Summer Insects and Diseases Which Can Harm Your Pets
Summer brings sunshine, fresh air and lots of opportunities for your #pet to get out and enjoy the weather at your side. Unfortunately, summer fun for your pets also brings increased hazards to their health and safety. Before you take to the great outdoors with your furry (or unfurry) friends, be sure to make yourself aware of common pests, illnesses and hazards that become a danger in the warmer months.
Itchy, Scratchy and Owie! – Fleas and their Friends
Biting insects are the most common summertime pet complaints, and the most familiar to people. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can cause problems for your pet, and pets are also vulnerable to harm from bees, wasps and ants. Here are some tips for prevention and treatment if your pet should run afoul of some evil insect.
The most common pet parasites are fleas, and their most active season in the Northern Hemisphere is summer – or more specifically, April through August. Fleas can make your dog or cat thoroughly miserable, and extremely ill. These tiny parasites feed on your pet’s blood and lay eggs in the animal’s skin. This can lead to tapeworm. An allergic pet can become even more ill, developing scabs and sores, and losing their hair. Even worse, if the fleas manage to infest your carpets or your pet’s sleeping area, it can be almost impossible to get rid of them.
Fortunately, it is far easier to prevent a flea infestation than it is to cure one. It just takes vigilance and routine. There are dozens of flea preventatives on the market, from flea collars to flea dips and baths. Most only need to be applied once a month and will be effective in keeping fleas off your dog or cat for up to thirty days.
How to spot fleas: The most common hint that your pet has picked up fleas is scratching. Flea bites are intensely itchy, and your pet will scratch and claw at the bitten area to get rid of the itch. You can also look for black specks in and around your pet’s bedding area. Flea dirt looks like little black flecks, but if you rub it with a damp paper towel, you will see a red smear. You may also notice bald spots where your pet has bitten away the hair to get at the intense irritation.
Complications from flea bites: Fleas sometimes carry tapeworm eggs. Once inside your pet’s body, tapeworms can cause malnutrition, vomiting, diarrhea and pure misery. They can eventually kill your pet. Other complications include hair loss, hot spots and weepy sores.
How to Treat Fleas: Prevention is the key, but if your pet does manage to pick up fleas, a veterinarian is your best resource. There are flea dips and baths that will kill fleas, as well as sprays that will get rid of their eggs and friends in bedding and around your home.
The tick is another #bloodsucker that likes to attach itself to animals. Ticks live in woodsy and field areas, and find their meals by sensing heat. When something warm-blood passes by, a #tick will cling to clothing or hair and eventually find itself to a body area with little hair. Once there, it inserts its mouth parts into the skin and begins feeding. It will not let go until it has had a full #meal. At that point, it withdraws its mouth parts, drops off the body and crawls off to lay its eggs.
Tell a friend
Author: Regular Articles
Brian Jenkins is a freelance writer who often writes about topics pertaining to the care of pets and health options for pets such as Pet Meds