If you think that a flea infestation is nothing more than a mere annoyance, you are wrong. Sure, fleas are annoying and pain to eradicate. There is no way around that, but the truth is quite scary. Fleas can cause a bunch of health problems for your dogs. Some of these issues are even worse when you have a puppy that infested with fleas, since puppies are smaller and more fragile.
Although one of the more minor problems when puppies have fleas is skin dermatitis, this can lead to an even worse ailment: anemia. When a flea attaches itself to your puppy and begins to suck its blood, it causes itching. This frequent itching can lead to bald patches of exposed skin, because the hair has fallen out. And in turn, these sections of bare skin end up being prime ground for fleas to spread, since they do not have to burrow through your puppies hair to get to the surface of its skin.
As the problem gets worse and the fleas begin to multiply, your puppy can become anemic due to blood loss. A lack of blood can put stress on your puppy’s organs, causing them to fail. Your puppy can develop oxygen deprivation as well, once the anemia gets worse. This can be very dangerous, and even lead to the death of your puppy if he or she is not taken to the veterinarian early enough.
Puppies are very susceptible to anemia from fleas, and can even die from it.
Signs of anemia in any pet, but most importantly, a puppy, are pale gums, shallow breathing, feeling cool to the touch, and acting listless and short of energy. If your puppy is experiencing any of these symptoms, he or she should be taken to a veterinarian immediately, as a lifesaving blood transfusion may be necessary.
While older dogs can become anemic as well if they are infested with enough fleas, it is deadlier in puppies, since they are smaller and have less blood to go around. As they grow, they increase their blood volume, which is why a flea infestation is less deadly in older dogs.