Fleas and Ticks: Their Health Risks and Prevention Tips

Ticks and fleas are more than just a nuisance to your pets. They not only cause extreme discomfort to pets, but also pose great health risks to them and even to your family. Knowing these health risks and how to prevent them is vital in ensuring your family’s safety as well as guaranteeing a long and happy life for your pet.

Fleas
These are wingless, jumping, and bloodthirsty parasites that really terrorize pets by leaving them with intense itchy bites. The pets start scratching to relieve the itchiness but it only gets worse. They may end up having irritated patches on their skin that make them easily susceptible to allergic reactions and secondary infections. Plus, if too many fleas feed on your kitten or puppy, they could actually draw enough blood from them to cause anemia.

As parasites, fleas are efficient carriers of diseases such as cat scratch fever, typhus and plague. They also act as hosts to the flea tapeworm. In case a dog or cat ingests a host flea while licking their wounds, they also become hosts to the tapeworm. Fleas are also dangerous because before they begin to feed, they can survive without blood for over 100 days and their populations grow really fast.

Ticks
Ticks are more difficult to detect because of their smaller household populations. They also qualify as notorious bloodsuckers and just as with fleas, pets may also experience itching problems from tick bites although itchy bites are the least of their threats. Since there are more than 800 known species of ticks, these parasites are capable of transmitting so many different types of diseases.

The most common diseases they are associated with are Tick Fever, Lyme disease and anaplasmosis. In North America, they are also known of transmitting Rocky Mountain Fever, Ehrlichiosis and Tularemia. Ticks are also responsible for some paralysis that commonly affects dogs known as Tick Paralysis. The paralysis is caused by some certain species of ticks whose saliva has neurotoxins. Days after being bitten, pets often show signs of troubled breathing, feeding, swallowing and weakened hind legs.

Top 2 tips on how to prevent fleas and ticks infestation

1. Troubleshoot your yard
The first and best way to keep ticks and fleas away from your pets is by setting a strong line of defense in your home. If you have a yard, keep your yard clean, grass mowed, and shrubs trimmed to make it completely unfriendly for the parasites to shelter in. Also discourage undomesticated pets and wildlife from getting into your yard and bringing their parasites with them.

2. Get some vet-recommended tick and flea prevention prescription
This is one of the easiest ways to prevent and kill fleas and ticks. Visit your vet for prescription preventatives and use it as advised.

 

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