The nuisance of fleas
Most animals if not all at some point are bound to get a few fleas and get a bit scratchy.
They are usually quite easy to control if caught in time and your pet is treated regularly. Not only do they cause an itchy irritating skin bump,and stress, but they can also cause other conditions that may not be able to be treated by flea power or a flea collar.
Here are 5 health problems fleas can cause your pets:
- Skin allergy
This is the most common problem caused by fleas as the animal has an allergic reaction to the flea’s saliva. Medically referred to as pruritus this can lead to an incessant desire to scratch, lick or chew the inflamed spot. A lot of the time if it is left untreated or the animal has a severe reaction to it, it can cause hair loss and become infected.
Fleas have been known to spread Dipylidium caninum or flea tapeworm this worm can also spread to humans. It does not have a hugely adverse effect on the animal but can cause an increase in appetite, they live in your pet’s intestinal tract and rob them of vital nutrients. These tapeworms are ingested when your pet swallows an infected flea.
Fleas drink blood and a have a lot of fleas on an animal can result in a lot of blood being taken by the parasite. This can lower the red blood cell count which results in anaemia which can be a life-threatening condition. Usually, only animals that are allergic to fleas tend to scratch or the ones that are more active in their grooming will not look to be itching so a pet owner could overlook the fact that their pet has fleas.
- Skin hot spots
A skin hot spot is an inflamed raw looking read splotch of skin usually in round patch that your pet has scratched and chew at due to it being incredibly itchy. Some of these spots can become quite large and severe rather rapidly all from just one tiny bite of a flea.
- Bartonella infection
Bartonella infection or Cat Scratch diseases is a bacterial disease that is transmitted to dogs via fleas, ticks or sand flies and even lice.
This disease can be transmitted from the dog to a human although it is not fatal to a human but can cause some discomfort. In dogs it can cause high fevers, swelling of the lymph nodes, vomiting, diarrhoea and other nasty symptoms such as inflammation of the heart muscles. If your dog displays signs of vomiting and diarrhoea it is always a good idea to get them checked out by a vet.
The best way to avoid fleas is to ensure your pet is groomed regularly and you take note of the dates of flea treatmentsto maintain them.