Flea infestation in Dogs

Flea is a common insect and ectoparasite in the environment. It’s almost not possible to avoid flea infestation for dogs, especially in warm seasons even you keep your dog indoor completely. We are going to talk about the symptoms of the flea infestation, the treatment, and the way to prevent fleas, etc.

How do fleas look like on your dog?

The adult fleas are about 2-4 mm and they are visible with your eyes. Fleas are able to jump and move fast between hairs. You would find them around its head and neck, but all around the body if the infestation gets severe.

In some cases, you will see some sand-like black particles when you part the fur of your dog. These are the feces from fleas and it means your dog gets flea infestation even you haven’t seen any adult fleas.

What symptom will your dog have when it gets fleas?

  • Hair loss
  • Itchy
  • Skin redness
  • Secondary infection(bacterial or fungus infection)

When the dog gets flea infestation, your dog will feel extremely itchy, scratch itself and it might cause skin damage, hair loss, or wounds.
Flea bites make your dog feel irritated and the saliva of fleas can cause “Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)”. With FAD, the dog skin barrier is damaged so that the secondary infection is easier to go after.

Fleas can transmit certain parasites, such as Tapeworm and Rickettsia typhi (ex. Haemobartonellosis) to your dog. The symptom follows the disease that happened to your dog.

Do you have to remove all fleas on your dog?

It’s difficult to remove all the fleas from your dog by hand. Dogs have higher body temperature than human so when you try to move fleas away from your dog, it will increase the chance that fleas are jumping on you and spread them to the environment.
The easiest solution is to use the parasite medication to treat your dog.
After administration, fleas will be paralyzed when they are sucking blood on your dog.

How long can you remove all fleas on your dog and environment?

Depends on what kind of medication you apply on your dog, the effect would start in 2-24 hours and continue for at least 4 weeks. The adult fleas won’t die right after you use the product, they are going to be paralyzed and slowly decrease the number.

The eggs, larva, and pupa in the environment are not easy to remove. You can sterilize your place with bleach or Virkon. Some medications can inhibit the life cycle of young fleas, but the main influence would still through the adult fleas contact to the dog body.

How to treat or prevent flea infestation on your dog?

The best treatment is using commercial parasite medication. Chose the dosage form suits your dog, it could be an external drop-on, a chewable tablet, or a spray.

Your dog needs regular prevention to fleas every month all around the year.

The life cycle of fleas is from 1 month, but it could be extended to 1.5 years in extreme conditions. Female fleas hatch 20-50 eggs in every 24-48 hours. To avoid the newborn fleas reinfestation on your dog, applying the medication every month even you don’t see any fleas. You should do regular prevention to fleas all around the year.

What products can you use to treat or prevent fleas infestation?

  • External topical spot-on solution
    • Frontline Plus
    • Broadline
    • Advantage
    • Advantix
    • Activyl
    • Revolution
  • Tablet
    • Nexgard
    • Nexgard Spectra
    • Simperica
    • Bravecto
  • Spray
    • Frontline Plus spray
    • Effipro Plus spray

The spray can be used on young puppies (a few days to weeks old puppies) which are not able to apply any spot-on medication. Follow the recommended dosage on the package.

Why does your dog get flea infestation even it never goes out?

Fleas infestation can happen on both indoor and outdoor dogs.

Fleas infestation can happen on both indoor and outdoor dogs. The eggs, larva, and pupa could be brought back home through our shoes and dust. And of course, you can transmit adult flea to your dog. For outdoor or half-indoor dogs, they have more chance to attach other animals and they are exposed themselves to the environment which has a high risk to get flea infestation.