Fleas. The word that dog owners fear and squirm by mentioning it. They are small, wingless insects that feed off the blood of mammals. It is a fact that a single flea can bite your dog more than 400 times a day.
In addition to fleas, dogs can also be the misfortunate victims of tick bites. Brown tick bites is the only species found in Singapore and this tick bites dogs only. So now you know that these bloodsuckers are present in our environment, you should also how know to identify their presence! If you find them on your dog, black granules that resemble black pepper, you have hit flea dirt. This is flea faeces and consists of digested blood.
Ticks are easier to spot than fleas. A tick which has fed on your dog will have a swollen abdomen containing your dog’s blood. If only a few ticks are present on an animal, they may be plucked off individually. You would probably see a raised red area if the tick was embedded. This is quite normal and not a cause for panic. Do not worry if you are unable to remove the entire tick. Usually, your dog will eventually eliminate it like any other foreign material in the body. Aside from being a nuisance, fleas and ticks can also spread diseases and other parasites. Fleas can carry tapeworm eggs which end up inside the body when they ingest the flea while grooming. However, tapeworms are usually not pathogenic in dogs; hence they do not cause much of a problem. Fleas can also cause allergies in dogs. Prolonged exposure to fleas bites can result in itchy skin, scratching and chew flanks and hair loss.
The brown dog ticks can transmit blood parasites which can cause destruction to the red blood cells and results in anaemia. The dog infected with any of these blood parasites becomes a carrier for life. Over-the-counter fleas treatment can be easily bought and administer at home. It is important to note that fleas infestation is not only for your dog but also for your house.
All pets and its environments must be treated to eradicate fleas. Tackling the problem today, we have a wide array of pest control products such as powder and spot-on treatments. The most basic would be a fine-toothed comb to remove fleas from your pet’s coat. However, do remember that although pesticide is meant to kill fleas, it can be toxic for our pet as well. The wrong dosage may harm your pet. Get the advice of your vet before choosing products for your pets. A parasite-free animal is not difficult to achieve. A combination of vigilance and regular grooming will keep both you and your pet free from the worries of these pests.
Jerry Yap has owned dogs as companion since childhood. He believes understanding your dog is very important to a fulfilling companionship from this loyal animal. He is now actively educating dog owners through two important aspects to a happy relationship, i.e. dog training techniques and suitable dog food. He believes if you want to raise a dog then you must know the needs of different breeds of dog. His motto is “A Healthy And Trained Dog Brings Joy To The Whole Family”.
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