Fleas, ticks, and worms or should we say the big three parasites; they are always mooching around throughout the year, seeking a host to cling on to. These creatures can be deadly and cause great uneasiness and discomfort to the host (dog or cat). Speaking of deadly, fleas, ticks, and worms, all have their own levels of dangerousness, and in this blog, we will look at them in detail.
Fleas vs. Ticks vs. Worms
We all know that fleas, ticks, and worms bring tons and tons of problems to pets, but not many know about what these parasites are capable of. Hence, let us look at each of these big three parasites and learn more about them.
A flea is best described as a tiny wingless blood-sucking insect that lives on the pet’s body, and over time, lay eggs known as flea eggs in the environment. If left untreated, they can be very fatal. Some of the horrible things fleas are capable of are given below.
- Flea allergy dermatitis – Also known as skin allergies, this particular health problem caused by fleas occurs when a flea bites the host. It leads to excessive and constant scratching as well as swelling, and welts appear on the skin.
- Hot Spots – Fleas bite, and that causes dogs to constantly chew, lick, and bite their fur. Due to their excessive chewing, licking, and biting, a condition known as hot spots are developed.
- Anemia – Since fleas are known as blood-sucking parasites, pets such as dogs and cats can become anemic from biting fleas. Anemia is that disease that causes loss of blood and symptoms of such include lethargy, pale gums, and low body temperatures.
- Bartonellosis – This is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria that belongs to the Bartonella genus. It is transmitted to pets by fleabites that carry this parasite. The symptoms of such disease include vomiting, fever, diarrhea, seizures, etc.
- Tapeworms – When your pet accidentally swallows a flea while biting or chewing their fur, it may develop into a tapeworm. Tapeworms are horrible creatures that prevent dogs or cats from getting the much-needed nutrients they require. They live in the intestinal tract and cause loads of discomfort.
A tick is a blood-sucking insect that attaches themselves to the host. It sucks the living daylights out of the host, leaving it in immense pain and discomfort. Like fleas ticks too, are capable of spreading many fatal diseases, some of which have been listed below.
- Lyme Disease – A bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi causes this serious disease. It is regarded as the most common tick-borne disease and affects a large chunk of dogs every year.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – A particular species of tick known as American Dog tick is the root cause of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in animals.
- Ehrlichiosis – Bacteria known as Ehrlichia chaffeensis cause Ehrlichiosis. It is mainly transmitted by various tick species, including brown dog tick, lone star tick, and American dog tick. Low blood cells and nose bleeding are the most common signs.
- Babesiosis – This type of disease is primarily caused by a tick bite, but it can also be transferred by dog bites. Babesiosis is the breaking down of the red blood cells, and symptoms of such disease include jaundice, pale-looking urine, pale gums, etc.
- Anaplasmosis – Black-legged ticks carry a bacterium that can lead to Anaplasmosis. This type of disease causes bleeding disorders and can be very fatal if not treated soon.
- Tularemia – caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis, Tularemia is an infectious disease that generally attacks the skin, eyes, lungs, and lymph nodes.
Intestinal worms are one of the most common problems faced by millions of pets across the globe. There are several species of worms such as whipworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, etc. And they all come in different shapes and sizes. These worms can cause numerous issues to dogs and cats, some of which are given below.
- Heart Diseases – Certain species of worms travel through the bloodstream and enter the heart, causing unimaginable pain. If left untreated, they get worse and may lead to serious heart diseases.
- Cancer – Several types of worms such as tapeworms can be turn out to be cancerous. There are numerous cases where pets have been diagnosed with lung and brain cancer due to worms.
- Brain Infection – When worms enter the brain, it can be extremely damaging, especially if they are gone unnoticed for days. They lead to brain infections, which can be very fatal.
- Respiratory or Digestive Issues – Once worms have entered the body, they travel to all parts. Some or most of these worms enter the respiratory and digestive tracts. They live and breed there, and over a period of time, cause the host, respiratory and digestive problems like pulmonary malfunction and asthma.
As seen above, fleas, ticks, and worms all lead to severe and fatal diseases and health issues. Hence, as pet parents, it becomes crucial that you detect these parasites as quickly as you can and seek veterinary help to fight these pesky buggers. Moreover, you can also prevent such infestations from occurring by getting your pet on a preventative schedule. There are a plethora of preventatives and treatments for your pet – flea treatments for dogs, flea treatments for cats, tick treatments for dogs, tick treatments for cats, wormers for dogs, and wormers for cats. You can get all of these at reasonable rates only on BestVetCare! Purchase them NOW and keep your pet safe from parasites during the peak seasons.