Take the Bite Out of Flea and Tick Season

Protect your pets in flea and tick season

We are in the thick of flea and tick season! To protect your pets from both fleas and ticks, it’s important that you understand the differences between these pests and to remember that any dog who goes outside can bring fleas inside and pass them on to an indoor cat!

Do you know where fleas and ticks hide? Find out how to protect your home and your pets from the little parasites with the chart below:

flea-tick-chart

What can you do?

Checking for ticks

Check your pets for ticks every day, especially during tick season: spring, summer and fall. Brush your fingers through their fur applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. Be sure to check between your dog’s toes, behind ears, under armpits and around the tail and head, too. If you do feel a bump, pull the fur apart to see what’s there. A tick that has embedded itself in your pet will vary in size, something from the size of a pinhead to a grape depending on how long its been attached. Ticks are usually black or dark brown in color but will turn a grayish-white after feeding in what’s referred to as an engorged state.

Removing ticks

Removing embedded ticks is a delicate operation because it’s easy for a piece of the tick to break off and remain in your pet’s skin if done improperly. Follow the removal steps below. (Infection can occur after 24 hours, so if you find a tick on your pet, remove it right away.)

  1. Grasp the tick very close to the skin with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
  2. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Avoid crushing the tick to prevent infection.  It is important to try to remove the ticks head.
  3. After removal, clean your pet’s skin with soap and warm water and dispose of the tick.

Using these steps can help ensure the successful removal of ticks. Never use petroleum jelly, a hot match, or other products to remove a tick. Doing so can harm your pet and may cause an embedded tick to release more disease-carrying saliva.

How can you tell if your animal has fleas?

The symptoms that your pet experiences when they have fleas can vary depending on if they are allergic to the flea saliva.  A pet that is not allergic may not even itch if infested with fleas.  On the other hand, an animal that is highly allergic to the flea saliva may itch and scratch excessively even after one flea bite.  Most pets that have fleas will either have the presents of a black pepper substance (like real dirt) on their fur, or they will be scratching and/or chewing at the back end of their body.

Prevention of flea and tick exposure and/or infestation is a key preventative health measure for your pet. Here at Pisces we offer both natural products such as OregaPet and a Flea Comb which helps detect fleas and eggs and effectively removes nits from all coat types.

Unsure which flea and tick treatment is best for your pet? Don’t hesitate to ask us for help or visit your vet today!

 

 

 

 

Chart References

    • 1. Kemble Shirpat T. Fleas and their management. NebGuide. Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. 2006. Available at: hppt://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publication.jsp?publicationld=655 Accessed August 31, 2009.
    • 2. Stafford K. Tick Management Handbook. New Haven, CT: the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station;
2007.
    • 3. Bladburn BL, et al. Biology, treatment and control of flea and tick infestations. Vet Clin Small Anim. 209:39:1173-1200.
    • 4. Soneshine DE. Life Cycles of Ticks, In: Soneshine DE, ed, Biology of Ticks, vol. 1, New York: Oxford University Press; 51-66, 1991.