Dog Health In Spring
With the arrival of spring, our walks with four-legged friends are enriched with pitfalls: fleas and ticks invade meadows and parks, putting at risk the health of our animals and our domestic peace.
In addition to causing discomfort and rashes, these parasites are easily introduced into our homes, and can be a vehicle of disease for humans: learning to recognize and avoid their presence is therefore very important.
In this article we will talk in particular about the fleas of the dog, and we will give you some information and suggestions useful to avoid and reduce the risks due to their presence.
How Do We Find Out That Our Dog Has Taken Fleas?
Seeing them is not easy, because their size varies between 1 and 8 mm in the adult female. It is easier for your dog to suggest them to you by scratching, biting or licking his skin in the areas where he is bitten. However, this does not necessarily happen: itching is in fact an allergic reaction to flea bites which, although very frequent, is not found in all dogs, but only when flea bite allergy or DAP (flea allergy dermatitis) occurs.
It is therefore advisable to periodically check the skin and hair of the animal, to be sure that there is no so-called “charcoal dust”, or the feces of fleas: small black granules that are deposited mainly on the back or at the base of the tail. If you add to these spies the presence of erythema, papules, abrasions on the skin, dandruff and a progressive thinning of the coat, your dog will probably have taken the fleas.
Not Only At The Park: Where The Fleas Hide
It is very common for aggression to occur in parks and meadows, especially if they are often frequented by stray animals.
However, the possibility of your dog picking up fleas in a domestic environment should not be excluded: even the garden below the house, the doormat, the landing are environments susceptible to infestation by fleas, especially if you have other pets at home, and not all properly treated with pesticides.
It should also be remembered that these parasites proliferate especially in very humid environments, not necessarily in warmer seasons: domestic heating, for example, creates an ideal environment during the winter for their reproduction. Carpets, sofas and kennels also serve as nests, larvae and eggs, even if you are particularly careful in domestic hygiene: their size is so small that you can hardly find them with the naked eye!
Can Cause Dangerous Diseases For My Dog?
In addition to the previously mentioned flea allergy dermatitis, their bites can cause anaemia in the case of severe infestations, especially in young animals. The flea can also transmit to our animal the tapeworm Dipylidium caninum, an intestinal parasite, whose presence manifests itself with diarrhea, constipation, insomnia and other annoying disorders.
Do They Hurt Humans?
The ideal habitat for the flea is your animal’s mantle, but this does not mean that they cannot attack humans as well. This is especially the case when your dog has left home or is particularly infested. It must be said, in fact, that, in these cases, your animal attracts about 5% of the parasites: the remaining 95, on the contrary, goes to settle on kennels, carpets, carpets, sofas, in the form of larvae and eggs.
It is not difficult to see the bite of the flea on the man: this results in skin disorders in the form of red dots in relief, which affect mainly the area of the shins, calves, ankles, disorders that however disappear in a few days. Other times the parasite becomes a vehicle for more serious diseases, such as tapeworm, an intestinal disease often caused by the tapeworm Dipylidium caninum, the same parasite that, in all likelihood, will have already affected your dog.
Good Prevention Practices
If your dog lives at home with you, a good practice of prevention is to equip himself with an electric dehumidifier: this will certainly not eliminate the risk of an infestation, but it will certainly make the environment less hospitable to our parasites, slowing down the development of larvae and the laying of eggs.
Furthermore, it is a good idea to check the coat periodically, especially in the most hidden areas, such as the axillary cavity, the area behind the ears and the one under the neck, especially after a day spent outdoors.
Finally, it is good to have products with repellent action to prevent any form of infestation, even better if they also ensure the hygiene of the home environment and are active simultaneously for ticks fleas and phlebotomes.
The Advice Of The Veterinarian
In addition to putting the good rules of prevention into practice, my advice is to turn to your vet when the first symptoms arise: periodic check-ups and sudden treatment, however expensive, are necessary to protect the health of your dog.
A good solution to protect your four-legged friend, avoiding unforeseen medical expenses, is to take out a good health insurance for pets. The possibility to turn to trusted facilities, receive a diagnosis in a short time, without worrying about costs is undoubtedly a great support for those who see in their dog a friend to protect and love.