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Fleas and ticks in a dog, or what my pet bites?

Fleas and ticks in a dog

We look forward to the coming of spring, longer days, more sun, numerous opportunities to catch up.

However, we must remember that we are not the only ones who are more active at this time of the year.

Our four-legged friends are exposed to the attack of numerous parasites living on the skin and hair.

Here's Spring's ranking of the most vexing and common external parasites in dogs.

You will learn about diseases caused by fleas and ticks in your dog, and how you can protect your dog from them.

  • Fleas in a dog
    • Dog allergic flea dermatitis (FAD)
    • Anemia in a dog
    • Tasiemczyca
  • A tick on a dog
    • Babesiosis in a dog
    • Lyme disease in a dog
    • Anaplasmosis and Erlichiosis
  • How to prevent infestation by fleas and ticks?

Fleas in a dog


A flea is a small wingless insect that is perfectly adapted to its lifestyle. Flea it has specifically built muscles that allow it to be performed 30,000 jumps continuously. A flea can jump a distance 300 times the length of her body - it's as if a man jumped up to the height of the Eiffel Tower!

Adult fleas are reluctant to leave their host because they need blood to live, which they drink daily 20 times more than it weighs.

After consuming blood, the female lays approx 50 eggs a day, that fall off the dog in the places where it is located.

That is why our pet can spread fleas all over the house, and this one sleeping in bed will provide us with interesting company at night!

Larvae are formed from the eggs, then pupae, a after 3-4 weeks the next generation of adult fleas.

The most common symptoms of a flea infestation in dogs include:

  • anxiety,
  • intense scratching,
  • biting - mainly around the base of the tail.

In profusely hairy dogs, we may have trouble finding adult parasites.

However, their presence may be evidenced by the so-called. black dots, i.e. flea droppings.

Fleas in a dog

In addition to the discomfort caused by bites, these insects can contribute to more serious diseases.

Dog allergic flea dermatitis (FAD)

The allergen is the saliva of the flea, which causes an extremely strong reaction in sensitive individuals.

As a result of itching, the animal scratches and even bites itself, most often around the tail, buttocks and groin.

You can also see scabs on the skin on the back or neck.

Anemia in a dog

Intensive flea infestation may contribute to anemia due to the sucking of copious amounts of blood.

The following may occur then:

  • general weakness of the animal,
  • pale gums,
  • somnolence.


Fleas can act as intermediate hosts for the tapeworm.

Tapeworm in animals is manifested by severe itching around the anus, and in the faeces, tapeworms can be observed.

A tick on a dog

What a tick looks like?

Ticks are extremely deceptive bloodsuckers belonging to the group of arachnids.

They attack from hiding, they are fast and effective.

There are twenty species of them in Poland, and the most common are:

  • dog tick,
  • common tick,
  • meadow tick.

Ticks are ruthless beasts, each stage of their development - larvae, nymphs and adults - needs blood to develop further.

Ticks most often feed on animals: from field mice, through dogs and cats, to cows. Ticks are most active from mid-March to the end of November.

They are cunning parasites. They know very well where they can meet their host, so they lurk in the grass and brush for a favorable occasion.

A tick can even sense its victim from a distance 20 meters. Reacts to:

  • body temperature,
  • carbon dioxide you exhale,
  • smell of sweat.

When it is on the skin, it looks for the most delicate place (head, armpit, groin area).

When piercing, the forceps introduce a secretion that has an anesthetic effect and delays the host's defensive reaction.

After sticking into the skin, a tick can even feed in it seven days.

During this time, he drinks approx 2 ml of blood and significantly increases in size. The adult individual is approx 2 mm length. When full, it can even increase in size six times.

These small creatures can transmit diseases that are very life-threatening to dogs.

Babesiosis in a dog

Babesiosis, or canine malaria, is acute in most cases. Symptoms appear quickly and the deterioration of health occurs rapidly.

If untreated, the disease leads to the death of the animal.

The symptoms of babesiosis are:

  • depression,
  • lack of appetite,
  • fever,
  • dark urine,
  • vomiting.

Lyme disease in a dog

Lyme disease is most often chronic with periods of exacerbation.

In dogs, the disease mainly affects the joints, less frequently the kidneys or the heart, and rarely erythema migrans.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • apathy,
  • fever,
  • lack of appetite,
  • joints may be hot and swollen,
  • lameness is frequent.

Anaplasmosis and Erlichiosis

Symptoms of Anaplasmosis and Erlichiosis in a dog are:

  • depression,
  • lack of appetite,
  • fever,
  • lameness,
  • joint pain and swelling.

Serious blood clotting disorders are common.

How to prevent infestation by fleas and ticks?

Flea drops for a dog

How to combat fleas and ticks in your dog? Because prevention is better than cure, let's take care of the right one in advance prophylaxis.

Regular use should start in March at the latest antiparasitic preparations, such as:

  • flea drops for a dog,
  • tick collars,
  • preparations for ticks.

It is also worth observing your dog carefully and consulting any disturbing behavior with a veterinarian.

You want to learn more about the most serious tick-borne diseases? I encourage you to read the article "A dog's tick and diseases transmitted by a tick bite ".

Has your dog ever had fleas or ticks?

How did this "adventure " end?

If you want to share your experience or learn more about diseases transmitted by these parasites, now add a comment under the article. I will reply as soon as possible.

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