This Is The Hidden Threat Fleas Pose To Your Dog And Cat

Most pet owners know that fleas can drain blood and leave a dog or cat feeling tired and itchy as a result. However, that's not all that fleas can do. If fleas are biting your cat and dog, there may be a more dangerous threat facing them. Here's what you need to know about it:


When fleas bite, they don't just take away blood. Sometimes they leave behind blood from prior prey, or expose cats and dogs to any bacteria that they're carrying. One of these bacteria is known as mycoplasma.

Mycoplasma is a type of bacteria that's carried harmlessly by fleas but can do a lot to hurt a dog and cat. Cats and dogs can be exposed to it by bites, or if they accidentally consume a flea while grooming themselves, they can also be exposed that way.

When it Attacks

Mycoplasma triggers a condition in dogs and cats. In dogs, it's called haemocanis, and in cats, it's haemofelis. There's no significant difference in the disease between the two animals; it's just named differently because the species the bacteria is attacking is different.

Mycoplasma gets into the bloodstream and adheres themselves to red blood cells. This is where the problem starts. A healthy cat or dog's body will recognize that there's a foreign invader to be dealt with. The white blood cells will go to attack the bacteria, but if it's attached to a red blood cell, that red blood cell can be destroyed in the process. If your pet is exposed to enough bacteria or the bacteria manages to linger in the bloodstream long enough to multiply, numerous red blood cells can be destroyed.

When this happens, it causes something called infectious anemia. Rather than a cat or dog becoming anemic due to losing blood, the blood is destroyed while it's still in their body. This can leave both cats and dogs feeling extremely ill, weak, and they can lose their appetites, which makes things even worse. Unfortunately, this disease can kill if it's left untreated.

How to Prevent It

Unfortunately, there is no vaccination or cure for this disease. When a cat or dog gets it, it can be detected by a blood test. Then, the veterinarian can help by preventing secondary infections and with blood transfusions, if enough red blood cells are destroyed. However, preventing it is ideal.

To prevent your pets from getting this illness, simply take action to protect them from fleas. Fleas carry this illness and are the leading way that pets contract it. If you aren't treating your pets regularly with anti-flea medication or collars, you're leaving them at risk.

If you don't know how to protect your pets from fleas or the flea medication you've been using isn't effective, talk to a pet care professional. They can not only prescribe flea medication to your pets, but they can help you to understand how to use it and apply it.

About Me

Working With Your Animal's Doctor

How long has it been since you took your pet to the veterinarian? Although many people underestimate the importance of regular veterinary care, a little early attention and preventative action can go a long way. We started focusing more and more on our pet's general health after they started to get older, and it was a little discouraging to see how much help they really needed. However, after we started making some changes, it was cool to see our animals blossom into happier, healthier animals. On this website, check out how working with your animal's doctor might help your pet to live a better life.



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