Flea-Borne Diseases in Dogs and Cats

Common info

Flea is a type of insect that can cause severe disease in dogs and cats in many areas around the world. The symptoms of flea-borne diseases in dogs and cats include severe itching, loss of blood and dehydration Also, fleas can be transmitted through bites and sucks. In some cases, the dogs and cats that are sensitive to infection, may hair loss and lead to inflammations on the skins.


From 1735 to 1758, the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus first classified insects, doing so based on their wing structure. It wasn't until 1810 that the French zoologist Pierre André Latreille reclassified the insects based on their mouthparts, as well as their wings, splitting Aptera into Siphonaptera (fleas).

Fleas are well known as one of the external parasites that are of medical and veterinary importance since, they are carriers of several severe epidemic diseases, such as tularemia and murine typhus. Moreover, fleas can transmit tapeworms, Bartonella and other diseases to pets.


Fleas are small insects and external parasites of mammals. They lack wings and have mouthparts adapted for piercing the skin and sucking blood with hind legs adapted for jumping. The latter enables them to leap a distance of some 50 times their body length. Larvae are worm-like with no limbs.

Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis), cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), as well as other types of fleas have their own characteristics. For example, dog fleas may bite a cat who will host them for a while but, when such a cat meets a dog, these fleas will automatically jump back to the dog.


  • Severe itching
  • Uncomfortably
  • Anemia
  • Dehydration
  • Hair loss

The symptoms of flea-borne diseases in dogs and cats: Fleas are not only annoying but can also cause danger, to dogs and cats much more than we could have thought. Symptoms vary from the uncomfortably severe itching to infection. In some cases, where fleas are many with large amounts of blood being sucked, the dog may experience anemia and dehydration. Apart from that, fleas can also pass on the Cestoda and other diseases to dogs and cats simultaneously.

Treatment and Prevention

Immediate treatment should be given once the symptoms caused by fleas are exhibited. The delay may cause additional diseases to follow.  Furthermore, a clean environment, with the dog being regularly washed and the use of natural products, may be one of the alternatives applied to get rid of the fleas. The best suggestion is you should go to a veterinarian to find the appropriate healings.

  1. Wikipedia | Cat Flea
  2. Wikipedia | Dog Flea
  3. Petmd | Common Fleas that Affect Dogs and Cats
  4. Vetinfo | Dog fleas vs cat fleas
  5. M. F. Obasaju and E. B. Otesile. 1980. CTENOCEPHALIDES CANIS INFESTATION OF SHEEP AND GOATS. Trop. Anita. Hith Prod.12:116-118.
  6. Michael W. Dryden and Michael K. Rust. 1994. The cat flea: biology, ecology and control. Veterinary Parasitology.52:1-19.
  7. R. Wall, S. E. Shaw and J. Penaliggon. 1997. The prevalence of flea species on cats and dogs in Ireland. Medical and Veterinary Entomology.11:404-406.
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