihistamines to help with their sensitivity regarding the allergy. Antibiotics might also be prescribed when a secondary bacterial infection occurs. In addition, bring your pets for a follow-up exam to see how progress is going.

The last thing you want is for your pet to suffer. So, although we’ve got all these treatments for whatever condition they might be ailing from, prevention is still always better than cure. So, make sure to give them frequent baths and clean their surroundings.

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