Fleas on dogs: recognizing symptoms

Fleas on dogs are a nuisance for both animals and humans. But what are the symptoms of the flea infestation of the four-legged friend?

Fleas are known to be nasty parasites that, when fully grown, are only too happy to make themselves comfortable on poor dogs. The insects feed on the blood of the four-legged friend. Fleas on dogs can be recognized primarily because the dog scratches and rubs itself. The itching caused by the bites of the bloodsuckers can also lead to the four-legged friends biting their fur.

Itching and excessive grooming as symptoms

If a dog has a flea infestation, it grooms its coat more than is otherwise the case and licks itself much more often. On the one hand, this can cause the hair of the four-legged friend to fall out; on the other hand, the dog’s skin is increasingly irritated by licking, and inflammation can occur.

Allergic reaction from flea bites

Another symptom of flea infestation is anemia, which can occur in puppies. It becomes noticeable, for example, through pale mucous membranes on the inside of the lips. Fleas in dogs can also cause an allergic reaction in the four-legged friend if your dog has a flea allergy or is sensitive to the parasites’ saliva. Symptomatic are signs of weakness or even apathy. Redness, crusts and scales can also be seen on the skin.

Diagnosis of flea infestation

Fleas on dogs can only be seen with the naked eye if there are a lot of them. If your four-legged friend scratches more and more, you can brush it with a flea comb – the beasts or their droppings often get caught in the tines. The flea infestation becomes more apparent if you wipe the combed fur off the comb with a damp, white cloth. The flea droppings contain digested blood, dissolved by moisture and turn the cloth red. This is also how the vet makes the diagnosis. This can be helpful, for example, when recognizing a flea saliva allergy since just a few parasites are enough to trigger symptoms. Sometimes a single flea bite is enough for an allergic reaction.

Fleas also attack humans.

Last but not least, mistresses and masters also notice a flea infestation on their bodies. If you recognize flea bites on your body and have a dog in the household, it is evident that the four-legged friend also has to struggle with the parasites. If you find fleas on your dog, you should consult a veterinarian. He provides your four-legged friend with appropriate medication. Tips on dealing with an infestation with the parasites can be found in our guide “Fleas on dogs: How to prevent”.

Fleas can transmit tapeworms.

They identify and treat fleas in dogs as early as possible because the small beasts can transmit tapeworms. In dogs, these can cause digestive problems such as constipation and even intestinal obstruction and deficiency symptoms such as a dull coat and a drop in performance. If tapeworms are suspected, your veterinarian will prescribe a dewormer in addition to the flea medication. As a rule, the intestinal parasites can be fought well with it.

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