Fleas are some of the most disturbing parasites for our cats and dogs that not only cause them irritation, itching and the transmission of other inner parasites, such as tapeworms, but they are also the cause of one of the most common allergies.


Fleas are usually harder to detect than ticks and there is a certain tendency to tolerate them better than the latter, so it is common that they often affect our cats and dogs to a great degree, especially on those animals which live outside and have contact with other animals.

The flea allergy is induced by some substances contained in the flea’s saliva. This saliva has some irritating effect on the skin, and when they get into the collagen of the skin, they form an antigen that is recognised like a strange substance by some animals and causes the appearance of some anti-bodies IgE and IgG, as well as some immediate and retarded hypersensitivity reactions.

animal-matters-Flee-dirtThe periodic exposure to fleas can induce an allergic process that can be more common and intense than the constant exposure to them.

In dogs, skin lesions occur on the legs and abdomen and consist of wounds, hyper-pigmentation, loss of hair and intense itch, and they cause compulsive biting and licking. In cats, the lesions are usually on the legs, head and neck.

Although several tests can be done to detect fleas, it would be enough if you observe these clinical signs in your pet animals. This disease is very common and the first thing we say to the owners is that this problem will last forever and can only be solved by avoiding the animal getting infected with fleas. We suggest the application of some products to prevent the fleas from reproducing. It is very important that you treat the environment with chemical products periodically to avoid the existence of parasites in the area where the animal is living.

In my experience, many owners only treat their animal when they go into the vets, and then they forget about the problem. It is recommended that flea treatment is used regularly, at least every three months and that the animal is also treated for worms at the same time. It is known that both of these parasites live in harmony, so treating them both is advised. There are various treatments available, but like all products, these treatments can become useless if used continually. Try using different brands occasionally.

Article written and supplied by Paco,
Clinica Veterinaria, Puerto de Mazarrón