No matter how many times you give your pets a bath or how hard you try and protect them from parasites, fleas and ticks somehow manage to find their way onto their skin. Your pet’s skin is the perfect place for pests to thrive because their fur makes the environment warm and their blood is like an all-you-can-eat buffet! When fleas and ticks feed on your pet’s blood, not only does it cause severe itching but also infections, allergies, and diseases. Ticks and fleas are common during warm months, but you should take steps to protect your furry friend throughout the year. These pests are quite dangerous and here are a few things you should know about them.
1. Fleas And Ticks Can Cause Anemia
A female flea is an egg-producing machine. It can lay up to 20 eggs a day and out of those eggs, half will be female. At this rate, by the end of 60 days, you will have around 20,000 fleas in your pet’s fur. As for ticks, a female tick can lay up to several thousand eggs at a time. And each tick can drink up to 20 times its body weight. When all these pests constantly drink your pet’s blood, it causes immense blood loss, resulting in anemia. If your pet constantly scratches itself and is not as active as it used to be, you can check its fur for signs of pests such as red rashes, black specks which are droppings, or white specks which are eggs.
2. Fleas And Ticks Infect Humans Too
Just because you don’t have fur, does not mean that you are safe from fleas and ticks. Fleas can jump 110 times their length, meaning that they can easily jump onto your skin. When eggs fall on the carpet, they target you and your pet after they hatch. You need to keep carpets as dry as possible by vacuuming regularly. Ticks cannot jump, but they can crawl up onto your skin like they do on your pet’s skin.
3. Flea And Tick Shampoos Are Very Specific
As a pet owner, you have to be very careful about what you are dealing with, fleas or ticks. In many instances, some shampoos that kill fleas don’t affect ticks. Since shampoos are mainly used to get rid of existing pests, they are not particularly useful in preventing them. Your pet can still get ticks and fleas when it goes outside. You also have to be careful about the kind of shampoo you get. Dogs and cats need different types of shampoos depending on the type of their fur.
4. Ticks Need To Be Removed With Extra Caution
Though fleas are much more mobile than ticks, it is easier to get rid of them. Shampoos, flea collars, and even oral tablets help get rid of fleas as they do not latch onto your pet’s skin. In the case of ticks, they attach themselves onto your pet by drilling their mouth deep into the skin or by secreting cement-like substances that help them glue themselves on your pet’s skin. When removing ticks, use fine-tipped tweezers. Hold the part of the tick that is closest to the skin and pull upward with a steady pressure. Be careful not to twist or jerk as it may cause the mouth part to break, making it difficult to remove it. Also, do not squeeze the inflated part of the tick as the infected blood may flow back into your pet’s system. If you feel you cannot remove the ticks on your own, head to the veterinarian. In certain cases, your pet may experience muscle paralysis due to the saliva secreted by the tick, which will get better once the tick is removed.
5. Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
Since it is very difficult to get rid of a flea and tick infestation, you should do your best to prevent your pet from getting infected in the first place. You can use collars which are known to ward off these pests. These collars contain chemicals that protect your pet from both fleas and ticks. If you have a puppy or kitten, you will need to use a collar with a lower dose of chemicals. Always read the labels and follow instructions carefully. Do not let your children play with the collar and always wash your hands with soap after handling it. Regular grooming also prevents pests from infesting your pet’s skin to a certain extent.
It is best to take your pet to the vet on a regular basis to get it checked for ticks and fleas. Do not use chemicals or medicines without consulting the vet first as it may worsen your pet’s skin condition if it has rashes and scabs.