Fleas in dogs: risks, treatment, prevention

 Fleas in dogs: risks, treatment, prevention

Fleas in dogs: risks, treatment, prevention

Fleas are very common parasites in dogs, which is why it is essential to fight against infestations that can occur at any time during contact with other animals, or simply outside (city, parks, gardens).

In addition to feeding on your dog's blood, fleas are difficult to exterminate and reproduce extremely quickly. It is therefore rightly the fear of many dog owners and only prevention can never be confronted with this scourge. But why are fleas so stubborn? Do they present risks to your animal's health and what treatments are possible in the event of an invasion by these parasites ?

Where can my dog get fleas?

First of all, it must be understood that prevention against fleas must be done throughout the year. Indeed, your dog can catch them in all seasons during walks or in contact with another animal not treated against fleas. Just bring one flea home and it will lay about 100 eggs a day and create an infestation that will also settle in the habitat and on other pets. This is why it is also crucial to give preventive treatment to your dogs if you have them, especially if they go outside so that they do not bring these parasites back inside.

Be careful, they can carry fleas even if they don't scratch themselves and you can also bring some under your shoes or on your clothes! And for good reason: it is in textiles that fleas prefer to take up residence outside of animal fur. Thus carpets, baskets, cushions, beds, mattresses, and sofas will quickly be infested at the same time, hence the fact that re-infestation can occur very easily in your dog between treatments.

What are the health risks for dogs?

In addition to being extremely annoying, because they suck the blood of the dog which will therefore scratch, fleas can be vectors of other parasites such as tapeworm (tapeworm) or even cause allergic reactions such as dermatitis. In this case, the flea pimples will turn into red plaques, resulting from an allergic reaction to the antigens present in the flea saliva.

Consequently, the dog will suffer from itching and depilation (loss of hair) more or less extensively. This type of reaction can also occur in humans if they are bitten and, by dint of scratching, the bites cause intense itching that can give scabs, redness, inflammation in dogs as in animals. man.

As for tapeworm contamination, it can occur when the dog swallows a flea while biting; indeed, fleas often carry the eggs of these intestinal parasites, so you must deworm regularly in addition to flea treatments. In prevention, these must be renewed throughout the year.

How to eliminate fleas?

If your dog is already infested with fleas, it will be more complicated to get rid of them, but fortunately, there are effective products. These solutions are very diverse and come in many forms: anti-parasitic collars, sprays, pipettes, powders, tablets, diffusers, and there are even ultrasonic devices that "runaway" parasites.

Be careful though, the product must be really effective if your animal is already the victim of an infestation, and the more time passes, the more difficult it will be to overcome it! For this reason, it is wiser to go to your veterinarian who can assess the "seriousness" of the invasion and offer you the right product for the situation.

It will imperatively be necessary to treat all the other animals in the house as well as the habitat, without any exception, starting with your dog's belongings and all the textiles: bedding, clothes, carpet, sofa covers, etc. To be sure to eradicate all flea eggs and larvae in the house, it is advisable to use a "fogger" type bomb, i.e. an aerosol that automatically diffuses, specially designed for this purpose, and that can be easily found in stores or on merchant sites for animal products. There are home remedies against fleas, having the advantage of being economical, but they are often more effective in prevention than in real treatment.

Fleas in dogs: risks, treatment, prevention

Natural flea treatments

When fleas are installed in your home, it is theoretically possible to kill adult fleas using home remedies based on economical and often natural ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, lemon, essential oils, salt. .. However, the difficulty with these parasites is that more than 90% of the "colony" takes refuge in the environment of the animal, that is to say, your housing, at the stage of eggs or larvae.

Treating your dog and his belongings alone is not enough, but it can be interesting to use homemade recipes in addition to or in substitution for certain chemical treatments. For example, there are pipettes and antiparasitic shampoos based on Margosa extract and Neem oil, plants known to be effective against many harmful insects. Neem would have the advantage of acting at several stages of an insect's life, from egg to adult flea, thanks to a long-term action that disrupts growth and reproduction. Also, most home treatments will only eliminate the adults without eliminating the offspring.

Another product with increasingly noticeable effectiveness is diatomaceous earth: these are micro-residues of algae fossils with abrasive and drying properties against crawling insects. It is possible to rub the dog with this powder, as with dry shampoo, to renew as many times as necessary. This treatment has the advantage of not being dangerous for the health of the animal. Finally, the lavender essential oil has also been proven to repel fleas, but be careful, it must be used with caution, in minimal and diluted quantities.

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