Can a Flea Infestation Kill Your Dog? Fleas are harmful to your dogs in many ways, but can a flea infestation kill your dog?

BY | August 30 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Can a Flea Infestation Kill Your Dog?

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A flea infestation can lead to several problems for your dog. However, is it possible that a large or dangerous flea infestation can hurt your dog to the point where it dies?

Fleas are a common parasite that can be found in many households. They feed on the blood of their host and have adapted to a variety of environments, including homes and animal environments. Fleas are typically found on dogs, cats, and humans, though they can occasionally infest other animals as well.

Fleas are not only a nuisance for your pet, but they can also carry parasites that cause illness in humans. In fact, flea bites can cause anaphylaxis in people who are allergic to flea saliva.

Symptoms of Flea Infestation in Dogs

Flea bites cause irritation and itching in dogs, cats, and other pets. The itching can become so severe that you might notice your pet chewing at its fur or scratching itself until it bleeds. This can lead to skin infections if left untreated.

Flea infestations occur when fleas lay eggs on the coat of your pet. These eggs fall off into your home, where they hatch into larvae that look like tiny worms with legs (nymphs). These larvae eat flea feces (poop) while they mature into adults that go back outside to find a new host animal - usually your dog or cat.

There are several ways to tell if your dog is suffering from flea infestation. As a pet owner, it is important to be aware of these signs so that you can take appropriate action.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Your dog scratching itself more than usual

  • Your dog's skin appears irritated, red, or scaly

  • Your dog has lesions on its skin or hair loss around its neck and back area

  • Your dog has a bad odor coming from its body

  • You see small black spots on your dog's skin

How to Prevent Flea Infestations in Dogs

One of the easiest ways to prevent flea infestations in dogs is by using a flea shampoo for dogs or a flea spray on them regularly. The shampoo or spray will kill any fleas that may be crawling on your pet's coat and will prevent them from getting back on again. While using the shampoo, use a flea comb or dog brush to brush your dog’s coat gently. That way, you can easily remove the fleas from your pet’s coat.

Another way to prevent flea infestations in dogs is by vacuuming your house frequently. This will take care of any eggs or larvae left behind by the adult fleas that might have laid eggs while they were feeding off of your dog's blood. 

Finally, another thing you can do is get rid of all carpets inside your home entirely, so there aren't any hiding places for these pests anymore either. It’s also vital that you clean your house regularly and bathe your dog every time it returns home after playing outdoors. 

You can also use the Seresto Flea Collar for Dogs. This dog collar repels fleas and prevents flea infestation for up to 30 days.

Can Fleas Kill Dogs?

The danger is that fleas are not only very annoying for your dog, but they are also a carrier for the bacteria Bartonella henselae. This bacteria causes the infection known as bartonellosis, and it can be fatal for dogs. If your dog has a severe case of this infection, it may not survive.

The flea's bite can cause anemia—which is when there isn't enough oxygen in the blood—in dogs. The flea's saliva contains an enzyme called hyaluronidase that helps break down tissue throughout the body so that they can feed on it.

When a dog gets bitten by a flea, its immune system goes into overdrive, trying to fight off the foreign substance in the body. This response causes blood vessels to constrict in order to slow down any further damage from occurring until the immune system can eliminate the invader completely. 

However, if this happens too often or too long over time, then there won't be enough blood flowing throughout your dog's body. That could lead to anemia or other issues like heart failure or kidney failure if left untreated for long.

Every one out of seven dogs in the world has fleas. However, not all of them die. That’s because there are a number of factors that can lead to death from a flea infestation. For instance, if your dog is already suffering from kidney problems, a flea infestation can intensify it. So, your dog may die due to kidney failure, but fleas were the ones that made the situation worse.

Puppies, on the other hand, can die from flea infestations because of anemia. Since their immune systems are not that developed in that stage, they’re more prone to dying from flea infestations.

How to Treat Fleas in Dogs and Puppies

Flea treatment for dogs and puppies means you have to give them the right medication. Capstar for Dogs is one such dog flea medicine that can help. These dog flea pills can instantly kill adult fleas. There is also the Frontline Plus for Dogs and other dog flea and tick medications that can kill fleas.

Fleas are a common problem for dogs, and a flea infestation can be quite uncomfortable for your pet. Fleas can cause skin irritation and can also spread diseases, including tapeworms and heartworm. In some cases, the infestation can also lead to death. That, of course, depends on a variety of other factors. 

If you notice your dog scratching or biting at his skin, it's important to get him checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will prescribe medication that kills adult fleas and prevents future infestations.

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