Do Fleas & Ticks Carry Dangerous Secrets?
In just one day, a single flea can bite your pet more than 400 times. A single
tick bite can cause more than one disease. And Houston is flush with these pests that attack our dogs, cats, etc.
Did you know that ticks are sneaky?
Ticks are hard to avoid because they not only live in wooded areas, they also
tend to lurk in yards, shrubbery, trees and gardens. And they can be active all
year, as they go through several stages, from egg, larva, nymph to adult.
Ticks are not insects; they’re blood-sucking parasites that attach to people,
pets and other animals. After feeding, they drop off to hide in a warm, dark
place and lay eggs. A lot of eggs. In fact, one female tick may lay as many as
20,000 eggs over a lifetime!
Why are ticks dangerous?
Ticks may carry serious diseases that can infect pets and people. Rocky
Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, babesiosis and ehrlichiosis can all
lead to devastating results, including anemia, lameness, weakness, lethargy,
organ failure, even death. When a tick attaches to a human or animal “host,”
the disease is injected through saliva as blood is sucked.
Can a tiny little flea really cause trouble?
Yes, and it can quickly turn into big trouble. Fleas live in your pet’s
environment, outdoors and indoors, and since adult female fleas can
produce up to 50 eggs a day, an infestation can multiply rapidly.
Sure, fleas can make your dog or cat itch miserably. They can also cause
skin irritations, infections and flea allergy dermatitis. Heavy flea infestations
can even lead to anemia and death, especially in puppies and kittens. Plus,
fleas can transmit tapeworms to animals and, in rare cases, to people.
How do fleas transmit tapeworm disease?
Typically, a pet swallows an infected flea or eats an infected rodent (such
as a mouse or rabbit). Ultimately, tapeworm segments are shed in the dog’s
feces. As these segments pass through the intestine, they may crawl around
on the perianal region and cause inflammation and irritation. To ease the
discomfort, an infected dog may “scoot,” scratch and lick the itchy areas,
which can irritate the area even more.
How can I get rid of these awful parasites?
If you already have a flea infestation or tick problem, talk with your
veterinarian to make sure your pet is treated as quickly and effectively as
possible. You’ll also want to ask for advice on prevention.
“Pet owners may not realize that treating only the pet will not eliminate an
infestation,” said Heidi Lobprise, DVM, Virbac Animal Health. “The pet, as
well as the house and yard, must be treated and possibly retreated, before all
stages of fleas or ticks are eliminated.”
Regular vacuuming of your pet’s living/sleeping areas helps to remove and
kill flea eggs, larvae and pupae. Next, take steps that will prevent an infestation.
Virbac Animal Health offers a comprehensive line of products that meets
Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) Guidelines for treating the pet,
house and yard. Available from veterinarians, this full line of defense against
fleas and ticks includes shampoo, gel, dip and environmental sprays.
Questions lead to better answers.
Learn more secrets for effective flea and tick control at www.virbacpets.com.