With the shy arrival of sunny days, small flea and tick parasites are appearing and do not fail to multiply. If the hair of your dog or cat is an ideal home for these parasites, your animal is still easy prey for these unwanted people. Besides the itchiness they cause, these silent predators are the cause of many diseases that must be prevented or treated quickly.
Spring is finally coming to the end of its nose and ticks and fleas too. With an admittedly long but mild winter, these parasites have found the ideal conditions to make their early appearance. Dogs and cats are not their only victims since these little animals also settle in your home and do not spare you.
The flea is a tiny, blood-sucking insect barely visible to the naked eye. Measuring 1 to 3 centimetres in length, fleas move by jumping and can sometimes perform leaps of 30 cm in height. There are different species of flea that are all harmful to our dogs, cats or other mammals. The cat fleas, for example, are very opportunistic for our companions and men can also transmit diseases.
Fleas have the particularity of reproducing very quickly. Flea eggs nestled on the animal can easily fall onto the floor, beds or sofas without you noticing. They thrive in places devoid of light and humidity, usually hatching two days later. The larvae then feed on food particles or skin and sometimes even the droppings of adult fleas. You will understand, without treatment, it is quickly possible to find yourself invaded by fleas.
But how do I know if my pet has fleas? Don’t panic, the symptoms are very clear. If you find that your pet is scratching insistently, sometimes tearing out its hair, and you observe small black particles on its coat, then it is very likely that your dog or cat is infested with fleas. Indeed, a flea bite causes itching due to their irritating saliva and successive scratching can cause allergic reactions or eczema.
To prevent invasion and treat fleas, there are many solutions: shampoo, collars, powder, pipette containing a treatment to be applied directly to the skin of the animal or new ultrasound devices such as Ultrasonic Repellent. All these products are sold in pharmacies or at the veterinarian.
After treating your pet, it is important to wash your home thoroughly:
- Vacuum your interior, especially in the rooms most frequented by your pet, before and after treatment. Don’t forget to throw the vacuum cleaner bags in an outside garbage can,
- Remove carpet and doormat and wash your floors with hot soapy water,
- Wash the dog’s or cat’s bowls, taking care to rub well with washing-up liquid and hot water,
- Machine wash your pets’ blankets, cuddly toys and cushions
- Then treat your entire home and garden against fleas, making sure that the product used is responsible.
The tick is a mite that needs to be taken care of. A tick bite can lead to infectious diseases in humans and animals. Most often found in forests, ticks can also be found in gardens and other parks.
Ticks feed on blood just like the flea and can transmit a number of dangerous germs when they are bitten. The tick can measure up to 4 mm and has the particularity of developing only in the presence of blood. They then cling to their prey (man, animals, birds) favouring the wettest parts of the body, then push their thorny rostrum into the skin in order to remain fixed there. The tick falls after laying its eggs and starts looking for a new victim.
We must beware of these small insects which carry very serious diseases such as piroplasmosis, Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. Lyme disease is the most common. It causes significant redness at the bite, headaches, a slight increase in temperature as well as muscle pain. If this is not treated in time, complications in the heart are felt and in the worst case, this can lead to meningitis.
In order to avoid a serious infection, it is advisable to regularly examine your animal, especially after walks in the forest. A tick is easily spotted by touching it and in this case, it is necessary to act quickly and remove it delicately. There are several methods for this.
First, please clear the area around which the tick is located. If you have ether, you can use it on a cotton ball to put the insect to sleep. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter, you just have to act rigorously. The goal is to remove the tick without leaving its head there. It is then advisable to use tick pliers ( tick puller found in pharmacies) or tweezers, to pinch as close as possible to the surface of the animal’s skin and to gently pull vertical.
Even if their appearance increases in summer, we must not forget that fleas and ticks are present and threaten our furballs all year round. It is therefore very important that our pets are treated throughout the year to protect them against these parasites and to ensure their health and that of the whole family. Don’t let your guard down!