The soft and warm fur of the animal creates the perfect breeding ground for parasites. Ticks and fleas feed on blood and can cause serious health problems such as allergic reactions and skin diseases, and ticks also spread babesiosis, a very serious disease caused by protozoa. Ticks and fleas usually attack pets in the warmer months of the year, but you can find them on your pet's fur at any time of the year.
The main signs that your pet may have parasites are:
- Dark spots on the coat;
- Flea eggs;
- The animal is constantly scratching and licking itself;
- Reddened, chafed skin and skin patches;
- Hair loss, hair loss.
Owners can easily check for parasites in the coat by looking at the neck area, the tail, the abdomen, and any spots on the coat. The ears, neck and areas around the eyes should be examined carefully.
Ticks and fleas are more dangerous for small puppies or kittens, as their low body weight can lead to anaemia due to the loss of blood that the parasites feed on. The main signs of anaemia are swollen gums and lack of energy.
Fleas often cause allergic reactions by injecting poisonous substances that often cause itching, which weakens the animal's coat and makes the skin extremely itchy, so the animal is constantly scratching itself and losing its fur. When digging, the animal can puncture the skin and introduce infection, leading to even more serious health problems.
Animals are most often infected with fleas and ticks after a walk on the grass or even brief contact with other infected animals. The female flea lays about 40-50 eggs a day, so the parasites are quickly noticed.
If fleas are found on a pet's fur, carpets and upholstered furniture must also be thoroughly cleaned, as the parasites can survive in the environment in between.
Tick prevention and hygiene
Ticks are best removed with rubber gloves and a firm grip with tweezers. If you see that you have left a tick head behind, it is best to contact your veterinarian to remove it. The most common mites that infest an animal are the deer ticks, which attack not only pets but also many mammals and humans.
The main signs that an animal has been bitten by a tick that is causing health problems:
- Loss of Appetite;
- Apathy, lack of energy, the pet looks sad;
- Pain in the joints;
- Swollen lymph nodes.
Diseases that can be caused by mites are: anemia, infection of the skin, the pet can also suffer paralysis.
Modern measures to protect your pet from ticks and fleas include various preventive shampoos, collars, drops and tablets. These products are best chosen in consultation with your veterinarian, who will advise you on the correct dosage of the product and explain the instructions for use to ensure effective prevention.
Based on scientific literature and consultation with veterinary surgeons