Fleas are annoying to both humans and dogs, but they can also cause serious health problems.
Some dogs are allergic to the flea’s saliva. Rather than developing
little “bug bites” like most dogs and people, they break out in large
welts and present with severe skin irritation and excessive
shedding--the irritation results in your dog licking and biting at the
site, which often leads to infection. This is called flea allergy
dermatitis. It is a self perpetuating cycle because the more your dog
licks and bites at the affected area, the worse the irritation gets and
the more he will want to lick and bite. This cycle can be halted by
getting rid of the fleas, and putting an Elizabethan collar on your dog
so he cannot worsen the problem while it heals
Fleas carry several types of internal parasites. Flea larvae feed on
tapeworm eggs which then makes the flea a carrier of the parasite. As
your dog grooms, he can ingest an infected flea and become infected
himself. The tapeworm attaches itself to your dog’s intestinal wall and
sheds eggs, which pass through the dog’s system and out of his body.
These eggs are then eaten by flea larvae and the cycle continues.
Symptoms of tapeworm infection include weight loss, loss of appetite,
nervousness, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and rectal irritation.
Humans, especially children, can become infected with tapeworms through
contact with infected fleas and contact with the waste of infected