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Fleas and Ticks: What Are They and How to Prevent Them

  • 2019-05-10 16:06
  • 아시아뉴스통신=Ian Maclang 기자
[Photo source : 123RF]
 

Having your dog infected with parasites like fleas and ticks is one of the greatest nightmares that a pet owner could have. It’s heartbreaking to see your struggle because of endless uncomfortable irritation and itching because of the parasites that lurk into their furs. These parasites heartlessly suck out the blood and nutrients from your dog. They are like freeloaders that live on your dog’s skin and feast on their body.

Dogs and cats are being infected with these parasites and making their lives a living hell if not treated immediately. If your pet is already infected with these parasites, they might affect their daily activities and their health condition. 



Difference between Ticks and Fleas

[Photo source : 123RF]
 

Fleas are small, dark brown insects that live in your pets’ fur. They thrive in temperatures of 65-70 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85 percent, that is why pets are more prone to have flea infestation during the summer season. Often times, dogs and cats get infected through physical contact with other animals who also have parasites in their furs and contrary to what most people think, fleas don’t have wings and they cannot fly. They use their back legs to jump from one host to another or from its environment to a new host. 

According to puppyleaks.com, there are 1600 species of fleas and most of them live in the body of mammals. The website also stated that cat flea is the most common and most abundant flea species on earth. It is also possible for cats and dogs to share flea infection. A flea can crawl on your dog’s skin and may give them severe allergy. 

Meanwhile, ticks are parasites that can transmit diseases. According to pethealthnetwork.com, they can spread a lot of diseases that could affect pets and the people around them. These parasites can transmit diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tularemia, and babesia. Like fleas, they also thrive in warmer temperature and while we enjoy our summer season with our pets while we walk in the park, we are exposing them to ticks and tick-borne diseases that they might acquire. 

They can transmit deadly disease within 24 hours that is why it is advisable to immediately remove it when you see a tick crawl on your pet’s fur. These external parasites feed on their host’s blood that loves to stay on your pets’ head, neck, feet, and ear area. 


Spotting Parasites

 

In a website The Bug Squad, they explained that fleas start its life cycle by being a tiny egg and since these eggs are almost microscopic, you will not be able to see it by your naked eye but you can spot some flea dirt or flea feces on your dog’s haircoat. Although, you can use a flea comb on your pet to find and remove the dirt on their hair. Pet owners could use a brisk comb or you can rub your pets’ haircoat when they are sitting. 



On the other hand, ticks are harder to detect, but there are a lot of products that will prevent tick infestations and tick-borne diseases. Some of it are available as topical medications and a tick collar that will keep away ticks from your pets. Having a tick-related infection can cause several illnesses like lethargy, loss of appetite, and laziness. Although there are tick-borne illnesses that are similar to other diseases that's why it is important that you consult a veterinarian when you notice some changes in their behaviors.

Prevention and Medication

[Photo source : 123RF]
 

They say that prevention is better than cure. It will cost you less if you prevent bad things to become worse. Although, there are times that our pets will acquire infections and catch some diseases. Killing fleas and ticks could give you a little sweat. Since they are hard to spot, catching and curing it would take a lot of time and effort to overcome the problem immediately. You have to take note that fleas and ticks can also affect humans and other warm-blooded pets around the host. 

Moreover, if your pet is already infected with tick or flea, you should consult a veterinarian to give you a prescribed flea or tick treatment for your pet. Sometimes, they will give your pet an oral treatment or they would recommend flea shampoos and flea collars to keep these pests away from your pet. When you give your pet a bath, make sure that you will rub its fur coat and skin gently to prevent the eggs from thriving on its skin.

To prevent flea and tick eggs from hatching and eventually causing mishaps in your home and your pets’ life by causing them irritation and discomfort, spray some pesticide on your carpet or other places where your pet usually stays. Always have a regular and proper cleaning day where you would vacuum every corner of your house to make sure that there will be a slim chance of having fleas and ticks in your house.



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