Dog Parasites. Dog Fleas, Bugs and Parasites

Dog Flea: The flea is a wingless dog parasite (which makes it easier for us to fight it), that has a flat body, which permits it to hide between the dog's hair and has huge mouth tweezers to suck blood. This parasite stays in the dog's body as long as it feeds itself which is usually an hour. The rest of the day it jumps around the rug or floor. The flea lives for about 20 to 30 days, but it lays thousands of eggs. The adult flea plants its eggs 36 to 48 hours after eating. The eggs transform (1 to 8 days) into larvae and then (from 10 to 20 days) they grow a carapace, the pupa, which protects them when the temperature rises. In this stage they can resist more than 1 year. The flea can transmit a digestive worm which is very frequent in the dog: the dipylidium or fragmented worm. This parasite carries the eggs of this digestive parasite. The dog contaminates itself by licking itself.

Fighting Dog Fleas: By inspecting the dog's hair regularly we can discoverthe presence of fleas. Once they are located, the next step is to eliminate them. In the market we will find several types of anti-flea products. For other more specific problems like scabies we will need a medical recipe.

Types of anti-flea Products: There are products in forms of powder, collars, tablets, pipettes and bombs. The use of these depends on the problem, the age of the dog and its lifestyle. The bombs and sprays are not recommended for puppies because the noise that they produce startles the puppy.

  • The powder products are used for dogs with thick hair and also for puppies. Nevertheless, they are hard to use, and little by little they are vanishing from the market.
  • The anti-flea collars contain a substance that destroys the adult fleas that are in the animal's hair. These last from 3 to 6 months. These collars are interesting because they act against every external parasite that the dog might have. The only problem is that fleas can generate a type of resistance to them. These collars can also produce allergies and can also cause hair loss. This product does not depend on quality of the product but on the dog's reaction to it.
  • The tablets sterilize the fleas, therefore the cut their reproductive cycle. It is administered monthly.
  • The shampoos have a topical action and dogs don't usually like being bathed.
  • The sprays act really fast and have an efficiency of about 8 days. The mechanical sprays protect the dogs during 2 months. In order to apply these we must wet the dog completely.
  • The anti-flea creams are very recent products. Their advantage is that they don't bother the dog. It is better if we wear gloves when applying the cream.
  • The pipettes are applied on the dog's neck and they have an efficiency of about 4 weeks.

The Adult Killers: These are products that kill the adult fleas, and the come in the forms of powder, shampoo, collars and sprays which are directly applied. The animals that are found in the external surroundings are fought with the so called bombs. The Insect Growth Regulators

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