Dog Health: Fleas

Dog | Fleas

An Introduction to Fleas

Erin Coomer -Veterinarian

July 2013

Fleas are insects that bite and suck blood.

We are primarily concerned with the ‘cat flea’ - Ctenocephalides felis

It is approximately 1-2 mm long, and is a dark brown colour.

Causes of Fleas


>>> Egg >>> Larvae >>> Pupal Stage >>> Adult

On average, the time from egg to adult flea is approximately 3 weeks. 

The young adult flea may not emerge until it can detect a host (eg.  warmth and vibrations).  This explains why a flea problem can occur when a dog/family moves...
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Symptoms of Fleas

The most common symptoms dog owners may notice;

  • Scratching

  • Licking

  • Rubbing

  • Skin sores - often red or bloody

  • Hair loss - patchy areas over the body

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Treatment of Fleas


-  Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD) when your dog has an allergic reaction to the saliva from the flea.  This allergic response can occur after just one fleabite.  Your dog will be very itchy, and may develop a rash.  You may never see the culprit flea; your dog looks...
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