Fleas and ticks on pets come as a shocker for pet parents. Not just because they cause restless itching and they don’t go away easily, but fleas and ticks are really dangerous for your pet’s health. So, the question is what makes them so terrible?
How Are Fleas And Ticks Dangerous For Your Pet ?
Did you know that a female flea can lay about 40 to 50 eggs a day? This means that if your dog or cat has picked up a single flea during your outdoor visits, that one flea would proliferate and establish its whole population in a single day. This infestation can even get out of control if proper steps are not taken. While itching and skin allergies are the common signs of flea infection and can be cured easily, fleas and ticks can also cause life-threatening diseases in pets.
Dangerous Flea-Borne Diseases In Dogs
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
FAD is an allergic reaction that is caused by the saliva of fleas when they bite dogs. The primary symptom of this hypersensitivity is severe itching, which leaves dogs uncomfortable and restless. Other common signs of flea allergy dermatitis include hair loss due to scratching, lesions, skin darkening and secondary skin infections.
Dogs become infected with tapeworm larvae after ingesting a flea infected with the tapeworm. The flea larva matures inside the dog’s intestine after digestion and becomes an adult tapeworm. If your dog has tapeworms, you may notice it dragging its anus on the floor due to the irritation caused by tapeworm eggs. Vomiting and weight loss may also be reported.
As fleas live on their host (dog) to feed on their blood, they may unusually lower the number of red blood cells. Anemia in dogs is a serious condition and may even cause death if the condition worsens. Fatigue, weight loss, dark feces, bruises on skin, etc are the symptoms of anemia.
Dangerous Tick-Borne Diseases In Dogs
Lyme Disease / Borreliosis
Caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks carrying these bacteria. Symptoms like lameness, fever, swollen lymph nodes and joints, and a reduced appetite with the presence of ticks may indicate Lyme disease.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted by the American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain spotted fever tick. For RMSF to occur, the tick must attach to the dog’s body for at least 5 hours to transmit the bacteria. Symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, depression, joint pain, lameness and vomiting. However, heart abnormalities, pneumonia, kidney failure, liver damage, or neurological signs like seizures and stumbling may also be seen.
The brown dog tick and the Lone Star Tick transmit Ehrlichiosis to dogs. Depressions, anorexia, fever, muscle aches, fatigue and bruising indicate the early signs of Ehrlichiosis.
Ticks secrete a toxin that affects the nervous system of dogs and causes tick paralysis. Tick paralysis leads to limping in dogs. Symptoms of tick paralysis are difficulty in walking, breathing and swallowing. If the condition worsens, it may also cause the death of the pet.
Can You Prevent Them?
All the diseases mentioned above are life-threatening for dogs, though they are caused by such little parasites. The only way to save our furry friends is to prevent the flea and tick infestation in the first place.
To avoid infestations, experts recommend regular bathing to maintain hygiene as well as the use of flea and tick prevention treatments. Below are some vet-recommendations to keep these hitchhikers away but confirm with your vet before using any of them for your pet:
Natural Home Remedies:
- Lemon shampoo
- Apple Cider Vinegar Spray
- Salt/Diatomaceous Earth
- Coconut oil
- Flea combs
Keeping Your Home Flea And Tick Free:
- Flea sprays
- Steam cleaning carpets and upholstery
Oral Flea And Tick Prevention Treatments:
- Nexgard Chewables
- Bravecto Chewables
- Simparica TRIO
Topical Flea And Tick Prevention Treatments:
- Frontline Spot on
- K9 Advantix
It is necessary to be adamant about preventing fleas and ticks. They can harm your beloved furry friends and can also pass on diseases to you. Along with keeping your home and surroundings clean, using a prevention treatment is the most effective way of preventing fleas and ticks. Contact your vet today and check out Bestvetcare for affordable flea and tick treatments along with huge discounts on pet care products.