You need to offer the best protection for your dog against heartworms, ticks, and fleas. These parasites can make your dog unhealthy and sick in many ways. Staying alert and cautious, you must find the sings of infestation.
Regular heartworm blood tests must be conducted under the supervision of your vet to safeguard your pet from getting vulnerable to heartworm disease. The risk elements associated with heartworm diseases are much higher compared to parasitic ailments caused by fleas and ticks.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Fleas!
Never think that your pet is completely safe against fleas. It is hard to find a better repulsive and irritating parasite than fleas. These tiny and dark creatures can make your dog’s life difficult. Feeding on the blood of your pet using a tube-like mouth, they create all kinds of issues.
Different Types of Fleas
There are different types of fleas available. Some of them are dog fleas, cat fleas and there are fleas for humans. You can also find these wingless creatures in different stages
Different Flea Stages
The egg is the first stage. Fleas lay eggs directly on the fur of a dog. These eggs get spread all over the body of your pet.
The second stage is the flea larvae. The larvae are blind and prefer to stay away from light. Flea dirt is what they consume.
The last stage is known as the flea pupae stage. It has a great similarity with the cocoon stage of a butterfly. Until the formation of the adult flea, the cocoon safeguards the pupae. It can a few days or weeks.
Learn More About Adult Fleas
Within a period of a few hours, an adult flea starts sucking blood from your dog to survive. It is going to lay eggs within a few days as well.
A fresh adult flea is tiny in size and dark in color and comes with a flat body. As the flea feeds off your dog’s blood, it turns bigger.
The color of this parasite also changes to a lighter shade. At this stage, this creature becomes visible or noticeable to the naked eyes of the humans.
How Do Fleas Cause Sickness In Your Dog?
Flea bites to suck blood from the body of your pet. It causes great irritation to the dog and can invite several health issues. Since fleas are parasites, they can spread numerous diseases to your dog.
Most Common Flea-Related Diseases
The most common diseases are Bartonellosis, Anemia, Tapeworms and Flea Allergy Dermatitis.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
- It is a very common type of disease caused by fleas. The flea bite is the prime cause of this allergic condition.
It creates an immune reaction in your pet which in turn results in symptoms like skin infections, hair loss, skin irritation, and itchiness. Dogs often end up swallowing fleas when they make efforts to chew at the irritating areas.
Fleas may also get inside while licking or grooming fur. Sometimes, your dog would end up eating tapeworm-infected fleas, which could result in more serious health issues. Your pet may get infected with the tapeworms as well.
Do you think tapeworm infection is a minor issue? Never undermine the importance of tapeworms. If tapeworms reach the digestive system of your pet, they will get stuck on the intestines lining.
You can find worms on the backside as well in the stool of a tapeworm-infected dog. The tapeworms closely resemble small white rice pieces.
Fast flea reproduction leads to the presence of a large number of fleas on the body of your pet. As they keep on biting and sucking blood from the dog’s body, the count of the red blood cells may get lowered considerably.
This situation leads to the development of anemia. It is a critical situation and you need to take your dog, especially a puppy to your vet without any delay.
What is Bartonellosis? It refers to a flea-induced bacterial infection in dogs. If you see symptoms like joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, loss of appetite, nausea or fever, you can suspect Bartonellosis.
This type of infection can interfere with the brain function of your dog. Some dogs may not show any of these symptoms.
Be Cautious and Alert About These Common Infections
As a dog owner, you need to be very alert to find out the symptoms of these infections. It is always advisable to keep checking your dog for the symptoms of fleas.
If you can detect them early, you can get rid of them fast to prevent serious complications. All dog owners need to keep flea preventative medications, like flea collars, drops, and pills.
Give the Utmost Importance to Hygiene and Cleanliness to Get Rid of Fleas
Keep Your Dog Clean and Healthy
You should take care of your dog as much as you take care of yourself. A flea comb can be used for running through the dog hair to check the presence of fleas. A vigilant examination would only help you locate eggs, larvae and the adult flea.
Before seeking the help of your vet to get the right medication, hot soapy water can be used to eliminate the fleas that you spot while combing.
Keep Your Home Clean
You need to clean your home regularly. It is necessary to wash your bedding frequently. Cleaning all those spaces where the dog sits, plays and sleeps, you are creating a healthy environment inside the home.
The furniture must be examined for the flea signs. If you detect fleas on your furniture, focus on steam cleaning immediately using hot water and a flea killer.
Never forget to look behind furniture to find out the presence of fleas. These parasites may thrive on floors under or behind your furniture.
All these areas need to be vacuum cleaned properly. Never forget to clean the vacuum bag or canister after the cleaning process. Clean these spaces two times at least a week.
Keep Your Yard Clean
Do you want to know whether fleas thrive in your yard? You just need to wear a pair of white socks and walk around the yard. This is a very smart technique because fleas easily get attracted to the bright color of your socks.
If you find flea infestation in your yard, you have to seek the help of a professional pest exterminator to address the issue.
Never Hesitate To Act Immediately If You Find Ticks Under Your Dog’s Skin
You can find ticks underneath the skin of your dog. Known as ectoparasites, these parasitic organisms thrive under the outside part of your dog’s skin.
The presence of these common parasites depends on the area you reside in. The climate also influences the tick attacks.
Tick infestation depends on the habits of your dog. Your approach to using tick control products also plays a big role.
No matter whether the dog is always kept inside your home or allowed to spend a lot of time outdoors; ticks infestation can be a good probability.
Ticks Stay Attached and Cause Irritation
Ticks are very good at staying attached to your dog. Inserting the mouth into the pet’s skin, these organisms produce a sticky substance that closely resembles glue.
This sticky substance is what helps them stay attached to the body of the dog. These parasites feed on the blood of your dog. The affected area turns red and the dog feels highly irritated.
Ticks Can Cause Anemia, Paralysis, Lyme Disease, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Your dog becomes highly vulnerable to anemia when ticks suck blood continuously. You can also expect a paralysis due to tick infestation in your pet.
These organisms make a poison while sucking blood. Ticks may even cause diseases such as Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Use Good Quality Tick Control Products
You need to make efforts to control tick exposure. It is not an easy task because these creatures can attach to your pet easily from outside.
You have to utilize tick control products based on the recommendation of your vet. Make efforts to keep your yard free of ticks using quality products.
Regular use of tick control products is an effective step. You can seek the opinion of your vet while buying these products because he/she has the knowledge and expertise to recommend the right products that suit your needs.
You need to realize that ticks can cause harm to human beings. Tick exposure leads to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever as well.
Be Cautious and Alert – Heartworm Disease is Really Dangerous
APRIL IS NATIONAL HEARTWORM MONTH! You should never underestimate the critical nature of heartworm disease in your dog. It is a life-threatening disease. You need to stay alert. If you love your pet, you must know what dangers heartworm disease can bring.
A Life-Threatening Disease
Heartworm refers to a worm with a length of twelve inches. It thrives on the blood vessels, lungs, and heart of your dog. This parasite may invite chronic lung disease; heart failure, and serious damage to other organs as well.
You Can Find Heartworms Everywhere
Heartworms not just love dogs. They also like many other animals. Ferrets, cats, coyotes, wolves, sea lions, and foxes are also vulnerable to heartworm disease.
Don’t Think You Are Protected
Human beings are vulnerable to this disease. The most common carriers of this disease are coyotes, foxes, and wolves.
Check For The Presence and Treat Properly
Heartworms love your dog and stay comfortable inside its body. If the presence goes unnoticed, the number grows to create serious health issues. You need to treat your dog to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Transmission of Heartworm Disease
Mosquitoes pick up heartworms when they bite an infected dog. Within a period of 14 days, these worms reach the infective phase.
They are transmitted when the worm-carrying mosquitoes bite another dog. Heartworms can stay inside your dog’s body for around seven years if not properly detected and treated.
Major Symptoms of Heartworm Disease In Dogs
You may not be able to notice any symptoms in some dogs during the beginning phase. As the infection prolongs, the symptoms tend to manifest.
Infected dogs show symptoms such as weight loss, reduced appetite, tiredness, a decline in activity, mild constant cough, and more.
Severely affected dogs become vulnerable to heart failure. The extra fluid in the abdomen can create swelling in the belly area.
If the heartworm presence gets higher, dogs may experience blood flow obstructions in the heart. This situation may result in cardiovascular collapse.
Chronic condition symptoms include difficulty in breathing, dark bloody urine, and pale gums. If the blockage is not eliminated using surgery, the scope for the survival of the dog gets slimmer.
What About the Frequency of Testing?
If you want to offer the best care for your pet, it should be tested at least once a year. Under normal circumstances, your vet conducts a test by taking blood during a routine visit as a part of preventative care.
Never Skip the Annual Testing
Yearly testing is inevitable. You should not skip the test even if your dog is taking heartworm prevention medication.
Some dogs get affected by heartworm disease in spite of taking medications. Annual testing checks the effectiveness of the prevention medication.
How to Deal With a Dog That is Affected by Heartworm Disease?
You don’t need to worry if your dog tests positive for heartworms. The most important aspect is to control the disease. The exercise must be limited. You should follow the instructions of your vet carefully.
Tests must be conducted after six months to guarantee the effectiveness of the prevention treatment.
Learn About the Best Preventative Medications
You can find various types of preventative medications on the market for parasite organisms such as heartworms, ticks, and fleas. For controlling ticks and fleas, liquid drops can be used.
These products need to be applied to your dog back from its neck down. There are also shampoos, oral medications, and collars to control tick and flea infection.
You need to follow a different method of approach to control heartworm disease. Based on the guidelines of your vet, you have to give multiple medications to destroy the heartworms.
Experts also recommend using preventative medications like HEARTGARD to prevent reoccurrence.
Prevention Pays and Keeps Your Pet Healthy
The vet-recommended preventative steps and medications always help you protect your dog against ticks, heartworms, and fleas.
You need to be alert and stay vigilant. If you want a healthy, playful, and safe dog, you need to follow the preventative guidelines advocated by your pet.
No matter whether your dog is infested with fleas, ticks or heartworms; you need to give the best treatment under the supervision of your vet.
Proper awareness of the symptoms helps you take the necessary action immediately. Cleanliness is a vital part of preventative care. If the infection caused by these parasite organisms goes unnoticed, the health of your pet deteriorates fast.
You need to check for the presence of fleas, heartworms, and ticks regularly. It is also necessary to monitor the dog carefully and watch out for the symptoms. Negligence on your part can lead to loss of life.
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All the best!
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