How To Treat Dog Fleas and Parasites Effectively

german shepherd with owner

It is important for German Shepherd dog owners to give priority to dog fleas and other parasites. Fleas can cause some serious health issues for dogs, including flea allergies and dermatitis.

Dog flea allergies are quite common, when your dog is bitten by a flea and he is allergic to it, you will find he will have hairless patches of skin. Most dog owners think the bald patches are just from the dog scratching constantly at that particular area. The reason for his constant scratching is the allergy to flea bites.

Therefore if you notice your dog scratching a lot be sure to check out his skin for signs of irritation and seek immediate help to prevent him having huge bald patches over his body making him appear quite the mangy mutt!

A flea infestation for a dog that is allergic to flea bites will make him very distressed and uncomfortable. Flea bites can cause severe skin issues, called dermatitis. Medicated collars are available to prevent flea infestations and they also control other dog parasites such as ticks.

Parasites in Dogs

As a German shepherd dog owner you need to be aware of the parasites a dog can have, as they can seriously affect the health of your pet. Be sure to get your dog protected against these parasites early spring as the warmer weather makes for ideal conditions for severe infestations of fleas and ticks.

Typical Dog Parasites

  • Ticks – ticks can cause severe health issues for your dog. A bite from an infected tick can cause illness and even death.
  • Worms – tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms, whipworms, roundworms… these infestations can cause death for your dog if left untreated. Read more about heartworms here.
  • Hookworms If your dog has hookworms he may exhibit symptoms of anemia. As the infection gets worse so does the dog’s anemia. Hookworm larvae can be passed directly into your dog through the skin. Symptoms may appear such as lesions of the feet and in the skin such as rashes. Other signs of hookworm infection may be loose stools that contain blood, a reddish tinge may be seen.
  • Roundworms are common in puppies and this is why it is imperative to maintain a regular worming cycle. Try not to miss doses as this allows the roundworm cycle to begin again. A puppy heavily infected with roundworms may get a potbellied look. Most dog wonders have seen this condition at one time or another. Piperazine salts are given orally for the treatment of roundworms, however, broad-spectrum anthelmintics like pyrantel pamoate, fenbendazole etc. may also be prescribed treat parasitic infestations.

New medications and drugs are constantly evolving for the successful treatment of dog fleas and other parasitic infestations.

Some dog owners prefer to treat fleas with ivermectin which is a medication that is commonly used to treat heartworm infection, although it is good for all parasitic infestations. It is also used to treat parasite infections in humans.

Ivermectin is available in injection form and oral form and also for external application.

However, please consult your veterinarian before using this drug as some breeds of dog are more sensitive to it and can have a serious reaction to the drug. German Shepherds are one of those breeds affected.

While the sensitivity to this type of medication is not always guaranteed, the following breeds are most likely to be affected:

Old English Sheepdog
• English Sheepdog
• Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
• Australian Shepherd
• German Shepherd
• Long-haired Whippet
• Silken Windhound
• Skye Terrier
• Collie

It is also seen in mixed-breed dogs, older dogs that have experienced a blow to the head, puppies, and dogs that have overdosed on similar types of drugs. Treating dogs that are susceptible to ivermectin toxicity with parasitic medication should be only be done under a veterinarian’s supervision and with great caution.



As a responsible dog owner, keep your dog vaccinated and free from fleas and parasitic infestations for a healthy happy dog.

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