Fleas & Ticks!
7th April 2021
As we head in to Spring and the (hopefully) warmer weather that brings, it’s important to be vigilant when it comes to fleas and ticks. But what should you be looking for and how can you help protect your pet?
Fleas are the most common parasite your pet will come in to contact with, their lovely warm fur is hard for a pesky flea to resist! Fleas are tiny at just 1-2mm and can live for 7-14 days. They divide their time between living on your pet and laying eggs. A female flea can lay up to 40 eggs every day! Flea eggs are white, oval-shaped and about half a millimetre long. They hatch into tiny larvae that burrow into carpets, upholstery and often your pet’s bedding, which then develop into pupae.
Once the eggs emerge as adult fleas they will jump onto a passing ‘host’ – in this case your pet – before starting the cycle all over again! For every single flea living on your dog, there could be 99 more growing in your home, no matter how clean it is.
Fleas can be a common cause of skin problems in your pet. Bites are itchy, and can lead to some developing allergies, such as FAD (flea allergic dermatitis). Many think that fleas are only a problem in the warmer months but thanks to central heating, our warm homes mean they can be a problem all year.
Ticks are tiny spider like creatures that live in woods and long grass. They are most active through March to October but they can be about on milder winter days too.
Whilst fleas can be very irritating, ticks pose a greater danger to both humans and animals – since they can carry a number of serious diseases, such as Lyme disease. It is recommended to check your pet every day (especially after walks) to remove ticks before they can attach and feed. If they have attached, then immediate removal with a special tick removal tool is suggested or you can see your vet for assistance.
Never fear though! Your pet can be easily protected against fleas, ticks and many other parasites that they may come in to contact with using either easy to apply treatments or tablets so be sure to ask your vet how best to protect your pet.
Here at Hillside we send out regular reminders so our clients know when their pet is due their parasite treatment and also offer the chance to save money on this with our Pet Health Plan. You can find more information on that here