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In town, as in the countryside, our dogs and cats are subject to attacks by parasites. Fleas and ticks mainly occur from spring through fall. This does not mean that they are absent all the rest of the year and especially in winter!
Apart from the fact that parasites are dangerous for our dog or our cat, they invade our interior and can even attack humans. To avoid all the inconveniences that fleas and ticks can cause, it is better to prevent and be constantly attentive.
Our dogs and cats love to frolic outdoors when the weather is fine: but watch out for parasites!
Internal and external parasite: what is the difference for my animal?
Internal parasites: worms
Pets can be contaminated with worms through the external environment. By licking or absorbing soiled materials (waste from other contaminated animals), your animal ingests worm eggs which will develop later.
It is generally recommended to deworm your dog or cat at least twice a year to protect it from internal parasites. As their name suggests, internal parasites grow in the gut and are sometimes very difficult to identify. The first sign that can alert you to a potential presence of worms is the attitude of your companion.
If, for example, you notice that your dog adopts the "sled" position, that he rubs his hindquarters on the ground, this may alert you to the presence of 'a worm.
External parasites: fleas, ticks but also mosquitoes or sandflies
External parasites love to nest everywhere in nature. They are found in large numbers in the countryside, but fleas or ticks can also be found in cities in gardens, parks, bushes, tall grass or even on wood.
Adult fleas that are 1.5 mm to 6 mm can reach jumps of 30 cm: this is about 200 times their own size! Thus, once the flea has landed on your companion, it bites him to feed on his blood and causes his entire coat to itch.
Ticks are very harmful mites... They attack by implanting their rostrum (tick's head) directly under the animal's skin. They can transmit serious diseases only a few hours after infestation.
Finally, note that the bites of mosquitoes and biting midges (phlebotomine sandflies) can also transmit diseases to dogs and cats. Our pets can also develop allergies to the bites of these flying insects and parasites.
How to identify the appearance of external parasites?
It's not hard to tell if your pet has been attacked by fleas. By looking at the base of the hair, against the grain, on areas such as the back, the base of the tail or even the belly, you can identify the presence of fleas. Try to catch them with your fingernails or a fine flea comb and then smash them to kill them.
If you don't see adult fleas in the coat, you may find flea droppings. Their presence is a sign that fleas are indeed in the coat of your companion. These are small black films that can be observed between the hairs in various places.
They do not move on the body of your 4-legged friend. Once they have successfully climbed onto the dog or cat, they attach themselves by biting into the skin and then remain attached. You only need to inspect the animal’s coat carefully and regularly by touch and sight to find them.
Disorders in your cat or dog will also be able to alert you to the presence of these parasites. These can be symptoms such as itching, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, or distension of the abdomen. These disorders are not only due to the presence of parasites. It is therefore appropriate to consult your veterinarian at the slightest change in behavior or abnormal condition.
How do I protect my dog or cat from a parasite?
Prevention is better than cure: we can never say it enough! All year round, even in winter, you must be very attentive to the health of your animal.
There are many solutions to keep external parasites away from your pet and prevent them from attacking him. To choose the right treatment, you can ask your veterinarian for advice and consider certain elements such as: age, weight, state of health, special cases (pregnant or nursing cats), coat length and duration. protection sought. Pesticides can be curative, preventive or both at the same time.
Here are some effective solutions to protect your dog or cat:
Pipettes: to be applied between the shoulder blades every 6 to 8 weeks (depending on the product, read the instructions). The animal should not be washed within two days of application.
The collar: to put around the neck of the animal. The change must be made every 8 months for certain products. The collar should never be removed to remain effective with the help of tick remover for cats. Finally, beware of the risk of strangulation for outdoor cats.
Repellent powder or anti-flea treats: in the form of a food supplement, these powder or tablet solutions provide effective protection if they are given correctly and in accordance with the instructions for use.
When you buy a pest control, make sure that it is active against fleas and ticks.
How do I treat my pet for an infestation of external parasites?
Effectively remove a tick from the animal's coat
Have you noticed a tick attached to your pet's body? Above all, do not try to remove it by pulling on it or by using tweezers or any other unsuitable object.
Indeed, the tick head stuck in dog’s skin following the bite and could cause an inflammatory reaction or even a cyst if it remained there. To safely remove the unwanted insect, use a tick tweezer specially adapted for this and very effective.
Get rid of fleas on your dog or cat
In the event of a flea infestation, you must act quickly, before your little companion develops skin problems. First, use a flea and tick repellent skin spray to quickly rid your pet of parasites. For this you must cover the whole of his body by spray application.
You can also opt for an antiparasitic shampoo that works the same way. Tablets with immediate action also exist and make it possible to kill the parasites present on the body of the animal. These tablets are of great interest in the event of a massive infestation: its effectiveness is up to 100% within 24 hours after administration.
Thanks to these methods, there is no need to wait for the product to diffuse: the effect is immediate! We do not necessarily recommend natural or homemade methods or essential oils which do not guarantee the same effectiveness as scientifically developed and adapted products. If you want to opt for natural tick remover.
Once the fleas have been killed by the effect of the spray, shampoo, or tablet, check that your pet has not developed wounds which, if necessary, will need to be treated. Then apply a preventive treatment effective so that fleas do not return.
Clean your habitat of all fleas and larvae
24 to 48 hours after biting the dog or cat, the flea lays eggs which are scattered all over the animal's environment. Eggs, larvae, and nymphs then reproduce in your interior at great speed. They can attack at any time of the year if your animal is not well protected.
Remember to treat your interior well following an invasion of fleas: this step is essential. It is estimated that 95% of fleas are present in the environment and the rest only on the body of the dog or cat. All blankets, sheets, or beds with which the animal has been in contact must be machine washed or sprayed with an anti-parasite spray.
Let the anti-flea powder act on the carpets then vacuum the floor, insisting on the carpets and rugs. This eliminates up to 60% of flea eggs and up to 20% of flea larvae. You can also place a piece of pest control collar or powder in the vacuum bag to kill the bugs once sucked up.
If that's not enough, there is a diffuser: the fogger that treats the whole house. Simply place it in the middle of an infested room, open the doors, and let it sit for about 4 hours before ventilating the house well.
Are ticks and fleas dangerous for my little companion?
Fleas and ticks can cause many health problems. They cause a lot of itching that can lead to sores from too much scratching. Some more sensitive dogs and cats can even develop allergies due to flea saliva (DAPP). Fleas can also transmit tapeworms and intestinal worms. You may also get tick remover for dogs to keep you dog stay way from the trouble.
In addition to itching and allergies, contamination by fleas or ticks can promote the transmission of certain diseases. Ticks are more dangerous because the diseases they cause are serious and sometimes fatal, such as Lyme disease or Babesiosis. There are still others, and some may even concern humans.
To avoid any problem, be regular in the fight against fleas and ticks, regularly protecting your animal. Be sure to follow the processing times for the type of pest control you have chosen. Finally, note that there is no season for these unwanted parasites: they can occur at any time of the year even if they are more numerous from spring to autumn.