Apart from being a nuisance, Fleas can also cause serious harm to your furry friend’s health. These tiny parasites can cause an array of problems for your furry companion, from skin irritations to more severe health issues.
Depending on your vet’s advice, you may go for oral medicine, which is usually administered monthly. Oral medications like pills or chewable tablets are swallowed by your dog. These medications typically contain an adulticide and may also contain an insect growth regulator.
Visit reliable online resources to educate yourself on the right flea treatment medicine like Capstar for dogs. The benefit of oral medications over topical treatments is that they can provide systemic protection.
In other words, oral medications like Capstar can kill fleas throughout the entire body, not just on the surface of the skin. Additionally, oral medications can be more convenient for pet owners as they only need to be given once a month or less frequently.
Topical medicines are also there, but you will have to apply them to your dog’s coat. The disadvantage of topical medications is that they may not be as effective as oral medications in some cases, and they can be messy to apply.
In this article, we will discuss 5 ways in which fleas can harm your dog so that you can be vigilant if your dog reports any of these conditions.
1. Skin Irritations
Fleas can cause a variety of skin irritations in dogs, including itching and scratching, redness and irritation, and the development of hot spots or skin infections. These can become infected and cause pain and discomfort for your pet.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of skin irritation, but you cannot find the fleas in your dog’s coat, you can analyze a skin sample of your dog using a piece of tape to collect a surface sample.
This is an inexpensive and quick way called cutaneous cytology, where your vet can leverage cytology tools to isolate the microbes and find the cause of your pet’s unease.
Fleas feasting on your dog’s blood can lead to anemia, a condition where there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body. Anemia can occur as a result of flea infestations if the fleas are able to bite and feed on the dog frequently enough to cause significant blood loss.
Symptoms of anemia in dogs include the ones mentioned below:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Pale gums and mucous membranes
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Cold limbs
If left untreated, anemia can lead to serious complications, such as organ failure, and can be life-threatening. Consult your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has anemia, as a blood test is required to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the anemia.
Your veterinarian may also recommend additional diagnostic tests to identify the underlying cause of the anemia, such as flea infestation. Treatment for anemia caused by flea infestations typically involves addressing the flea infestation, treating any secondary infections, and providing supportive care such as blood transfusions or iron supplements if necessary.
3. Allergic Reactions
Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to flea bites, which can lead to severe itching, redness, and even hair loss. Dogs with atopic dermatitis usually experience hypersensitivity to flea bites within 15 minutes of the incident, according to PetMD.
Inflammation of the affected area manifests as a result of allergies. Some dogs may have a delayed allergic reaction after 24 to 48 hours.
Fleas can also carry tapeworms, which can infect your dog if they ingest a flea while grooming. Tapeworms will cause dogs to lose weight, experience diarrhea, and trouble them with other health issues.
The OTC pet medication market in the US, valued at $ 2.12 billion in 2022, is expected to grow rapidly and touch $ 13 billion by 2032, according to reports published by Future Market Insights.
Make sure you use the available options in OTC medicine to treat the symptoms if your dog is suffering from tapeworms. You can take them to a vet, too, if something doesn’t seem quite alright with them, despite your best efforts.
5. Spread of Diseases
Fleas can also spread diseases such as plague and murine typhus, which can be life-threatening to both your dog and humans.
In the USA, 38% of households having companion animals own dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medicine Association or AVMA. The same report also states that these dog-owning households incur an average cost of $410 in veterinary bills per year. To reduce visits to the vet on account of fleas, we suggest you take precautionary measures like using the right flea treatment.
To protect your dog from the harmful effects of fleas, take preventative measures such as using flea medication, regular grooming and cleaning your dog, and keeping your home and yard clean. Remember, flea prevention is a must for every pet owner to keep their dog safe and healthy.