Fleas and ticks are parasites that live and thrive off the skin of your dog. Ticks are just large fleas that grow larger as they suck blood. Ticks can cause diseases like Ehrlichiosis which comes with symptoms like fever, lethargy, lameness, or bleeding. Ticks are more dangerous than fleas because they can even be lethal to your dog.
Fleas can potentially cause diseases but most commonly just cause irritation for your pet. When ignored and left untreated, fleas can be much more serious. They can live up to 115 days, but without a host die in only 2 days. As well as this, a female flea can lay up to 30 eggs a day. This increases the amount of fleas substantially. The irritation your pet is suffering from fleas can be compared to the irritation humans have with mosquito bites. Both pests bite and suck the host’s blood to survive, but fleas stay on your pet for long periods of time and continue to bite even when they are not hungry. It is also common for your pet to develop an allergy to flea’s saliva which can increase the severity of the skin reactions.
The most common cause of fleas is other infested pets. Fleas live on dogs, cats, rabbits, and rodents. If one pet becomes flea infested, keep it away from any other pets. Fleas can easily jump to another nearby host so be sure to keep them a distance apart. If you are letting your pets out where there are other potentially infested pets there are preventive medicines that can help keep your pet pest free. Fleas may also come from unclean surroundings. Keep your dog in sight and try to avoid his roaming about the neighborhood. There are many fleas roaming unknown that your pet can be exposed to. Ticks are more commonly found in woody areas like forests.
Medications are available to treat your pet. Although the only guaranteed treatment is medication, there are other things you can do to reduce the irritation your pet will suffer from. Flea treatment ranges from shampoos to lotions and powders. The quickest treatment is a flea bath or flea shampoo. These options are best for dogs. Cats may find flea collars or sprays friendlier than the idea of water submersion.
To treat ticks, the first step is removal. Remove every tick carefully with tweezers or a special tick removing device. Put the tweezers as close to the base of the tick as you can and pull the tick out slowly. Put the ticks into the toilet and flush when you finish. Do not squish or kill the ticks as they may release pathogens into your pet’s skin. Using products such as Frontline, Advantix or others, you can prevent your dog from getting ticks in the first place.