Flea Bite Anemia in Pets

Young puppies and kittens are especially at risk for flea bite anemia.

Fleas are certainly very common external parasites seen in all areas of the country.   When infestation is heavy, especially in young puppies and kittens, there can always be the risk of flea bite anemia. Because fleas are voracious blood feeders, red blood cell counts can drop dramatically especially in these younger animals. Symptoms include lethargy, weakness, pale gums, low body temperature, and in severe cases death may occur.

Treatment of flea bite anemia includes supportive care as well as specific therapy for the flea infestations, such as products like Frontline Plus or Advantage II. Affected pets may be bathed to remove adult fleas. An oral cat and dog flea medication, such as Capstar can be given, which quickly kills adult fleas within a few hours.  Warm subcutaneous or IV fluid therapy may be needed, in addition to supportive vitamin therapy.  In severe cases, transfusion may be necessary to restore red blood cell counts to normal.  Prevention of flea bite anemia involves using specific products to kill and prevent flea infestation such as the products mentioned above.

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Why Does My Pet Have Pale Gums? | PetMeds Blog

  2. An older kitty I know has dropped a lot of weight looking very giant. He has a flea infestation as do 2 other cats in the household. One other has bad hair loss on his back. I am ready to call Animal Control for an inspection.

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