If you suspect your Shiba Inu has fleas, address the problem right away. You may have not come across this problem before and have no idea how to check for an infestation. The following information will give you further clues as to what to do.
The best way to avoid a flea problem is to make checking for fleas a part of your dog’s grooming routine. One thing that is great about Shiba Inus is their habit of cleaning themselves. Therefore, you often do not have to worry about fleas as you do with other dogs. However, if your Shiba Inu spends a lot of time outdoors, you still need to check for fleas as well as other bugs, such as mites.
The earlier you catch sight of fleas, the better, as the insects can multiply extremely fast. Fleas cause a great deal of discomfort for dogs, which can lead to flea-related diseases or medical conditions. If you have another dog in your home besides a Shiba Inu and see them on that pet, chances are good that they will also be nesting in your Shiba Inu’s fur. Fleas jump easily from one host to the next, so you need to perform a thorough check.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
If you really have not had a flea problem before or you have never checked for fleas, you need to know how to spot them. Adult fleas display flat and small bodies (about the size of a sesame seed), less than an inch in size. While they do not fly, the insects certainly can jump great distances on their six legs. Because of this ability, they can make it hard for your dog to catch them with its claws or teeth. As a result, the speedy wingless creatures can become your pup’s biggest nemesis.
Because a Shiba’s coat is rather thick, it can be hard to identify a flea with the naked eye. If your dog’s hair is darker, identification can be almost impossible. The speedy wingless creature can easily prevent capture because of its quickness and agility.
However, fleas do leave something behind that enables you to verify that they have taken up residence in your Shiba Inu’s fur. Flea dirt, which is actually the insect’s excrement, will appear as specks of dirt, located on the dog’s skin. Dampen the suspected speck with a towel. If it becomes reddish, you will know that your dog has fleas.
Catching a flea problem early can prevent a heavy infestation, which can turn flea control into a nightmare. As the weather gets warmer, your Shiba is even more susceptible to getting fleas. That is why checking your dog routinely should become a regular process during grooming.
An Easy Check to Make
If your dog has darker fur, have your dog lie down on its side on a white towel during brushing. If you see those tell-tale specks sprinkled over the towel, your dog has a flea problem. You can still do a visual exam as well, although it will be more difficult.
Checking the Dog’s Abdomen
Naturally, a visual inspection is better done on a Shiba with a lighter colored coat. Have your dog lie on its side and check the abdomen. If you see specks that look like black pepper, your dog has fleas. Verify your finding by using a damp paper towel and seeing if the specks take on a reddish hue.
Fleas also like to settle around a dog’s head or at the base of its tale. Their life span may range from 16 days to 21 months, so eradicating them can be a problem. If you live in an area that is prone to fleas, buy a flea comb for your pet. The comb, which features a double row of teeth, works out great on a Shiba Inu’s fur.
Take a Puppy to the Vet If It Has Fleas
When you use a flea comb, the clingy, blood-thirsty insects, get caught up between the rows of teeth. Therefore, set a bowl of hot water close and dunk the comb after each comb-through. Dunking the leachy pests is the most efficient way to ensure they cannot escape or jump away. If your puppy contracts fleas, take it to the vet as soon as you discover a problem. A flea infestation can lead to anemia, which can be fatal in younger animals.
To get rid of fleas, you have to get rid of the whole life cycle – eggs, larva, pupae, and adult. Therefore, clean your floors thoroughly and vacuum everything. Avoid sandy areas and long grass when taking your Shiba on walks.
Administering a Flea Medication
When giving your dog a flea medicine, follow the exact dosage requirements. Never make assumptions, based on your pet’s weight. Flea medications for dogs can damage a dog’s liver. Therefore, use a dietary supplement that aids in detoxifying the liver and make sure your dog’s diet includes plenty of protein in the form of raw dog food recipes. Examples of supplements that improve liver function include zinc and vitamin E. However, talk to your vet first before giving your dog supplementation.
Monitor Your Pet If It Is Taking Medication
Monitor your Shiba closely while he is on the flea medicine, particularly if you have never used the medication before. Adverse reactions may include hair loss, nervousness, stomach distress, tiredness, and increased saliva flow.
You might try using a flea collar as well. However, flea collars carry with them safety concerns, so you have to check out the ingredients used in the collar. The quality of the collars varies too. Collars may be effective from one to eight months of wear. Ask your vet about what brand of flea collar he or she recommends.
A Temporary Treatment Measure
Remember this too: Even if a collar is effective for eight months, it should only be considered a short-term treatment option. Usually, experts recommend that your pet wear a collar no longer than seven days. Chemicals to avoid in flea collars include tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) and propoxur. Because of these kinds of substances, flea collars have lost their popularity. That is why you should check with your vet first before using a flea collar to eliminate fleas. Do you think your Shiba may have fleas? Your dog may itch for one of a variety of reasons. Shibas often itch because of an allergy. The only way to be sure is to take your dog to the vet. If your Shiba does not have fleas, it will need to be treated, as skin allergies can lead to more serious health difficulties.