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Fleas (Siphonaptera)

Fleas are wingless insects that are laterally flattened so can move rapidly through hair and fur. Their hind legs are adapted for jumping. They are of major significance to veterinary practice and are seen on a daily basis at most general practices. Adult fleas are blood sucking ectoparasites which can cause pruritis, annoyance, loss of condition and anaemia if present in large numbers. Flea allergic dermatitis can also occur where the animal becomes allergic to the antigens in the flea saliva triggering a hypersensitivity reaction when the flea bites. Fleas can also act as intermediate hosts for the tapeworm Dipylidium and as an important vector for diseases such as cat scratch disease, the bubonic plague and myxomatosis.


Flea Dermatosis