Problems With Fleas & Ticks

by Naomi Millburn
    Scanning your dog's skin sometimes can reveal fleas and ticks.

    Scanning your dog's skin sometimes can reveal fleas and ticks.

    Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

    If you don't know much about fleas and ticks on dogs, you might just think of them as mere nuisances that might make your pets a little itchy. Truthfully speaking, fleas and ticks can be a lot more harmful than that. Never ignore cases of either. Always get veterinary attention before other complications have the opportunity to rear their ugly heads.

    Fleas and Anemia

    One major problem that could arise from fleas is anemia. The tiny external parasites are capable of taking in so much blood that they can actually, with some time, trigger the red blood cell disorder. For some canines, particularly young ones, the red blood cell deficiency can actually lead to fatal results. Never brush to the side any indications that your pet might have fleas, whether excessively low energy, missing clumps of fur, excessive chewing, skin sores or head shaking. You might even be able to pinpoint the fleas in rapid motion on your dog's coat -- tiny, deep brown or blackish insects with flattened physiques.

    Ticks and Anemia

    As with fleas, extreme cases of ticks in dogs can also induce anemia. It also can bring upon deadly consequences, especially in pets who are either elderly or tiny physically. In the bulk of cases, ticks are pretty simple to visually identify -- gray or reddish-brown arachnids all over your dog's skin. Some typical symptoms of canine ticks are both excessive itchiness and skin redness. The sooner you notice ticks in your dog, the sooner you might be able to prevent complications.

    Flea Allergy Dermatitis

    Some dogs are actually allergic to flea saliva, which can cause allergic reactions -- flea allergy dermatitis. In these cases, even a couple of flea bites can bring upon discomfort, sometimes even after the application of flea medication. Apart from lots of itchiness, flea allergy dermatitis can pave the way for unpleasant bacterial skin infections, an effect of scratching all of the time.

    Lyme Disease and Ticks

    Many ticks carry Lyme disease, which is a form of bacterial infection. Deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) in particular are prolific in the Lyme disease department. Some telltale indications of Lyme disease in canines include fever, reduced appetite, depression and joint aching. In some cases, it can even cause kidney failure. Note that if kidney failure in dogs is ignored, it can be deadly.

    Tick Paralysis

    Some varieties of female ticks can trigger tick paralysis, which results from a strong poison that is contained in their saliva. This saliva travels directly to canines' blood and causes drastic nervous system havoc. Some of the effects that dogs with tick paralysis experience include muscle motion loss, back leg weakness, problems eating, rapid heart rate, throwing up and hypertension.

    Photo Credits

    • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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