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D2010-32

Dear Daisy Dog

How do I know whether my dog, Jack, has fleas? My doctor said the spots on my skin look like flea bites, but Jack isn’t scratching.

Daisy Responds

The best way to determine whether a dog -– or a cat, for that matter -– has fleas is to comb through the coat with a fine-toothed flea comb. Pay particular attention to Jack’s back end, tail base and groin, where fleas usually congregate.

Fleas jump away quickly, so watch the flea comb closely.

The comb also may pull out “flea dirt,” a euphemism for flea feces, tiny black specks that look like finely-ground pepper.

To distinguish flea dirt from ordinary garden dirt, dampen the black specks on a white paper towel and smear your wet finger over them. Flea dirt leaves a red-brown streak of digested blood, while garden dirt does not.

Mom flea combs each of us four-legged family members every week. When you flea comb Jack, you’ll have your answer.

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