My dog has fleas, what should I do?

April 13, 2012

Flea infestation would be the nightmare of both dog and dog owner. You would have an idea how these pesky parasites make the life of your pet miserable when they start to attack you and all the other members of the family. Fleas would be found on the carpet, on the couch and practically in every nook and cranny of the house. Because the dog sleeps with you, the free loaders would bite when you are sleeping. The fleas would bite while you are watching TV and while you are eating. Fleas would jump on your legs and feed so that the flawless legs would have tiny red dots that would be very itchy. The dog may not be able to voice out the complaint but the effects of the flea infestation will be apparent because of the incessant scratching. Soon enough, the dog’s beautiful coat will be marred by bald patches. Due to the relentless scratching, the skin can get infected. Aside from this fact, the dog can have another parasite courtesy of fleas. Fleas serve as intermediate hosts of tapeworms. While the dog is biting and chewing the itchy skin, a tapeworm egg-carrying flea can be ingested. The dog will suffer from another parasite infestation – this time from tapeworms.

What would you do if your home, your pets and the members of the family are being attacked by fleas? The most common reaction of dog owners is to bomb the house with anti flea chemicals. This remedy would be effective – for a time. For a while, you and the family can enjoy a good night’s sleep without being awakened by flea bites. You would be able to peacefully watch TV even with the dog sleeping on your feet. These sprays would kill adult fleas but not the eggs so that after a while there will be a resurgence of the parasites. To wage war against fleas you need to understand the life cycle of these parasites.

Fleas would feed on dog and human blood. Adult fleas would lay eggs that would cling to the fur of the dog. Some would fall on the carpet, on the bed and on floor crevices. After a few days the eggs will develop into larva. The small worm-like creatures would stay where they have fallen and after several weeks will enter the pupae stage. The waterproof pupae protect the developing flea from insecticides. To totally eliminate the fleas from the environment these pupae have to be eliminated.

The first task of the dog owner is to remove the parasites from the pet. Bring your pet to the vet for prescription of the right sprays and medications that will eradicate the infestation. There will be no point in treating the pet if the parasites are not removed from the home and from the immediate environment of the pet. Time to bomb the house with anti flea sprays! These chemicals will kill adult fleas. As mentioned, pupae will be protected by the waterproof cocoon. You need to take out the vacuum to remove these would be-fleas from the carpet, from the floor and from every nook and cranny of the house. For good measure, wash the bedding and the blanket of the pet. Other washable items that may harbor fleas must be thrown to the washer. Warm soapy water will kill fleas at any stage.

If you think that the fleas were totally removed because you and your family no longer suffer from itching, think again. Some pupae that have survived would hatch after a few weeks and the infestation will begin again. The pet treatments, the spraying has to be repeated to totally remove surviving fleas. Don’t forget the vacuuming routine. Not only would it keep your home clean, the vacuum would be a good weapon for your war against fleas.

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