Monday, 30 June 2014

Fleas, Ticks and Mites, Oh My!

It's coming into parasite season do I thought I'd share with you some information about keeping your pets parasite free.

Fleas, Ticks and Mites can all live on your pet and cause them great discomfort. These are called ectoparasites. Ectoparasites are organisms that live on other organisms.

 

Signs that your pet may be infested with ectoparasites are:

Itching and Scratching

Loss of hair

Ulcerated or sore skin

Abrasions or scabs on the skin.

 

Fleas

Can be seen on your pet.

Small black specs.

 

Mites

Leave bran like substance

Crusted red/yellowish lesions on ears/nose

Reddish lumps on tail/genitals/feet.

 

Ticks

Can be seen - look like large fleas

Grow bigger after drinking blood.

 

PARASITE PREVENTION

As with all health concerns, prevention is better than cure.

The best prevention against parasite infestation is constant cleaning of your pets and their sleeping area.

Through thorough grooming you can spot any problems before they become out of control.

Talk to your vet about treating your pet with an insect regulator that is either given in their food or as a spot-on treatment monthly or every 3months.

You can also buy parasite prevention treatments at your local pet shops although these are much weaker alternatives to what your vet can prescribe.

CURE

If your pet does catch Fleas, the first step is to deal with the pet itself. A quality flea shampoo will kill all fleas on your pet. However this does not keep other fleas in the area from jumping on your now clean pet.

You should remove the pet from the environment while you treat the house and garden, thus keeping your pet safely away from chemicals.

You should only bring your flea-free pet back into the environment once you have completed the treatment of the area and it is safe to do so.

If your pet is allergic to fleas or just seems to attract them you may want to talk to your vet about flea control products such as Frontline.

Along with the use of flea sprays, carpet powders and flea bombs to treat your home, there are a few things you can do to help speed removal of fleas from the house:

 

1). Turn your heating up. The warmer and more humid the environment, the faster flea eggs will hatch, pupate and emerge as adults.

2). Wash the pet's bedding, together with any removable covers used where the pet frequents (such as sofa covers).

3). Vacuum the house thoroughly. Pay particular attention to areas where the pets spend most time. This will remove some flea eggs, larvae and pupae, though certainly not all. But the vibration of the vacuum cleaner may trigger more pupal fleas to hatch from their cocoons.

 

Always remember that treating your environment is just an important (usually more important) than treating the host.

I hope this post hasn't made you too itchy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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