Begin Flea Prevention if You See These Signs
Fleas are most certainly annoying, but signs of their infestation are not always so obvious, especially if you are dealing with the problem for the first time. Here are few things veterinarians recommend watching out for – even if you don’t think fleas could possibly get into your home. If you are seeing any of these signs you should consider flea prevention.
1. ABNORMAL SCRATCHING, LICKING AND/OR BITING
Fleas are opportunistic arthropods that seek out our pets’ blood as a food source. “Once fleas get on your pet by jumping or crawling, they typically set up their habitat in hard to reach (and see) places, like the head, neck, tail, armpits, or groin,” says Patrick Mahaney, VMD. “Licking, biting, or scratching at these places usually indicates the presence of nagging parasites like fleas.”
2. UNUSUAL RED PATCHES OF SKIN
According to Dr. Mahaney, flea bite saliva can also be allergenic for some dogs and cats. These allergic reactions need not be exclusive to the bitten body part either. Flea bite hypersensitivity can cause rashes or lesions anywhere on the body.
3. HAIR LOSS
Hair loss, or alopecia, can be due to several things, including a reaction to flea bites. Dogs or cats may also pull out some of its own hair due to the continuous biting or licking of the flea bite areas. The pattern and severity of the alopecia is essential for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
SEEK YOUR VETERINARIAN’S ADVICE
If you can’t find any signs of actual fleas on your dog or in your living environment, or if you have done the full flea eradication treatment on your dog and home but your dog is still scratching excessively, it’s time to ask your veterinarian for flea prevention advice. He or she will help you determine the cause of your dog’s discomfort and suggest treatment options such as flea preventatives.
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