Fleas, which feed on blood, are the most common parasites on dogs. The presence of fleas can be observed from black and white flecks about the size of grains of sand in your dog's coat. The white are eggs and the black are flea feces. Of course, you may also see the fleas. Flea eggs incubate on your rugs and furniture, so if there are fleas, you should have your entire house professionally treated to eliminate the problem.
A temporary infestation which is quickly caught can be handled by spraying, dips, use of a flea collar, or flea powders. We do not use flea collars because of the danger the dog could chew each other's and poison themselves. This is not a problem in an only dog household. Dips and sprays are quick, effective and long lasting. You must treat both the dog and the environment or the problem will only reoccur. Once the fleas are eliminated, they are are monthly medications which can successfully keep your dog flea free.
Some dogs are allergic to the flea's saliva and develop a rash and itching. Since fleas tend to gather around the tail, you may notice your dog scooting or backing up against things to rub his bottom on. Cortisone treatment by a Vet, coupled with dipping and use of topical antibiotics is effective in treating the allergic reaction.