Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Ctenocephalides canis

Synonym(s): C. canis, Dog flea

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Dwight Bowman, Anna Meredith, Molly Varga

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Class: Insecta.
  • Order: Siphonaptera.
  • Genus: Ctenocephalides.
  • Species: canis.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Epidemiology

  • Probably similar to C. felis, although C. canis seems to require higher humidity and so is more restricted in the areas in which it will breed.

Habitat

Adult fleas
  • Parasitic: In fur of rabbit, dog, cat or other animal.
  • Non-parasitic: In the absence of a host, fleas can survive for days to a few weeks in a cold, moist environment.
  • Fleas can survive up to 3 weeks in the environment.
  • Pre-emerged adults in their cocoon: In the absence of stimuli to emerge (pressure, temperature, possibly vibration) adults can remain in the cocoon for several months, particularly in cool temperatures.
Eggs
  • Laid on the animal but not sticky so that eggs fall off within about 8 hours.
  • Naturally the majority of eggs fall where the animal spends most of its time sleeping/resting, ie hutch, bedding etc.
Larvae and pupae
  • Larvae hatch where eggs accumulate in the environment and do not move very much.
  • To develop, flea larvae require blood protein found in the feces of fleas; this flea dirt also falls off the rabbit in the areas where it rests.
  • Larvae are negatively geotropic and so larvae and pupae are found on the floor of the hutch, or at the base of carpet pile if the rabbit is kept in the home.

Lifecycle

  • Adult.
  • Egg.
  • Larva.
  • Pupa/cocoon.
  • Pre-emergent adult.

Pathological effects

  • Little is known about the allergens and the host response to C. canis.

Other Host Effects

  • Host specific for canids, but can feed occasionally off rabbits and other species. Rare.

Control

Control via animal

Vaccination

  • It is unlikely that a vaccine would cross react between the 2 species.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Baker K P & Elharam S (1992) The biology of Ctenocephalides canis in Ireland. Vet Rec 45 (1-2), 141-146 PubMed.

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