Its very important that you are able spot the difference between a flea bite and bites caused by other pests, below is a guide to help you find out what flea bites on pets look like
Fleas are bloodsucking parasites that need to feed on the blood of its host which can be very irritating after being bitten. With over 2,000 species of flea being identified its surprising to see that there’s only one type flea that pester our pets and that’s the cat flea. This tiny little parasite is capable of making our cats and dogs lives miserable with excessive itching. Dogs are also know to be very sensitive to the flea saliva which could lead to skin conditions such as flea allergy dermatitis.
Fleas can transmit various viral diseases and bacteria to your pet as well as tapeworms. Once they latch onto the host its hard to shake them off, they have long spiky legs that firmly attach them to your pet. Once attached it allows the flea to feed up to 3 times a day on your poor pet, so if you notice your cat or dog scratching constantly its time to check your pet for fleas.
Fleas don’t discriminate between dogs or cats so if you both at home then both pets could be infested. Once they have taken up residence on your pet they will have the time of lives feeding when they want to although an adult flea can live months without blood.
How to identifying Flea Bites on Cats and Dogs
First thing to do is look for tell tale signs of a flea bite, you should see a small red spot which is the puncture wound made by the flea. Look for droppings which can be found along a cats back or along a dogs tail, you’re looking for tiny black dots a bit like pepper. If you find droppings put a few on a piece of white paper and add a drop of water. The droppings from the flea contain some of the hosts blood and when the water is added it will dissolve changing from black to brown to red, this is the tell tale sign that your pet has fleas.
Its very important to identify if your pet has flea bites so that you can treat the area to stop unsightly skin irritations caused by the infestation.
Symptoms of Flea Bites on your pets
- raised, red bite marks
Flea bites on your cat or dog can be more pronounced if the flea saliva has caused an allergy, if this happens the fur starts to fall out and bald spots appear due to the infection and irritation. Whilst checking for fleas its wise to use gloves and wear long sleeved shirts to prevent fleas jumping on you from your pet. Fleas have powerful legs that allow them to jump large distances so protect yourself at all times.
The symptoms can get worse if your pet scratches their flea bites and bites can then become infected. Pets that are very sensitive to the flea saliva might have an itching sensation over their entire body from just a single flea bite. Apart from the constant itching and scratching which is bad enough if your pet accidentally eats a flea whilst attempting to scratch the area it could also contract tapeworm.
How to treat flea bites on your pets
Once you have established that your pet has fleas its time to start the treatment to kill them (not your pet, the fleas). There are many flea control product on the market that can be use which include medicines given by mouth, drops or sprays used on the skin and items that are worn such as a flea collar. All of these products produce different results and have risks and benefits so read the information on the packet before use.
Although your first priority is to treat your pet you still need to treat your home so that these nasty little parasites don’t come back.