Fleas are not the only problem plaguing pets these days since there are some complications that fleas bring which could make your pet’s life miserable.
In addition to the transmission of disease, the most common flea complication risks to pets are:
flea bite dermatitis, and
Tapeworms not only impact pets but they also poses a threat to humans.
Flea larvae ingest tapeworm eggs and if a pet swallows an adult flea (through licking or chewing) the tapeworm hatches and connects to the pet’s intestinal wall.
Signs of tapeworm include visible fragments in the pet’s excrement, weight loss, and scooting across the ground or carpet because of anal irritation.
To determine if your pet has tapeworms, and to treat a tapeworm infestation, take a fecal sample to your veterinarian.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
When pet fleas bite to feed, they insert salivary gland secretions into the skin. This saliva thins the blood but can also cause a rash in many pets.
The irritation causes the pet to chew and scratch. Excessive irritation may turn into red patches, hot spots, and bald patches.
Although many pet parents seek to treat this problem on their own, it is best to get a veterinary assessment to rule out any septic or systemic complications that may develop.
Flea caused anemia is a red blood cell deficiency that can be life threatening to young and older pets.
Pets that are the most susceptible to flea caused anemia are those who are small, sickly, or unable to adequately groom themselves.
Symptoms of flea anemia are weakness, lethargy, and pale (light pink or white) gums.
In some cases animals will eat small pebbles, rocks, or cat litter in attempts to replace vital minerals.
In the event of a heavy flea infestation, or if you suspect flea anemia, get your animal to the veterinary hospital immediately.
Do you have a specific flea control question? Learn more about flea treatments and remedies.
Diana L Guerrero (aka Ark Lady) is an animal expert who you might have seen on Animal Planet, Discovery, or heard on NPR. She is the author of several books including Flea Control Secrets : How to Get Rid of Fleas & Live Flea Free! Get additional tips and hints on flea control along with breaking news on the EPA advisory by following her on Twitter (user name FleaControlBook) or at the Flea Control Secrets page on Facebook.
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