Qualitative and quantitative observations on the flea population dynamics of dogs and cats in several areas of Germany

Vet Parasitol. 2006 Apr 15;137(1-2):130-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.12.021. Epub 2006 Jan 25.


From an ongoing country-wide study on the spectrum, the epidemiology and the population dynamics of flea infestations in dogs and cats, important preliminary results from the three areas of Karlsruhe, Nuernberg and Leipzig are presented. A total of 1922 dogs and 1838 cats from 12 different veterinary practices or clinics in three areas of Germany were systematically examined between July 2003 and June 2004. All dogs and cats appearing for a clinical veterinary consultation on one regular working day per month, per practice, were clinically examined. Dogs and cats were examined irrespective of any kind of prior therapeutic or prophylactic insecticidal treatment. The results show that a total of 99 dogs (5.13%) and 263 cats (14.33%) were infested. Cats were more often flea-infested than dogs (p < 0.05). The highest infestation rates for dogs (x = 7.87%) were detected between July and October, and for cats (x = 21.14%) between July and September, the lowest infestation rates for dogs (x = 2.88%) were observed between November and May, and for cats (x = 12.16%) between November and April (p < 0.05). Although the prevalences were generally higher during the summer months, no statistical differences were detectable when looking at the pattern between the four seasons, neither for dogs, nor for cats. Interestingly, the highest prevalences in dogs (9.9%) were detected in June 2004 and comparatively, in cats (23.86%) in August. The lowest detection rates in dogs were seen (1.28%) in April and in cats (7.26%) in January. The preliminary results did not indicate any tendency for a relationship between climatic conditions and flea infestation rates. Similarly, no differences of the infestations rates were detectable between urban and rural areas, 56% (dogs) and 46% (cats) of the infested pets originated from urban habitats. The flea species collected include Ctenocephalides felis, Ctenocephalides canis, Archaeopsylla erinacei, Pulex irritans, Ceratophyllus gallinae, etc. The overall frequencies reveal that C. felis was the most prominent species (81.5%), followed by C. canis (12.5%), A. erinacei (2.7%) and P. irritans (1.7%).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cat Diseases / parasitology*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology*
  • Dogs
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / epidemiology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / parasitology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / veterinary*
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Population Dynamics
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population
  • Seasons
  • Siphonaptera*
  • Urban Population