Animals and Pet Care
Fleas, Ticks 7 Mites - by Ruff
Fleas, ticks and mites are extremely
common pests, and any dog can become infested with these parasites. Take
reasonable preventative measures and deal with any outbreak immediately.
Fleas can jump from one animal (or human)
to another, seeking a warm place to live. Fleas can make your dog
extremely uncomfortable and can pass along tapeworm eggs. Your dog also
may be allergic to flea saliva, increasing the discomfort and causing
him to scratch or bite himself.
If your pet is scratching or appears to
be in discomfort, a simple examination should detect the presence of
fleas. The best course of action is to consult with your veterinarian.
There are a number of treatments available including dips, powders,
sprays and even medication to be taken internally. Clean his sleeping
quarters thoroughly and any other areas he frequents (donít forget about
the car). Thoroughly vacuum the area and treat with a spray product
designed to eradicate fleas.
Ticks, on the other hand, infest high
grasses, shrubs and trees, where they wait for a potential host animal
to pass by. If your dog spends any significant time outside in this type
of area, he's at risk for picking up ticks. Ticks feed on the host's
blood and can transmit a variety of diseases (including Lyme disease
carried by the deer tick) as well as cause significant discomfort.
The best way to discover ticks is through
physical examination. Check your dog when he comes indoors after period
of outdoor activity. Get into the habit of checking for ticks whenever
you groom your dog as well. Ticks that have embedded themselves resemble
a small wart in your dog's skin. Clean out your pet's sleeping area
frequently and have your dog treated with a medicated dip at your vet's
Mites are tiny, often microscopic,
parasites found in the ears that are closely related to ticks and
spiders. They burrow under and feed upon the host's skin, causing a
condition known as mange. Treatment varies with the type of mite causing
the infestation, but usually involves a medicated dip. If your dog
appears to have irritated patches of skin or seems to be in some
discomfort, see your vet to determine the cause. Treatment requires
thoroughly cleaning the ears and applying a special preparation to kill
the mites. Check with your vet for specific recommendations.
If you suspect that your dog may have a
flea, tick or mite problem and are unsure what course of action to take,
don't hesitate to visit your vet. Exercise care if you treat the
situation yourself. Consult your vet for a recommendation on the proper
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