Fleas are common and troublesome parasites that can attack your dog at any time of year, most often in spring, summer and early autumn. They are thermophiles, but in favourable conditions they can also reproduce in winter, especially indoors. If you take preventive actions or fight against fleas in dogs, do not forget about proper hygiene of their beds and the whole environment. Below, you will find the information you should know about the fleas.
n nature, there are nearly 2 thousand types of fleas that live off different species of mammals and birds. Dogs are most commonly infected with cat fleas, less frequently with dog fleas, and sometimes also with fleas of other species – human, hedgehog, rabbit or poultry fleas.
A flea is a wingless insect with a laterally flattened body of 1 to 6 mm. It feeds on blood, has mouthparts adapted for piercing and sucking as well as legs which allow them to jump great distances. An adult insect starts to suck blood just a few minutes after it has jumped onto the host. Other developmental stages of fleas – eggs, larvae and pupae – live in the dog environment, e.g. on a bed, carpet, sofa or in floor cracks, A flea lives for about 50-100 days and an adult female lays about 20-30 eggs a day. She usually does it while the dog is resting which means that some of her eggs end up in a bed or other places in the house occupied by the dog.
Flea infestations usually start when dogs come into contact with infected animals, e.g. during a walk. Parasites are then transported on a dog to its home where they have favourable conditions to reproduce immediately. It is important that the problem be recognised and eliminated as soon as possible as fleas can also affect humans. In the case of dogs, fleas usually attack their ears, back, tail base and belly. Symptoms of the infection are quite distinct, but can remain unnoticed for a long time, especially in dogs that have not yet developed allergies. Flea bites are manifested by local skin reactions (red dots with light rim). A dog becomes restless and often scratches itself because of the itching. Some of the dogs may also have an allergic reaction to allergens in flea saliva – flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). This is a common allergic skin disease in dogs. One flea bite is enough to cause a strong itching. And this is not the end of troubles. Parasites also cause skin damage which can be subject to secondary bacterial or fungal infections. In the case of young or weak animals, flea infestation may cause anaemia. Fleas also transmit other diseases. Cat fleas may be a vector of Bartonella henselae bacteria that cause cat scratch disease as well as an intermediate host of the Dipylidium caninum tapeworm (the latter also applies to dog fleas).
What to do if a dog is attacked by fleas? You should not only eliminate adult fleas, but also fight against all developmental stages of fleas in the dog environment to prevent further infestations. Proper hygiene of bed, blanket, pen or transporter is essential. However, daily vacuuming and regular washing is not enough. To achieve the goal, You may use special preparations which should be applied until all possible flea stages are eliminated from the dog environment. Sabunol is a liquid for fighting off ticks and fleas in pet environment which contains two active substances: permethrin and geraniol. Spray it evenly on the bed, kennel, cage or any other surface with parasites (do not spray the dog). The best solution is to leave the dog outside to ventilate the room. It is advisable to repeat the spraying after 2 weeks. This should provide anti-fleas protection of the pet environment for up to 2 months. You should remember that permethrin present in the liquid is dangerous for cats so before using the preparation you should take the cat out of the room or flat where the preparation is applied for 48 hours.
Is it possible to avoid flea infestation? Yes, it is. An effective way to protect an animal against all external parasites is to use an anti-parasite collar. Sabunol Plus collar is a modern product against ticks and fleas for dogs. Innovative technology of manufacture as well as a new form of the collar strap ensure even and long-lasting release of three active substances: permethrin, imidacloprid and geraniol. The collar is effective for 5 months. The tests have confirmed high local and general tolerance, which makes the collar safe for dogs and at the same time effective in the fight against parasites.