My dog has been itching himself more than usual lately (the last week or so), but I never considered fleas until today. I noticed that he has little white things on his black fur. I can’t tell if they’re moving or not. Are fleas white? Can you see them with the naked eye? Can a groomer take care of the fleas, or do I need to take him to the vet? He’s never had fleas before. Thank you!

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  1. Chalice

    Fleas are black, and their dirts (poos) are also black. Their eggs and larvae are microscopic; you can’t see them.
    These white specks are likely to be flakes of skin (dandruff) caused by any number of skin conditions. To find out if he has fleas, run a flea comb through his fur, particularly around the belly, neck and armpits. Look at the fur on the comb; does it have any black specks on it? These are flea dirts. You can also comb over wet white paper; flea dirts turn red when wetted.
    You do need to get flea treatment from a vets. From what I’ve heard, groomers only seem to use flea shampoos, which don’t work. You need proper treatment like Frontline, Advantage, Advocate or Revolution.
    It’s a good idea to treat your dog regularly. If it isn’t fleas, you definitely need to get him to a vet to find out what’s causing the scratching; it could be mites, hormonal imbalances, allergies – many things!
    Chalice

  2. Thren

    As others have said, fleas are black (dark brown, actually), and shiny. Your dog might be scratching more, but if he’s got white flakes he might just have itchy dry skin, as that sounds more like dandruff.
    If you’re concerned, check for flea dirt. It’s most commonly found on the rump just above the base of the tail, and at the scruff of the neck- fleas tend to gather there because it’s harder for your dog to reach when it’s itchy. Flea dirt (yes, flea poop) is just little black dried up specks. Looks like dirt, hence the name. If you don’t find any, and you don’t see anything moving on your dog, the likelyhood that he has fleas at this time of the year are low (unless you live in a warm climate).
    If you’re still worried about it, take him to a groomer- even if it’s just dry skin, he or she might be able to do something to help.

  3. hotbabe_

    well my dog had fleas and they were black and they do move get some frontline and maybe bomb your house good luck
    p.s nice avatar

  4. SANDRA S

    stand your dog in the bath (without water)and then give him a good rub down, anything in his fur will fall to the bottom of the bath. Moisten the bottom of the bath where the debris from your dogs fur has landed, if this becomes a reddish colour, then its the feces from fleas otherwise if it remains the same colour its dander or dandruff. if its fleas then your local vet can prescribe an effective flea spray for him, also if you need to spray around your house then a spray called Acclaim works wonders – just follow the instructions on the can.

  5. dave4885

    fleas are smaller than the ball of a ball point pen, black and if you magnify them, their ugly too. depending on what size animal and how well behaved he is would determine whether I’d want to give him a flee bath or not. The vets do have something they put on the back of the neck that kills anything that bites the animal applied to, advantage I think. talk to your vet. the stuff he can get you is 3 times stronger than what you can get in the store. gl

  6. Charlie

    First off, I don’t know of any fleas that are white. It sounds like dry skin (dandruff) on his coat. Part the hair in several places and look at his skin… do you see any black spots? This is dried blood that is commonly referred to as flea dirt (poop). See the reference below for info on the flea and its life cycle.
    Even though a vet visit will cost more than a visit to the groomer, I would opt for the vet at this point. A dog’s skin is very different than a human’s (only two layers, no sweat glands, etc.) and skin problems can cause a lot of discomfort. I wouldn’t wait very long… if the skin is compromised from scratching, then an infection can set in.
    I would caution you about using multiple flea treatments… they are insecticides (translated- poison) which vary in toxicity and can have additive effects. Your vet is the best person to determine what is going on and recommend a treatment program for both your dog and your home (if you do indeed have a flea problem). If it is a skin problem, he can give you some meds (cortisteroids, etc.) that can help.

  7. DogDocto

    Flea combs a cheap and easy. Buy one, comb the dog and shake the contents out onto a white tissue / paper towell. What you are looking for is black dust that when wet turns reddy brown. This is flea poo. Fleas themselves are brown. Alternatively if your central heating has recently come on the humidity in the house will have dropped dramatically which can dry the skin and make it itchy, for this use an EFA product, your local vet will help here.

  8. Jerry Springer

    Fleas are not white. They are tiny and black and usually hide in the fur close to the skin. You will not see them walking on the fur usually.

  9. westsoun

    if theres black bug crawling on him then the mutt has fleas
    and has to be put down
    sorry for your loss

  10. bam.

    No you would find Black flea poop on the skin….White flakes means he has dry skin…take him to a groomer.

  11. Chelsea W

    the white things on his back are just dandruff, the changing weather can give then itchy dry skin, just like humans

  12. Joe B

    The white things may be pet dander (like dandruff) or could be flea eggs. Take him to a dog groomer, they will give him a flea bath (cost about $20), he will feel alot better, and so will you. The vet can prescribe a medication that will kill the fleas as well. All pets get fleas…you just have to take care of them.

  13. Tony IV

    I was gonna give you a nasty answer first, but…
    every dog should be on flea PREVENTION medication, it’s just not fair to wait for fleas to bug in.
    P.S. these meds are usually well tested and do not harm the animal. See the vet!!!

  14. mamak232

    Fleas are usually dark, but I guess they could be fleas. OR Mites of some kind. Groomer or vet will be able to treat them with a dip

  15. Brownie

    A flea’s lifecycle covers four stages:
    • a mature flea lays an egg,
    • the egg turns into a larva,
    • the larva turns into a pupa,
    • the pupa turns into a flea.

    In order to successfully combat a flea problem you should use a product(s) which treat every stage of the life cycle. Ask your vet or pet shop about products containing “Insect Growth Regulators”. The Pupae can lay dormant in your cracks, crevises or carpets for up to 12 months. Wash bedding and then hoover everyday for a week or so. You must ensure you treat your house as well as your pet. Seek advice and follow instructions on the product packaging.

    Fleas can be a permanent problem for pets. An adult flea normally lives for roughly 2-4 weeks. As soon as they hop onto a pet, they will begin to suck its blood.
    After 36 hours, the adult female flea will lay its first eggs. They can produce up to 50 eggs a day ! All eggs fall from the dog or cat and land in the environment: on your carpet, pillows, parquet floor, in your car, on the bed, etc. The eggs will usually hatch after 5-10 days, depending on temperature and humidity.
    The larvae crawl out of the eggs and feed on shed skin and the faecal matter of adult fleas that contain undigested blood. The larvae will shed their skin twice, taking approximately 5-10 days. They prefer a warm, moist environment, and avoid direct light to prevent themselves from drying out.

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