Flea Caused Health Complications for Dogs

When you think about fleas and your animal, you most likely focus on the fact that your pet will be miserable and itchy from the flea bites. However, there are a number of complications that can arise if your dog ends up contracting fleas. Each of these is much more serious than the itchy bites that initially occur.

Sores and Hot Spots

When your dog begins itching, he may focus on the spot of the initial bit. Excessive scratching, biting and licking of the area may lead to more pain and possibly develop into a sore that may need to be treated. You can help prevent this by using a soothing shampoo when you discover fleas. You will need to keep an eye out for these spots. If they become open sores, you should seek the advice of a vet and possibly use a cone for your dog so that the area has a chance to heal completely.


Fleas carry tapeworms, which can infect your dog. Your dog will not contract the tapeworms from the bits of the flea. The tapeworms are spread when the dog ingests the infected flea. Your dog may do this when licking or biting an area that is bothering it. The tapeworms will settle into your dog’s digestive track and can cause issues that make it difficult for your dog to get the nutrients it needs. You can see signs of tapeworms in his stool. At your annual vet visit your vet will likely test for tapeworms. If any are found, he will prescribe a dewormer that can solve the problem.

Cat Scratch Fever

Yes, dogs can get cat scratch fever, its real name is Bartonella. This is a parasite that fleas carry and it is spread when an infected flea bites your dog. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, seizures, and swollen lymph nodes. You will need to take your pet to the vet if it experiences any of these symptoms, because Bartonella is very serious and your dog will not recover on its own.

The best way to prevent any of these complications is stop your dog from being bitten by fleas. You can do this by using a preventative flea medication each month. Another step is to sop fleas from entering your yard with a flea control treatment. Ace Mosquito Control can stop fleas from bothering your pets when they are playing outside in your yard.