It’s that time of year again when all dog owners must address the issue of parasite control. It seems like I am reading about it daily. I have a coworker who found a tick on her dog in February during one of the warm weeks we had that month. My vet tech gave me a stern lecture last year about my non-aggressive treatment of fleas and ticks. This year I am doing a much better job making sure my dog receives some type of control medicine.
Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t fully understand the importance of flea and tick control – and that’s a very big problem. It is critical that you understand the dangers that your pets (and you) could be facing. So please take a few moments to find out what you need to know to keep your pets safe.
Parasites aren’t just an annoyance. They also carry many dangerous diseases – some of which are life threatening. That’s why it is so important that you understand how to protect your dog from these dangers.
Dog owners have so many questions – During which months does my dog need flea control medications? Is flea control enough, or should I also protect against ticks and other parasites? What medications are safe? What if I find fleas in my house?
The problem with fleas is that they breed and multiply so quickly. How fast do fleas multiply? If your dog had a single flea, in just 2 months’ time, under optimal conditions, you could have more than 3 million fleas infesting your home!
Fleas are blood-sucking parasites. A single flea can bite your dog more than 400 times in just one day!
If your dog has an allergic reaction to the proteins in flea saliva, he can develop flea allergy dermatitis, causing constant scratching, skin problems and permanent hair loss.
Fleas can also transmit dangerous and sometimes life-threatening diseases to your dog, including anemia, bacterial diseases, tapeworms and other parasites.
TICKS are another common parasite. They pose serious health risks to both pets and humans, and even dogs that spend very little time outdoors are at risk. A tick bite can cause localized infection. But the most harmful effects of a tick bite include serious diseases like Lyme disease (causes painful lameness), Rocky Mountain fever, paralysis, encephalitis and anemia.
If your dog brings a tick into your home, it can attach to and feed on humans, transmitting these same diseases to the human host.
So, when should you start treatment? It is best to treat your dog at the beginning of the season, before your dog and your home become infested. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends that you administer a monthly preventative flea medication all year round. I know this, but still take off November – February, because I do not see fleas during these months and it helps my pocketbook.
What is the best product or method of flea and tick prevention? I don’t know. I follow what my veterinarian recommends. I have also started experimenting with diatomaceous earth. I am not sure why I am doing that I have not seen a flea in my house in over 2 years and much longer than that since I saw a tick. I think the diatomaceous earth is a preventative in my mind, even though I know there needs to be a flea or tick to work (it’s not a preventative.) Probably wasting some money, but if I miss brushing out a flea or locating a tick, I will have a good backup.
What do you do for fleas and ticks? We learn more when we share.
Some of this information came from Intelligent Content Corp.
I feel sorry for people who do not have dogs. I hear they have to pick up food they drop on the floor! Anonymous