I love dogs and I hate fleas. If you’ve got a corgi with fleas – I feel for you.
Yes, fleas are a common and pesky problem for corgi owners. Just the thought of them sends shivers down my spine.
In this article, I’ll give you the lowdown on fleas, how to know if your dog has them, and the best tips for you to get rid of them to keep your corgi safe.
What are fleas?
Fleas are scientifically known as Ctenocephalides canis. They are small insects that are notorious for causing discomfort to dogs – and their owners!
These blood-feeding parasites can infest your furry friend. This leads to itching, skin irritations, and various health problems if left untreated.
Fleas are ectoparasites, which means they live on the outside of their host’s body. They have evolved to be highly efficient at what they do, which is feeding on the blood of their host.
Which, in this case, is your beloved dog.
What do fleas look like?
Fleas are small, wingless insects that measure only 1 to 2 millimetres in length.
Fleas are visible to the naked eye, but their size can make them a challenge to spot.
They have a flattened, reddish-brown to blackish-brown body that is well adapted for moving through a host’s fur or feathers.
Adult fleas are typically dark reddish-brown to black. Their colour can vary slightly depending on the species and age, but they often appear dark and somewhat shiny.
Fleas have a laterally compressed body, which means it’s flattened from side to side. This shape allows them to move easily through the hair or feathers of their host.
Fleas have three pairs of legs, which are adapted for jumping. Their hind legs are particularly powerful and allow them to leap great distances relative to their size. This is one of the key features of fleas.
They also have mouthparts designed for piercing the skin of their host and sucking blood.
When you inspect your dog or cat for fleas, you might not see the fleas themselves but rather their dark faeces, often referred to as “flea dirt.”
This is actually dried blood excreted by the fleas and looks like small, black specks. If you see flea dirt on your pet, you should know it’s a sign that they may have fleas, even if you don’t see the live insects.
Can corgis get fleas?
Yes, corgis, like all dogs, can get fleas. Fleas are equal-opportunity parasites that can infest dogs of any breed, size, or age, including corgis.
The susceptibility to fleas is not determined by breed but rather by factors like the dog’s environment, lifestyle, and preventive measures taken by their owner.
Corgis, with their double coat, can sometimes be more challenging to spot fleas on due to the dense fur. However, fleas can still infest corgis and cause discomfort, itching, and health issues.
I find you have to be vigilant about flea prevention, regular grooming, and keeping their living environment clean to minimize the risk of fleas.
How to identify fleas on your corgi
Recognising the presence of fleas on your dog is crucial for timely intervention. This helps keep them happy and safe.
I find that you should look out for the following signs:
1. Excessive scratching and biting
If your dog is constantly scratching, biting, or chewing its fur, it may be a sign of a flea infestation.
The saliva of fleas contains compounds that can cause intense itching and discomfort in dogs, prompting them to scratch and bite.
2. Red bumps or scabs
Flea bites can lead to red bumps or scabs on your dog’s skin. Check for these signs while grooming your pet. These bumps can often be found on the neck, back, and base of the tail.
3. Flea dirt
Flea dirt, which looks like small black specks, is a surefire sign of an infestation. You can find it on your dog’s fur or bedding.
These dark, granular specks are like flea poo and consist of digested blood.
To check for flea dirt, comb your dog’s fur with a fine-toothed comb over a white paper or cloth. If you see tiny black specks falling onto the paper, there’s a good chance your dog has fleas.
Why are fleas dangerous for corgis?
Fleas can pose serious health risks to your dog, and you need to keep on top of any infestations.
Some of the reasons you need to be careful include:
1. Allergic reactions
Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva, leading to severe itching, hair loss, and skin infections. This condition is known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). It only takes one bite from a flea to trigger an allergic reaction in a sensitive dog.
2. Tapeworm infections
Fleas can transmit tapeworm larvae, causing intestinal infections in dogs. When a dog ingests a flea while grooming itself, it can become host to tapeworms. These parasitic worms attach themselves to the lining of the dog’s intestines, causing digestive problems and weight loss.
In severe infestations, fleas can lead to anaemia, especially in puppies and small dogs. Anaemia is a condition where there’s a shortage of red blood cells in the body, leading to symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, and pale gums.
How to prevent fleas on your corgi
Prevention is the key to keeping your dog flea-free. It is the best way to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.
Here are some strategies you can put in place to prevent fleas on your corgi:
1. Regular grooming
Frequent grooming and bathing can help you spot and remove fleas early. Bathing your dog with a quality flea shampoo can help eliminate adult fleas and their eggs. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific product you choose.
2. Flea medications
Consult your vet for suitable flea prevention products, such as topical treatments or oral medications. There are several options available, including spot-on treatments, oral tablets, and even injectable medications that offer long-lasting protection.
Your veterinarian can recommend the most appropriate solution for your dog based on factors like age, weight, and any preexisting health conditions.
3. Environmental control
Keeping your home clean and vacuuming is the best way to eliminate flea eggs and larvae in your dog’s living space.
Make sure you wash your dog’s bedding, toys, and any other items they frequently come into contact with. Flea eggs can fall off your dog and land in various areas of your home, so comprehensive cleaning is crucial.
Regularly vacuuming carpets, rugs, and upholstery, and washing your dog’s bedding in hot water, can help remove and prevent flea infestations within your home or apartment.
Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or clean the canister to prevent fleas from reinfesting your living space.
4. Flea collars and spot-on treatments
Invest in high-quality flea collars or spot-on treatments recommended by your veterinarian. These products offer long-lasting protection against fleas.
Flea collars, in particular, release chemicals that repel fleas and kill them upon contact. These collars can be effective for several months and are an excellent choice for dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors.
Spot-on treatments, on the other hand, are applied directly to your dog’s skin, typically between the shoulder blades. These treatments work by spreading a small amount of the product across the skin and hair, providing protection against fleas for a specified duration.
5. Regular vet check-ups
Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help in early detection and prevention of flea infestations. During these visits, your vet can examine your dog for signs of fleas or any other health issues.
They may also provide recommendations for the most suitable flea prevention methods based on your dog’s specific needs.
How to treat a flea infestation on your corgi
If your dog is already infested with fleas, you’ll need to take immediate action. Treating a flea infestation can be a challenging process, but it’s critical for your dog’s health and comfort.
Here’s how you can go about it:
1. Medicated shampoos
Use a vet-recommended medicated shampoo to kill and remove fleas from your dog’s coat. These shampoos typically contain active ingredients that target adult fleas, larvae, and eggs.
The shampoo is lathered onto your dog’s wet coat and should be allowed to sit for a few minutes to ensure the product has time to work effectively.
After the recommended waiting period, thoroughly rinse your dog, ensuring all the shampoo is removed.
Pay special attention to their neck, underarms, and groin area, as these are common hiding spots for fleas.
Keep in mind that not all shampoos are created equal, and it’s crucial to follow the instructions on the product label. Using the wrong shampoo or failing to rinse thoroughly can lead to ineffective treatment.
2. Flea collars
Flea collars provide ongoing protection against fleas and can help prevent future infestations. When selecting a flea collar for your dog, you must choose a high-quality product recommended by your veterinarian.
Some flea collars work by releasing active ingredients that are absorbed into your dog’s skin and coat, effectively repelling and killing fleas.
Ensure that the collar is correctly fitted to your dog’s neck, allowing for two fingers to fit snugly between the collar and the skin. Trim any excess collar to prevent your dog from chewing on it.
The effectiveness of flea collars can vary depending on the brand and type, so it’s crucial to choose one that provides long-lasting protection. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement and disposal.
3. Oral medications
Oral flea medications are a convenient and effective way to treat and prevent flea infestations.
These medications come in the form of tablets or chewable treats and typically contain active ingredients that circulate in your dog’s bloodstream, killing fleas when they bite.
Oral flea medications are suitable for dogs that are difficult to bathe or have sensitive skin, making them an excellent alternative to topical treatments. Consult your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate oral medication for your dog’s specific needs.
4. Professional Help
In severe cases, or if your dog has a recurring flea problem, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian for a comprehensive treatment plan.
Your vet can assess your dog’s overall health and recommend the most effective treatment options. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be necessary to address all stages of the flea life cycle.
This can include using oral medications to kill adult fleas and a second treatment to eliminate eggs and larvae in your home.
Your veterinarian can also recommend flea control products for your home, such as sprays and powders, which can help eliminate fleas and their eggs in your living environment.
How to manage fleas with multiple pets?
If you have multiple pets in your household, you have to extend flea prevention measures to all of them.
Fleas can easily move from one pet to another, so treating only one pet will not effectively eliminate the problem.
When using flea prevention products, make sure they are safe for all the animals in your household. Some products are labelled for use in both dogs and cats, while others are specific to one species.
Be cautious when using dog-specific products on cats, as they can contain ingredients that are toxic to felines.
Why does my corgi keep getting fleas even after treatment?
Dealing with a recurring flea problem in your dog can be frustrating, but there are a few reasons why your dog may continue to get fleas even after treatment.
You should always identify the underlying causes and take appropriate steps to address them. Here are some common reasons for persistent flea infestations in dogs:
1. Incomplete treatment
Flea treatments, such as topical medications or oral medications, need to be administered consistently and according to the recommended schedule. Skipping doses or not following the instructions precisely can lead to the fleas coming back.
2. Environmental infestation
Fleas don’t just live on your dog; they also infest your home, including carpets, bedding, and furniture. If you don’t thoroughly clean and treat your home environment, new fleas can continue to jump onto your dog.
3. Flea resistance
In some cases, fleas can develop resistance to certain flea control products over time. If the product you’ve been using is no longer effective, consult your veterinarian to explore alternative treatments.
4. Re-infestation from other animals
If you have other pets in your household, such as cats, they may also be hosting fleas. Even if you treat one pet, untreated animals can serve as a source of reinfestation.
5. Wildlife and stray animals
Fleas can be brought into your yard by wild animals or stray pets. These fleas can jump onto your dog, leading to a new infestation. Keeping your yard free from debris and deterring wildlife can help reduce this risk.
6. Frequent exposure to infested areas
If your dog frequently visits areas infested with fleas, such as dog parks or wooded areas, they are more likely to pick up new fleas. Regularly checking and grooming your dog after outings can help minimize this risk.
7. Seasonal factors
Flea activity can vary with the seasons, with warmer months often leading to increased flea populations. During these times, be extra vigilant with preventive measures.
Be on the lookout for these factors to keep your corgi safe from fleas.
How to treat a persistent flea problem in your corgi?
Flea control requires persistence, but with the right approach, you can help keep your dog comfortable and flea-free.
To address a persistent flea problem in your corgi, I suggest the following six tips:
- Ensure you’re using a reliable and effective flea treatment recommended by your vet.
- Follow the treatment instructions meticulously and administer it consistently.
- Thoroughly clean and treat your home to eliminate flea eggs, larvae, and pupae.
- Treat all pets in your household, not just the affected one.
- Keep your dog away from areas where fleas are known to be prevalent.
- Monitor your dog for signs of flea infestations and act promptly if you notice any symptoms.
If the problem continues despite your efforts, it’s advisable to go back to your veterinarian.
They can provide guidance on alternative treatments, conduct skin tests for allergies, and help determine if there are underlying health issues contributing to the flea problem.
Final thoughts on corgis and fleas
Fleas on dogs can be a nuisance, but with the right knowledge and preventative measures, you can ensure your furry companion remains flea-free and healthy.
I recommend a proactive approach to flea control to keep your dog happy and comfortable.
By staying vigilant and following these guidelines, you can protect your dog from the discomfort and health risks associated with fleas.
Your dog’s well-being is in your hands, and a little preventive care can go a long way in ensuring their happiness.