Animals

11 Questions You Have about Fleas and Ticks in Your Pet

Fleas and ticks are hematophagous ectoparasites, that is, they live on the surface of living beings and feed on their blood. These are the most common external parasites (as opposed to internal parasites, such as worms) in cats and dogs.

How can my pet catch fleas and ticks on cats? Can he catch it in town or only in the countryside? Can he catch them in all seasons?

Ticks and fleas are present in the environment of dogs and cats. These parasites can also pass from one animal to another, but this follows prolonged contact between two individuals (from one hour to a few hours).

Fleas are found in cities and in the countryside and indoors and outdoors because their eggs are deposited where infested animals pass, such as dogs being walked or cats going out.

Ticks are found mainly in places where there are plants, so, especially in the countryside, but you can still find them in urban areas.

Fleas and ticks are found all year round although these pests are more prevalent in certain seasons (spring and fall for ticks, mid-spring to mid-fall for fleas). Opt for regular protection of your animals against these external parasites.

How do I know my pet has fleas or ticks?

Ticks are visible to the naked eye and they have embedded fully ticks on dogs or cats. It is, therefore, necessary to examine your animal carefully after it is released to detect the presence of these mites. Remember to check the “hidden” areas: the neck, the armpit, the groin, between the fingers…

As for fleas, they are theoretically visible to the naked eye but move quickly and are therefore less easily observable than ticks. However, one can look at the base of the hairs of the neck, the head, the line of the back, and the base of the tail (the places of predilection of the fleas) of the small black points corresponding to the excrement of fleas. It is also possible to pass a flea comb in these areas; by tapping the comb on a clear surface, you can see if it has recovered any fleas.

In addition, we can suspect that a dog or a cat has fleas because their bites itch and the animal scratches and bites. This is sometimes also the case with ticks, but it is rarer.

If my pet has fleas, how do I get rid of them?

There are many anti-flea products available in different forms. You can use local products such as “spot-on” pipettes, shampoos, sprays, or necklaces.

How to remove a tick?

To remove the ticks attached to your pet, you must not pull on them by hand or try to remove them with tweezers because these methods are very likely to cut the tick at the level of the neck, its head remaining anchored in the body. animal. Indeed, the rostrum is so well attached to the host that it cannot be removed by simple traction. In addition, because of the pressure exerted on its body, and the stress suffered by the mite, it could reject the pathogenic substances contained in its organism, thus increasing the risk of transmission of vector-borne diseases to your animal.

Instead, use a natural tick remover. This tool has two branches to be placed on either side of the tick. It is then necessary to turn gently, and little b little the tick will be unhooked, whole.

If my pet has fleas or ticks, should I treat my home?

Ticks can be present in grass and dead leaves, so regularly remove these from your garden and mow. After a walk in the forest, it is possible to bring these mites back on your clothes, so it is better to wash them to get rid of them.

Flea eggs, larvae and nymphs develop in the environment of dogs and cats. It must therefore also be treated.

Washing the fabrics at 60°C will rid them of any eggs and larvae that may be there. It should also be vacuumed well and then burned or promptly discarded the bag.

It is possible to use flea sprays with local action on the places where your animal is often (its basket, the sofa, its favorite cushion, the carpet, etc.). These products kill fleas at any stage of development.

There are self-diffusing bombs that treat the entire house. You must place several of them in your house, close the doors and windows, and trigger the diffuser for a certain time. The house must be empty of its inhabitants (humans and animals) during the product’s action time.

However, we must not forget that the treatment of your animal and its environment go hand in hand: one without the other will not be very effective! So, look for the best tick remover for cats.

How to prevent flea or tick infestation?

To prevent infestation of your pet by fleas or ticks, you must use products such as “spot-on” pipettes, collars or even sprays or shampoos. Most of these products are effective against both ticks and fleas.

There is therefore a wide variety of products that are appropriate depending on the living conditions of your animal, its behavior, and your budget. Do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice to help you find the most suitable solution for your situation.

It is advisable to use these products regularly. Consider the lifestyle of your little companion (is it more indoors or outdoors), as well as the parasitic pressure (around the Mediterranean is an area with higher pressure).

Can I use the same products for my dog ​​and my cat?

Products intended for dogs should not be used on cats and vice versa as this could be dangerous or ineffective

Where can I buy flea and tick products?

If your dog or cat has no known contraindications, there are many products sold without a prescription in pharmacies, veterinary clinics, and supermarkets.

What are the risks for my animal if it has fleas or ticks?

Ticks on cats and especially fleas can cause itching. Some pets are allergic and can develop flea allergy dermatitis (DAPP). This disease is manifested by severe itching, scabs, localized hair loss, and other dermatological symptoms.

In addition, fleas and ticks can be vectors of serious diseases. Fleas can in particular transmit cat scratch disease (despite its name, this disease can also affect dogs) and feline infectious anemia Ticks can be responsible for Lyme disease, leishmaniasis, piroplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and others.

Some fleas are host to small tapeworms and the accidental ingestion of these fleas causes the infestation of dogs and cats by these worms. Therefore, it is advisable to deworm an animal that has fleas.

Can I catch fleas or ticks from my pet? Does the presence of fleas or ticks in my pet pose a risk to me?

We can catch fleas and ticks on cats, but it’s quite rare. Fleas prefer our pets, and they would have to be very numerous to make us their host. Ticks, on the other hand, change few hosts once they have anchored themselves, but if some are in our animal’s hair before biting it, they can come on humans during contact. Also, if the tick head stuck in dog while out for a walk, it may be that its owner has too, and it should be checked that no ticks are on their clothes or have stung.

Many of the diseases transmitted to our pets by fleas and ticks are zoonoses, that is, diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa. This is particularly the case for cat-scratch disease, rickettsioses (diseases caused by bacteria of the genus Rickettsia), or even leishmaniasis. Transmission occurs by biting, scratching or even, in some cases when the animal licks us.

Are pest control products dangerous for us?

It is advisable to carefully follow the recommendations indicated on the leaflet of the antiparasitic. Do not touch flea and tick collars, nor the application areas of spot-on pipettes, sprays and shampoos and wash your hands thoroughly after handling these products.

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