Fleas and ticks are a few of the external parasites that can affect pets. They are most prevalent in the spring and summer months, and can transmit a variety of diseases. Fleas can also cause secondary dermatitis and discomfort. Both fleas and ticks take a blood meal from their host, which they need in order to lay eggs and reproduce.
How can you tell if your dog has fleas & ticks?
Examining your dog’s coat on a regular basis is a good idea. Part the fur all along the body and check for any bugs or black specks. Engorged ticks are quite large and fairly easy to find. They can often be confused with skin tags. Fleas are much smaller, but can be seen by the naked eye on close inspection. The presence of flea dirt is also a good indication, usually seen as black flecks at the base of the fur.
How do you prevent fleas & ticks in dogs?
Fleas are very athletic and can jump onto your pet in a split second, often from another dog, but they can also live in the environment. Ticks are usually found in long grasses and forested areas. Avoiding unknown dogs and tall grasses is an obvious way to decrease the risk of getting these parasites, but may not suit your livelihood. Topical and oral medications are also available from your veterinarian.
What are the treatment options for ticks in dogs?
There are a variety of products available to prevent fleas and ticks, both oral and topical. Most medications cause the parasite to die after they take a blood meal and ingest the medication in the bloodstream. Some kill the parasites just from contacting the skin. Your veterinarian can prescribe something that works best for you.