How to Know If Your Dog Has Fleas

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A dog has fleas then they are scratching around the neck and the base of the tail, but brushing the hair in the opposite direction of the growth is a good way to check for fleas. Keep a dog updated on monthly flea prevention with helpful information from an experienced veterinarian in this free video on pet health.

Part of the Video Series: Canine & Feline Diseases
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about how to know if your dog has fleas. The basis of this basically comes around to how many fleas are we talking about. Dogs can have anywhere from 1 to hundreds of fleas and so that burden may change on how they react. But for the most part, fleas are going to bite and they have to to live and so they're going to cause itching. Fleas especially like to go around the neck and the base of the tail and so if your dog is scratching at those areas, scratching at the neck or reaching around trying to bite around the tail, then that's a possibility that your dog might have fleas. Other ways to look would be to take that hair and run it against the grain right over the tail base and if you see little black flecks that look like pepper coming off of your dog, you can take one of those little black flecks and put it on a wet cotton ball and that water will dissolve that and make it look like brown or reddish blood because that little pepper is flea dirt which is fecal material from the fleas and that is your dog's blood. Another way is to take a flea comb and gently comb backwards down close to that tail and then looking at the hair that's caught in the comb. If you see those little pepper flecks in there, you can do that same test and that will tell you as well. But your veterinary clinic can help you decide if they are fleas or not as well, especially if there is an allergy associated to fleas, fleas are commonly, can commonly cause flea allergic dermatitis which is basically infection and inflammation around those areas that they normally bite.

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