7 Health Problems Associated With Fleas To Be Cautious Of This Summer

7 Health Problems Associated With Fleas

Spring is right around the corner and Summer will be here before you know it. Summer just happens to be one of the most beautiful seasons of all, but it brings a lot of troubles with it.

If you’re a pet owner, you’ll need to take extra special care to ensure that your pet does not experience a flea infestation.

Fleas run wild during the spring and summer, so you’ll want to be prepared with a reliable flea treatment. Below, you’ll learn about the enormous problems associated with fleas.

What Are Fleas Really?

Everyone knows a thing or two about fleas. Nevertheless, you might not fully understand these hideous little critters. Fleas are a tiny insect. Despite having no wings, fleas can jump over a pretty long distance. These insects crave the blood of birds and mammals.

Suffice to say, they get their nutrition by sucking your dog’s blood. It has been well established that flea collars tend to be one of the best ways to prevent fleas.

There are other options as well. As a pet owner, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with all of your options, so you can find out what works best for your pooch.

7 Health Problems Associated With Fleas

1. Flea Allergy Dermatitis

When your dog gets bit by a flea, they will develop a small bump. This is normal and nothing to worry about. However, there are some dogs that are actually allergic to the flea’s saliva. Being allergic to their saliva can make the problem so much worse.

A pet that has an allergy to the saliva will tend to scratch at the bump frequently. In return, this can lead to swelling and welts may develop on the skin.

Using a monthly flea preventative is a great way to prevent your pooch from going insane. Read Seresto flea collar reviews to see how they can help you.

2. Hot Spots

Hot spots are another serious problem associated with fleas. When the flea’s bite begins to itch like crazy, your dog is going to scratch and chew it constantly. This can eventually lead to the development of hot spots.

Hot spots, or acute moist dermatitis, are irritated lesions. They typically develop on the dog’s head, chest or hip. They can grow very rapidly, so they’ll give you a fright when you first notice them. Thankfully, hot spots aren’t too difficult to treat.

Just shave the fur around the impacted area. Then, clean it using a water-based antiseptic or astringent spray. There are also specialized shampoos that work well. If the dog won’t stop scratching the spot, you should use hydrocortisone cream.

This will prevent the itch and speed up the healing process. If necessary, you may need to use a plastic cone to prevent your dog from licking or chewing the wound.

3. Bartonella Infection

Fleas are capable of carrying and transmitting a wide assortment of parasites. One that is very dangerous is Bartonella. It can lead to an infection in dogs, cats, and humans. You’ve likely heard of Bartonella infection in humans, but it was probably referred to as Cat Scratch Fever.

Your dog will get a Bartonella infection when they’re bitten by a flea that happens to carry the parasite. Common symptoms include seizures, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Suffice to say, a Bartonella infection will not be pretty.

To prevent a Bartonella infection, you need to stop your dog from getting bit by fleas in the first place. Flea control products are the best form of prevention available on the market.

4. Anemia

While anemia is rare in dogs with fleas, it is always a risk since these are parasitic insects. Anemia is a condition that is characterized by a deficiency of iron in the blood. When the blood cannot carry enough oxygen to all the body parts, anemia will develop and lead to other conditions.

Parasitic insects, such as fleas and ticks, rely on blood meals to survive. If there are enough fleas on your pet’s skin and coat, they could consume enough blood to cause anemia. Signs of anemia include lethargy, low body temperature and pale gums.

Anemia caused by fleas is more common in young puppies and dogs with chronic medical conditions. If the anemia is not treated, your pet could face medical complications and even death. 

5. Haemobartonellosis 

Fleas carry and transmit a variety of diseases, including haemobartonellosis. This condition can range from mild to severe, targeting red blood cells.

While haemobartonellosis is more commonly found in cats, it also targets canines that have undergone a splenectomy, an operation that removes the spleen.

The symptoms associated with haemobartonellosis include unexplained weight loss and increased heart rate. Some people have reported their cat exhibiting strange behavior, such as eating dirt.

If the condition is allowed to go untreated for a specific period of time, it will lead to other complications and even death. 

6. Tapeworms

Tapeworms are one of the more serious parasites that your pet can develop. A tapeworm is a nasty parasite that lives in your pet’s intestinal tract and eats up his or her daily nutrients. This can cause a wide range of health problems over time.

It is possible that you already know the threats that tapeworms pose to your pets. However, you might not know that fleas can cause your pet to develop tapeworms. It is no secret that fleas cause your dog to chew and scratch.

During the licking and chewing, if your pet accidentally swallows a flea, it could potentially lead to the development of tapeworms.

An adult tapeworm can grow anywhere from four to eight inches long, but the chances are that you will never see the entire worm at once. As the tapeworm grows, it will drop segments of itself and they will pass through your dog’s poop.

These segments will look like little grains of sand. So, if you suspect that your dog has tapeworms, this will be something to be on the lookout for.

In addition to this, you might also notice these tiny particles crawling on your dog’s butt or on his bedding. It is possible that they might even move around in his poop.

Over time, these segments do die and dry out. In which time they will turn into hard, yellow specks that stick to your dog’s fur.

Tapeworms can be very annoying and irritating for your pet. If you see him or her dragging their bottoms on the ground, or constantly licking their butt, it is possible that he or she has developed a tapeworm.

Tapeworms can also work their way inside your dog’s stomach. This is extremely rare, but if this happens, it is likely that your dog will throw up. You might see an entire adult tapeworm in the vomit.

7. Plague

Do you remember hearing about the plague that killed over a third of the European population during the Middle Ages? Thankfully, this disease is now basically non-existent in humans. However, you might be shocked to learn that your four-legged friend is still vulnerable to this disease.

And, fleas can be the main cause. For instance, if a flea has taken a bite out of a wild animal, like a chipmunk or a prairie dog, it is possible that the flea could become infected.

If that infected flea attaches to your dog it can easily pass on the infection that will turn into the plague. Unfortunately, this can lead to sudden death without much warning.

However, there are some warning signs, like fever and swollen lymph nodes. So, if you notice these signs in your pet, you need to get in touch with a veterinarian immediately.

So there you have it, guys! I hope this article really helped you on knowing some health problems caused by fleas on your puppy! If you have any more questions, suggestions or just recommendations, do not hesitate to leave them down below! 🙂

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    Anna Stewart

    Hello!! I'm Anna. I have many hobbies about pets and animal, especially about dogs. In this blog I will share those necessary things you need to know about your dogs like behaviors, training, favorites, health care ... and more. Visit my blog regularly and share the fun with your dogs.

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