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When thinking about fleas you most likely picture your pet itching and scratching, but there are many issues that can transpire such as tapeworm, anemia, or severe allergies. To minimize your pet’s chances we recommend treating your dog, home, and your yard of fleas with a complete pest management system. Flea prevention is key! Let’s dive into some of the most common problems due to fleas. 

Tapeworm

If a flea that contains tapeworm eggs is ingested by your pet a tapeworm infection can occur. A tapeworm has the ability to grow into an adult as the egg matures in your dog’s digestive tract. According to experts, “the tapeworm hooks onto the lining of your dog’s small intestine and absorbs nutrients as they pass through her digestive tract.” Symptoms may include chronic diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, and an increased appetite. If you see these symptoms or any small white worms that look like rice, bring a stool sample to your vet. 

Treatment: If your dog is diagnosed with tapeworms, your vet will provide you with the necessary medication.

Anemia

Humans rely on certain amounts of blood cells in our bodies to be healthy and to have energy. The same goes for your pets. Too much blood loss can cause anemia. A flea can bite your dog hundreds of times throughout the day, so an infestation can cause some serious issues. If your dog shows any symptoms of weakness due to fleas, see your vet as soon as possible.

Treatment: If this occurs your vet can help restore your dog’s health along with getting rid of the fleas. Most animals make a full recovery, but in some severe anemic cases, your dog may need a blood transfusion or intensive care.   

Allergies

Some dogs can experience a severe allergic reaction from flea saliva, known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Some common problems that may occur are excessive licking, biting, and scratching. This may cause scabbing or bumps on your pet’s skin. If not treated, this can cause bacterial infections, painful sores, or hotspots. 

Treatment: If you notice any allergies in your pet, don’t wait to receive treatment. In order to control the scratching and irritation you most likely need medication. Severe cases may need prescription medications to avoid fleas and the chance of hotspots during the humid hot months in Charleston. 

How to Help

Checking your pet’s skin regularly for fleas is one way to help with comfort, but of course, the most important thing to do is to provide them with the proper prevention. There are many options that are easily offered to help defend fleas from your pet. There are pills, collars, or direct medications applied to their skin. To help make the decision for which is best for your pet, reach out to your veterinarian. 

If you’re in need of flea preventative or flea treatment, click here to make an appointment at Oceanside Veterinary Clinic. We are also offering curbside pick-up for any medications needed. 

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