Two of the most common external pests affecting pets are fleas and ticks. Fleas are a big nuisance, but once you are rid of them they rarely leave any long-lasting repercussions. Ticks, on the other hand, can carry and transmit some serious diseases.
How to avoid them: Fleas can be transferred to your pet from another animal, or they can also be picked up anywhere. Fleas are exceptionally great jumpers. Preventative medications help repel fleas.
How to spot them: Look for ‘flea dirt’ in areas like neck fur and armpits. If you spot any dirt-like residue, rub it (or drop it) on a wet paper towel. Flea dirt will turn red as it contains blood.
What to do: Find an easy, three-strep treatment process, here. With any medical-related product, read and follow the label exactly and always pay close attention to your pet for any signs of discomfort and distress.
How to avoid them: Preventives are very important as ticks are now very common. Ticks can be picked up from long grass or wooded areas during the warm months.
How to spot them: Ticks will vary in size depending on how much blood they’ve ingested, but they typically look similar to a skin tag or mole. They are usually found in an area with less hair like the belly, arm pits, head, ears, or between toes. It’s important to remove a tick quickly as ticks only transmit Lyme disease after they have taken their meal – after about 24 hours.
What to do: Find instructions for removing a tick here. Have supplies handy – it would be proactive to keep a tick remover, set of rubber gloves, disinfectant and a small container handy at home and in the car. Once you have removed the tick, give your vet a call to see if they recommend any further actions.