Sunday, July 31, 2011

Killing Fleas on Dogs

Fleas are a serious worry that all pet owners ultimately have to contend with. Anyone who has a dog has probably have faced the demoralizing job of having to get rid of fleas, a task which has time and again proved to be more trying than it appears.

Fleas are not simply a concern because they bite and incite hours of aggravating scratching for your pet, but they can also trigger more serious issues like flea allergies, tapeworm infestations and anemia in extreme situations.

Owing to their amazing resilience, fleas are inordinately tough to keep under control. A female flea might lay over 2,000 eggs during her lifecycle, this implies that infections may occur briskly and the eggs that she laid might exist for a number of months in nature while simply waiting for a timely host. So it's important to control both getting rid of fleas on canines in addition to the fleas inhabiting the pet's living space. The perfect areas to find fleas include rugs, sand, carpets and bed linens.

How to Exterminate Fleas

In order to totally terminate fleas on your dog and in his habitats, it's imperative to be familiar with the flea's lifespan. There are four stages that constitute the life cycle of the flea. As with most insects, the fleas originates from the egg stage, grows into larva, then progresses into the pupa phase before eventually reaching the adult stage.

The Flea's Egg Phase

The fleas eggs are pallid in color and are so tiny that they're tough to notice without using a magnifying glass. Though the eggs are initially laid on the pet's skin, a lot will ultimately drop onto the ground to continue their trek to adulthood. Approximately half of the total flea count is made up of eggs. Depending upon the environmental conditions, the eggs hatch in anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. The greater the warmth and dampness in the environment, the quicker the eggs will hatch.

The Flea Larvae Phase

Once the flea egg hatches, it enters the larva stage where it flourishes to nearly 1/4 inch in length. The flea larva subsist on natural waste matter and in the feces of the adult flea. They do not care for strong light and are inclined to take cover deep within their present living space, if possible in a hot and humid area. Climate controlled homes are the idyllic surroundings for the life cycle of the flea to flourish. Outside, larvae development will only happen in damp, shaded areas.

The Flea Pupa Phase

Immediately upon crossing into the pupae stage, the flea pupa stem a silky and tacky protective shell. This layer swiftly structures a useful camouflage as it becomes coated by debris and dust. If stimulated by heat, carbon dioxide or by physical pressure, like that in a hot and wet environment, an adult flea could surface from its cocoon in as little as five to ten days. Once the adult flea comes out of its cocoon, it may survive for no more than a few days unless it's able to find a host. Pre-emerged adult fleas may subsist inside the cocoon for as many as 9 months. This is consequential because adult fleas still surviving within the cocoon are resilient to insect repellents applied to the environment and can appear a significant time after you apply insecticides in your home.

The Flea Adulthood Phase

After the adult flea surfaces from the chrysalis, it must swiftly locate a host since it needs blood in order to live on. Two days after discovering a suitable host, the female flea will begin laying just about 40 eggs per day. Adult fleas normally last up to three weeks. The full life cycle of a flea can be ended in as little as two to four weeks, or up to 10 months contingent to the surrounding climate.

How to Treat A Dog For Fleas

There are numerous powders, sprays, shampoos and spot on measures around to liberate your dog of fleas. Be certain to talk with your veterinarian to pick the truly effective and reliable flea products for your house and canine.

How to Rid the Inside Area of Fleas

Most products are just effective against the adult flea, but environmental insecticides are becoming more highly developed. A vet can offer you with flea products having insect growth regulators which will help terminate the flea eggs and larvae. Before spreading any indoor pesticide, it's a good idea vacuum your carpeting and rugs to coax the pre-adult fleas to emerge from their protective cocoon. Be sure to throw out the vacuum bag following its use. You should also clean the bedding the dog has lied on.

How to Clear the Outside Habitat of Fleas

Concentrate on dim, shady spots. Apply a product made of an insect growth regulator and do this again every two to three weeks for three to five treatments.

The latest skin and oral flea deterrents should significantly help you eliminate the flea troubles. With dedication and patience, you and your dog will be flea free in a flash!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Diagnosing Skin Allergies in Dogs and Finding Remedies

Have you started to notice your dog scratching and itching too much? Is the scratching creating open sores and loss of hair on your pet? If so, this is a sound warning sign that your canine friend may possibly be suffering from dog allergies. Dogs don't show the distinctive reddened eyes and a runny nose similar to what people do when we are suffering with an allergy. Additional indications could consist of unordinary itching of a particular area, or chewing their paws to the point of bleeding.

What Causes Allergies in Dogs?

An allergic reaction can occur when an animal's immune system excessively reacts to individual substances. The body creates antibodies as a type of defense when the cause of the dog's allergy comes into the body. The antibodies will next stick to immune cells in the skin and different tissues. As a result, while the allergens progressively break through tissue surfaces, the antibodies incite immune cells to release virulent chemicals (named histamines) into the surrounding tissue. This then causes inflammation and itching in your pet.

There are some factors to think about when trying to discover the cause of a dog's allergies. An allergy that affects a pet's skin is typically triggered by at least one of these: airborne allergens, fleas, and food.

  • Flea Allergy also known as Flea Dermatitis is typically caused by saliva from a flea. That is the reason it is very critical to rid your dog of fleas regularly.
  • The atopic allergy is initiated by the the breathing of airborne particles in the ecosystem, like dust, mold spores, tobacco smoke and pollen, activate atopic allergies. If a dog has pollen allergies, the pet will show signs, even if you keep it indoors as the allergens will migrate into the home. Wheezing, coughing and sneezing often are signs of this type of allergy.
  • Food allergy is the third most common type of dog allergy. The most likely causes for food allergies in dogs consist of: chicken, soy, corn, milk, wheat, eggs and beef. Vomiting and diarrhea often are warning signs of this form  of dog allergy.
  • Contact allergy is the least frequently seen form of allergy in dogs and is triggered by contacting with something. Triggers could include wool, plastic and grass. Some pets might develop allergic reactions to some chemicals in the house, but it isn’t very common.

How to Diagnose Dog Allergies

A vet might be able to identify the problem, however,although it may require a procedure of elimination to identify the root of the skin allergy and may possibly refer the animal to a veterinarian who’s a skin specialist. In the case where fleas are ruled out, the animal might be put on an elimination diet for a couple months. The animal is fed food he or she hasn’t had before, for instance, chicken, mutton, and potatoes, with the past food being reintroduced gradually until the allergy reemerges.

The allergen is considered to be at least one ingredient if the animals scratching lessens by about 50% of what it was previously. When checking for contact and atopic skin allergies, veterinary dermatologists use an intradermal allergy test that functions by slightly anesthetizing the dog with small quantities of probable allergens that are injected into the shaved region of the skin. If the animal is allergic to a certain substance, the skin will become inflamed surrounding the area of injection.
Treatments for Allergies in Dogs

Keeping the dog away from allergens and curing the symptoms are the top methods of treatment for skin allergies in dogs. Medicines that include steroids and antihistamines are frequently advocated to ease effects of scratching and swelling in pets, although like all medications they can come with undesirable side effects and the lasting effects are unknown. Long term usage steroids is not recommended for these medications function by suppressing the immune system. Extensive steroid use might eventually leave your pet vulnerable to diabetes, infections and other disorders.

Homeopathic Remedies

Fortunately for pet enthusiasts, there are plenty of nontoxic and natural homeopathic and herbal remedies for dogs afflicted with skin illnesses. Melaleuca alternifolia commonly applied externally to stimulate skin health and keeping the dog’s skin sterile while Althaea officinalis root is a great and well known treatment for restoring the skin. Homeopathic remedies including Ledum and Apis have excellent healing attributes and are especially effective in healing inflamed and itchy skin, or minor irritations and lesions.

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