As well as causing skin disease, and annoyance to dogs, they are vectors for a large number of diseases of both canine and zoonotic concern.
Species which are pathogenic in dogs include:
- Ctenocephalides canis
- Ctenocephalides felis felis
- Ctenocephalides felis orientis 
- Ctenocephalides felis strongylus 
- Ctenocephalides damarensis
Ctenocephalides spp feed on skin debris, and cause intense itching in some dogs.
The head of Ctenocephalides spp is rounded on its upper and anterior surface. Ctenocephalide canis, the dog flea, has a sharp curve here; Ctenocephalides felis felis, the cat flea, has a shallow curve. Ctenocephalides canis usually has three or four setae on the metepisternum; the others species usually have only one or two.
Clinical signs include pruritus, alopecia, lichenification (blackening) and dermal corrugations in chronic cases.
Treatment is usually effective with a range of insecticidal drugs.
Anthelmintic treatment with praziquantel is recommended as most dogs with Ctenocephalides spp have concurrent cestode infections.
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- Ménier K & Beaucournu JC (1998) Taxonomic study of the genus Ctenocephalides Stiles & Collins, 1930 (Insecta: Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) by using aedeagus characters. J Med Entomol 35(5)':883-890
- University of Sao Paulo