Flea Diseases You Need to Watch Out For

Posted on January 9, 2020

Flea Diseases You Need to Watch Out For

Fleas are most commonly associated with biting and causing mild itching. Inconvenient? Yes. Life threatening? Rarely. But, although fleas may not pose a major health risk to you, that doesn’t mean the risk isn’t there. In fact, the risk is even higher if you’re prone to allergies.

That’s why, it’s so important to be able to identify the symptoms of flea disease early. This way, you can seek immediate treatment for yourself, or potentially save the life of a loved one – be it a pet, close friend, or family member.

Here are the most common and serious flea diseases to watch out for.

Tapeworm larvae (Dipylidium caninum)

When a dog or cat swallows a flea that is infected with a tapeworm larvae, they will get a tapeworm infection.

Pets typically swallow fleas by accident while they’re grooming themselves.

Once the tapeworm larvae is digested by the dog or cat, the larvae will then develop into an adult tapeworm. During this process, the tapeworm will mature inside the intestines, and segments of the larvae will break off into the digestive system.

How do you know if your pet has a Tapeworm Infection?

Interestingly, the symptoms are largely mild. Your pet may have slightly less of an appetite and lose some weight. However, the most obvious sign of a tapeworm infection, is when an infected dog or cat drags their anus across the ground. They do is because segments of the tapeworm will cause irritation to the skin.

Are Humans at Risk?

Fortunately, the risk of a human getting infected by a pet with this flea disease is very low. However, children – particularly crawling toddlers – may be at risk, as they might find and consume a tapeworm larvae by accident.

If you suspect your dog or cat, or your child, has a tapeworm infection, then seek immediate medical assistance.

Don’t wait to get sick before you seek treatment. Contact All Bugs today for safe, fast, and effective flea treatment.

Murine Typhus

Murine typhusWhen a flea feeds on an infected rat, the flea may become infected with murine typhus. A dog or cat that comes into contact with an infected flea may also get the flea disease. Humans may also get the disease if they get bit by an infected flea.

Although milder than epidemic typhus, murine typhus share a lot of the same symptoms, including:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Rash
  • Fever

In more severe cases, an infected person may also experience nausea and body aches and pain.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, go see your local doctor. They can assess your symptoms and treat you with antibiotics.

Early intervention is crucial. If you delay treatment, the symptoms can get more severe and take longer to recover – you may even need hospitalisation.


Tularemia is a rare yet often serious bacterial disease. Humans can be infected by handling infected animals or being bitten by an infected flea. Tularemia is also highly contagious and can even result in death if untreated.

How much are Australians at risk?

Fortunately, cases of tularemia only occur in the Northern Hemisphere, and only two cases have ever been reported in Australia. Better still, treatment is available in the form of antibiotics if diagnosed early.

Symptoms of Tularemia

Symptoms of tularemia can take anywhere from two to 14 days to prop up. Different types of tularemia exist, so the severity of the flea disease will depend on the type of flea and where they bite you.

Common Symptoms of Tularemia include:

  • Skin ulcer – most often occurs on the location of the bite
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion

More severe cases of tularemia may lead to the irritation and swelling of the eyes, coughing, chest pain, and even difficulty breathing.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, see your local doctor as soon as possible.

Mycoplasma Haemofelis

Mycoplasma haemofelis is a blood parasitic disease transmitted to cats through flea bites, along with tick and mosquito beats.


The disease primarily infects the red blood cells. When this happens, the disease ‘tricks’ the cats’ body into treating the red blood cells as a foreign entity, and the body starts to destroy its own blood cells. As a result, the cat becomes anaemic.


Fortunately, with early diagnosis, the disease can be treated with antibiotics. Although, in more severe cases, the cat may require a blood transfusion in order to recuperate the lost red blood cells.

Do you suspect you have fleas in your home or business? Contact All Bugs today, and get safe and effective treatment to rid your premise of invasive fleas.

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