Saturday, August 7, 2010

What Flea Bites look like on Dogs

Fleas are wingless insects that are equipped with tube-like mouths to enable them to pierce through skin and feed on blood. They feed on warm-blooded mammals, most common of which are domestic animals, such as dogs and cats. However, they may also infect humans, especially those who have dogs and cats as pets. If your dog has fleas you will want to treat them with frontline plus. For small dogs use frontline plus orange, for larger dogs use frontline plus purple


How Fleas Work
To be able to feed on their hosts, fleas use their mouth parts to bite through their hosts' skin. In humans, flea bites appear as raised reddish welts on the surface of the skin; however, when pressed, they become white in color. These welts have clearly defined edges and may get spread and get bigger, forming more prominent areas of swelling skin. Flea bites may also appear like rashes, accompanied by small reddish or pinkish bumps. They cause tremendous itch and may eventually lead to bleeding due to scratching. Flea bites can easily be located in humans as they are usually located on the underarms, under the breasts, knees, elbows, and ankles.

As one can see, diagnosis of flea bites on humans is much easier as the piercing bites are more visible to the human eye. However, determining what flea bites look like on dogs and any other hairy and furry pet can prove to be quite a challenge.

Flea bites themselves may be difficult to notice on dogs. However, one indication that flea bites may be present is if your dogs suffer from continuous and intensive scratching. Dogs infested with flea bites may bite themselves constantly.

How to check for fleas on a dog
If you suspect that your dog have become victims to flea bites, you may then check to see if rashes with small red spots are present under their coat. This is what flea bites look on dogs. The most common areas of flea bites are the head, neck, and around the tail. Flea bites usually appear in lines of two bites or in clusters. Within minutes of contact with fleas, your dog’s skin will be irritated, with irritation varying from mild to severe. In very mild situations, your dog’s coat may just appear to be rough, with slight rashes. If the condition has not been diagnosed immediately and has gone more severely, your dog’s skin may remain itchy and swell up to several days after. This will cause even more frequent and compulsive scratching, eventually leading to hair loss, red lesions, and, in other cases, even ulcers.

In most cases, dogs that had become victims to flea bites are often mistaken to be infected with mange instead. Mange is a contagious skin disease that is prevalent in domestic animals, such as dogs and other canines, and is caused by parasitic mites, rather than fleas. Such parasites burrow into the skin of dogs, much like fleas, and cause inflammation of the skin, severe bouts of itching, and hair loss.

mange vs flea bites

Flea bite vs. Mange

Knowledge of what flea bites look like on dogs is a great help in treating the
problem and preventing even more diseases from infecting your dogs. However, as a safety precaution, it is always best to consult your veterinarian to confirm whether your dogs are having trouble with flea bites, mange, or any other kind of skin disease.

(Photo source: www.petsbestrx.com, www.tuscawillaoaksah.com)

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