Gearing up for the tick-flea season
Ticks and fleas are indeed, nasty crawly monsters that haunt pet parents all night – everyday. A shudder runs down your spine just thinking about one of these savage insects fastened onto your pet’s skin. But what exactly are they, and why should we as pet owners be concerned about them?
Everything that you need to learn about ticks and fleas in India is right here, read on!
In every corner of the world, fleas and ticks are a source of discomfort and a possible health danger. While the activity of these insects is seasonal, fleas and ticks may be found throughout the year. This is particularly true given the fact that these insects flourish in households.
Fleas may be picked up by both dogs and cats that spend time outside, but since dogs spend more time outside than cats, they’re therefore more susceptible to ticks. Remember that fleas and ticks can also infiltrate houses through visiting pets and clothing, though that method of infection isn’t very high.
Through stroking and sharing a living space with a host dog, fleas and ticks may potentially transmit illness to people. This is why it’s so important to understand the health risks that fleas and ticks can cause.
What is the difference between ticks and fleas?
Ticks and fleas are both parasitic species that regularly infect dogs and cats. They spread illnesses by biting and sucking blood from our pets. What’s the good news? There are techniques to get rid of tick pest infestations, as well as simple preventative measures that can help you avoid re-infestation!
Here’s a little additional information about both of them:
What do they look like?
Ticks resemble extremely tiny spiders in appearance. They’re external parasites who feed on your pet’s blood. Ticks can spread diseases by passing on viruses, bacteria and other parasites.
The damage caused:
Tick-borne infections such as Lyme disease and relapsing fever can be transmitted to your dog by hundreds of different tick species. Tick-borne encephalitis can also be transmitted by some ticks. Fleas and ticks can cause a range of health problems for dogs if left untreated so make sure to get to it in time!
What do they look like?
Fleas are blackish-brown in colour and look like specks that are smaller in size to ticks. Fleas are known to leap very swiftly.
The damage caused:
Fleas are another sort of parasite that may be found freely in a variety of forms. They may transmit tapeworm and typhus, although they’re not as dangerous as ticks.
TOP TIP – Because parasites lay many eggs at a time, tick and flea infestations can quickly spiral out of control. Whichever of these your dog has, it is critical for you to act quickly to eliminate them. One thing to try is placing flea filth on a moist kitchen tissue to determine whether your dog has fleas, if they do – fleas will leave red streaks.
Does my dog have ticks – how you can tell ?
It may be difficult to detect these parasites during the early stages of an infestation. Here are some warning indicators to keep an eye out for throughout the year:
- There is a lot of itching and irritation around the head and ears.
- Tick or flea bites can cause red patches on your dog’s skin.
- Symptoms of flea faeces (black-brown powdery substance in the fur)
- If you see a tick anyplace in your house, don’t panic (yes, even a single one)
- Rashes or bumps (some dogs are allergic to tick bites)
- Ticks and fleas on your dog are easy to spot.
If you see any of these symptoms, you should examine your dog for ticks or other parasites right away.
While fleas travel from one location to the next, ticks like to stay put. Here are a couple of their favourite hiding spots:
Behind the ears, elbows, under the front legs, between the paw pads, between the toes, base of the tail, under the collar or near the neck.
TOP TIP – Using the sensation of touch more than your sense of sight, can be more helpful in such cases. Even if a little tick or flea is concealed under lengthy fur and you can’t see it, you may be able to feel it. You may convert this into a snuggle session by giving them belly massages and scratchies as you go.
What is the best way to get rid of ticks and fleas in dogs?
If this is your pet’s first time acquiring ticks or fleas, worry not! Here are a few helpful hints!
How to Remove Ticks from Dogs?
Ticks are far less difficult to catch than fleas. Ticks travel slower and are bigger, and their mouths are frequently stuck in the skin. Ticks on dogs can be removed in the following ways:
Step 1 – Spread the fur over the tick’s back to give yourself plenty of room to work.
Step 2 – Pull the tick out carefully by grabbing it at a position as near to the skin as feasible. This prevents you from tearing the tick and leaving any portions adhered to the skin.
Step 3 – Congratulations! You caught the tick. If the tick is released back into the environment, it will just crawl back. You may want to destroy it by submerging it in a mild disinfectant solution (alcohol and vinegar).
Step 4 – Clean your dog’s bite location with a pet-safe antiseptic solution and thoroughly wash your hands.
How to remove fleas from dogs?
Fleas are extremely quick and difficult to capture by hand. As they go through your pet’s fur, you’ll have to do this. (Fleas may leap very high and very far, so be prepared)
Fleas are usually simpler to get if pet parents use an anti-tick and flea massage oil and then give their dog a warm water bath using an anti-tick and flea shampoo. It’s possible that you’ll have to do this every 10 days until the infestation is gone.
How can I prevent fleas and ticks?
- Treatments that are applied directly to the skin
Using an over-the-counter spot-on flea and tick medicine from your veterinarian, pet store, or internet may be a highly effective way to keep ticks and fleas at bay. For up to a month, these drugs are successful at keeping parasites at bay. While these drugs are beneficial, you must be cautious about the one you use. Make sure you read all labels thoroughly, and if you have any questions, get guidance from your veterinarian before using.
- Medications Taken Orally
For dogs, once-a-month pills are widely accessible. These treatments can kill ticks and juvenile fleas, as well as interrupt the flea life cycle. They’re simple to administer, and unlike spot-on treatments, you won’t have to worry about young children or cats making contact with dogs right after application.
Ticks are often killed on contact when your dog is bathed with a shampoo containing medicinal chemicals. During tick season, this might be a cost-effective (albeit time-consuming) way of tick protection for your dog. Because the beneficial chemicals won’t remain as long as a spot-on or oral treatment, you’ll need to repeat the process every two weeks.
- Dips in Ticks
A dip is a potent chemical that must be diluted with water before being sponged or poured over the back of the animal.
This treatment isn’t supposed to be washed off after use. Because the chemicals used in dips can be rather potent, check the labels carefully before using them. Dips should not be used on puppies or kittens under the age of four months, or on pregnant or nursing animals. Before treating pups, pregnant or nursing dogs, seek guidance from your veterinarian.
- Tick Collars are a type of tick collar.
Tick-repellent collars are another option, albeit they are mostly used to protect the neck and head against ticks. To transmit the chemicals onto your dog’s fur and skin, the tick collar must make contact with his skin. To keep your dog from chewing on the collar, cut off any excess length. In case of an allergic response to the collar, look for indicators of pain (e.g., excessive scratching).
Being sure your dog is tick or flea free is very important because ticks and fleas can lead to many life threatening diseases and are toxic for your pets health. We all want our dogs to be well taken care of! At the end of the day we love them more than we can imagine!