ticks and fleas in dogs

dog health: ticks and fleas in dogs

if you love your dog then you shouldn't let him to be bothered by fleas and ticks. ticks and fleas are a major concern in dogs, and it can cause several diseases aside from discomfort.

since june is flea and tick awareness month, i have dedicated this post to provide information on how to detect, treat, and prevent fleas and ticks in dogs.

symptoms of ticks and fleas:

Scratching Dog
Image credit: Find a Vet U.S.
the number one symptom that your dog has fleas or ticks is that if he's scratching (or biting around his skin). your dog may also have several scabs and bumps as well as black specks ("flea dirt") around your dog's neck or at his back. all of these are indications that your dog has ticks or fleas.

other signs of ticks and fleas:

there are also signs that your dog is already having an illness caused by fleas or ticks. if your dog is exhibiting any of the following, then he might be having a serious case of ticks or fleas:
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy or depression
  • weakness
  • fever
  • cough
  • pale gums
  • pain in the legs or body
  • arthritis or swelling in the joints

related health problems:

the following are the known flea related illnesses:
  • FAD - Flea Allergy Dermatitis
  • Anemia
  • Tapeworm
Dog Skin Parasites
Image credit: Kimberly Vet

on the other hand these are the most common tick transmitted diseases:

   - Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Moutain Spotted Fever, and Cytauxzoonosis

treating fleas and ticks:

treating fleas and ticks first and foremost requires patience and scrutiny. take the following steps on how to remove ticks and fleas:

  1. kill the adult ticks/ fleas that are already on your dog - wear latex gloves or use tweezers to remove the ticks/ fleas from your dog. check the head, paws, and around the neck, tail, and groin first, and then the rest of the body. place the ticks/ fleas in a small container with alcohol. do not squash or burn the ticks/ fleas because they may just release more potential pathogens on your dog's skin. 
  2. kill or prevent flea/ tick eggs, larvae, or pupae from hatching or preventing it from developing into adults - bathe your dog using a dog soap that has anti-flea/tick formulation. it is very important to bathe your dog regularly (at least every other week).
  3. clean your home and environment to stop further tick/flea infestation - wash your pet's bedding and belongings regularly in hot water. also vacuum the places where your dog hangs around frequently - the carpet or even the car. clean rugs and doormats and place then place them under direct sunlight. also clean your yard. trim tall grass and brushes as these are common breeding grounds for ticks. mow your lawn and clear the area of any leaves or clippings. 
  4. lastly, pay special attention to flea and tick prevention during flea/ tick season (spring and early summer). this is when flea and tick populations explode as the weather starts to warm up. 

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