Allergic Reaction to Fleas
Oddly enough, the element that most dogs are allergic to is the saliva of the fleas; despite the tiny size of these pesky critters. And because the Chihuahua is such a small dog, they can have a more serious reason than larger breeds. If your Chihuahua is allergic to the fleas, it will show as a skin rash
or irritation. In severe cases, the dog will have skin sores, lesions and/or swelling. This can lead to secondary infections.
Many tiny dogs such as the Chihuahua can have an allergic to flea prevention chemicals. For this reason, we suggest an all natural flea and tick formula such as "Natural Flea and Tick Spray". For all of our specific recommendations, see 'Flea/Tick Aides - NO Chemicals' in the Chihuahua Specialty Shoppe
Are Fleas Dangerous?
Yes. Aside from your Chihuahua possibly being allergic to the flea saliva, fleas can also give your dog tapeworms. Fleas are carriers of worm eggs; often while a dog is chewing away at the intense itchiness all over his body, he will swallow a flea, which means there is a possibility of ingesting worm eggs.
Tapeworms find their way to your dog's intestines, settle in and begin to grow. You may not realize that your Chihuahua has these until you bring your dog in for a regular vet check up and a stool sample is tested. In some cases, you will see signs of them in the dog's feces. In either case, damage is being done to the body in the meantime.
Actions to Take When a Chi Has Fleas
There are several things that you should do when your Chihuahua has fleas.
The fleas must be removed from your Chihuahua with a special flea comb. This can be done while you have your dog in the bath (or sink). You will comb through his or her coat, the fleas will drop down into the water and be rinsed away. Be sure to cover every single area of the dog. It is a good idea to do this process 2 or 3 times in a row; if even 1 flea is missed your problem will begin all over again.
You must also wash everything that you can. This will include not only your Chihuahua's belongings, but everything in the home. If not, the fleas will just remain on your bedding, couch and carpet and wait for you or your dog to come by.
Wash all sheets, blankets, pillow cases, pillows, clothes, small rugs, dog bed cushions and anything else that will fit in your washing machine with hot water when at all possible. You may also choose to hand wash some items in the bathtub using warm water and a lot of soap.
3) As the items are being washed and you have de-fleaed your Chihuahua you should keep your dog somewhere safe until you are done cleaning the home so that he is not exposed to them. Be careful that while transporting your dog that you do not pass any area in which a flea can jump on him. While he is flea-free you can then continue washing the items and then the vacuuming must begin.