Health

Everything You Should Know About Flea Bites And Associated Diseases

3:34 AM Lokesh kumar 0 Comments

The presence of fleas and their bites can be extremely irritating to your dogs. However, these parasites are more than just ‘irritating’, if left untreated. Fleas can be really dangerous too as they are responsible for spreading a number of diseases to your canine companions. Keeping your dog away from such fleas is really difficult as they are present almost everywhere. Your dog could easily pick up these parasites during a walk on the trail or while playing in the park or even in your own backyard or from the sidewalks in the neighborhood.

Why Are Fleas Dangerous?

These flightless parasites are capable of infecting a wide variety of animals and birds and they are carriers of different diseases and pathogens. Severe itching and scratching and anemia are some of the commonly seen symptoms of diseases that are caused by fleas. It's important that you take your dog to a vet immediately to get rid of these parasites as they can cause serious problems like chronic anemia or pneumonia and eventually lead to the death of your dog if left untreated for long. Treatment for fleas includes using flea shampoos and powders, flea combs, tick/flea collars, spot-on medication, and oral tablets.  You need to take the advice of a veterinarian as this stuff works differently on different breeds.

Now, let us take a look at some of the diseases associated with the infestation of fleas on dogs.

Anemia

A single flea is enough to cause distress to your dog. Imagine how difficult it would be once she has been infested by hundreds of them! To remain energetic and healthy, dogs depend on a required amount of red blood cells in their body. Like any human being, they are likely to become anemic in the event of severe blood loss. Fleas survive on your dog's blood. Bites from several numbers of fleas can cause your dog to become anaemic. Flea-bite anemia can occur in any dog. However, certain dogs are more prone to it than the others. Dogs that are sick or elderly and puppies are more likely to suffer from flea-bite anemia. Quick breathing and weakness are the most common symptoms of this disease. In severe cases, it could lead to death too if left untreated. See a vet immediately to get your dog treated. In extreme cases, your dog might require intensive care and blood transfusions to survive.

Tapeworm Infestation

Flea bites can cause itching and skin irritation in your dogs and they are likely to chew or lick the irritated skin and can accidentally swallow fleas. If one of those fleas contains eggs of tapeworms, your dog has a good chance of being infected by tapeworms. Tapeworms can grow several feet long and they attach themselves to the small intestine of your dog. They start absorbing all the nutrients causing nutritional deficiency, weakness, and loss of weight in dogs. A serious infestation could also cause constipation and diarrhea. Check your dog's stool for small worms that are white in color or white grain-like substances that are eggs of tapeworms. Consult a vet immediately to get it treated.

FAD Or Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Bites from fleas could result in an allergic condition called flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). The allergy is the result of certain substances in the flea saliva that enters the dog through its bite. Severe itchiness and irritation of the skin are the results and this is not restricted to the area of the bite. Look out for excessive licking, biting, and scratching in your dog, which are the most common symptoms. Scabs, hair loss, bumps, and infections of the skin are also caused by FAD. You need to take your dog to the vet immediately to avoid painful sores and bacterial infections.

Bacterial Infection: Bartonellosis

Bartonellosis is a condition where your dog gets infected by bacteria called Bartonella through flea bites. Earlier this condition was thought to be only a worry for cats but now, with better diagnostics, it has been proved that dogs are susceptible to this bacterial infection as well. Some of the common symptoms seen in dogs with Bartonellosis are diarrhea and vomiting, fever, cough, nasal bleed, enlarged spleen and liver, inflammation of eye, nose, brain, and muscles of the heart, arthritis, and lameness. Urine analysis, blood tests, and biochemistry profile can reveal if your dog is infected with Bartonellosis.

Fleas multiply quickly. If you leave your dogs untreated, they could fall seriously ill and even lose their life. Make sure you look out for fleas regularly and get it treated to keep your dog healthy and energetic.

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