Fleas and ticks abound in this season – as well as other parasites. The former cause itching, allergies and, just like the latter, can transmit diseases to dogs and cats. Problems that animal health insurance takes care of by reimbursing veterinary costs that are sometimes high and have serious consequences. Prevention is better than cure! Here are 10 tips to learn all about these unwanted guests who must be the subject of a constant fight throughout the year, both in the countryside and in the city, to protect pets and their surroundings.
1 – Why are there more fleas and ticks in certain seasons?
This is because of two factors, mainly. First, the greater number of fleas and ticks is due to global warming and milder temperatures, even a certain degree of humidity. It is then a season which is conducive to their reproduction because of their life cycle. Therefore, just like in spring, autumn is one of the most favorable seasons for the multiplication of these external parasites. But in summer, these parasites are also present, so be careful…
2 – Fleas and ticks: not only in the countryside, but also in town!
It’s not just rural dogs and cats that can catch fleas and/or ticks. Those living in the city as well. Because fleas and ticks are found both in gardens (hedges, public parks, piles of wood, various shelters, etc.) and, for the former, inside homes. Fleas ”love” to nestle in the smallest nooks and crannies: strips of parquet, rugs, carpets, upholstery, sleeping places for animals, places of passage…
3 – Fleas and ticks, what are the dangers for dogs and cats?
Fleas are responsible for many health problems. Of course, because of the itching they cause, which causes scratching that can lead to wounds. But that’s not all! Some dogs and cats more sensitive than others can be victims of allergy: DAPP (flea bite allergy dermatitis), transmitted by flea saliva. Additionally, fleas can transmit tapeworms, intestinal worms. The fight against fleas therefore does not only involve external treatment (see advice n° 5).
Ticks can transmit serious diseases, some of which are fatal: Lyme disease (Borreliosis), babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, hemobartonellosis (in cats), piroplasmosis (in dogs) … You may use tick remover for cats to keep them safe and sound.
4 – Symptoms that should alert you
They are numerous and are not particularly specific to a disease transmitted by an external parasite: fever, dejection, loss of enthusiasm, loss of appetite, vomiting, skin problems, nervous disorders…
It is important, when you know your companion, to consult the veterinarian without delay, so that he can make his diagnosis as soon as possible, as soon as you notice an abnormal condition, and therefore be able to put in place the appropriate treatment. Some additional tests may be necessary, such as blood tests. And all of this has a cost.
5 – How to protect your pet against fleas and ticks?
There is a whole effective arsenal to fight against fleas. The veterinarian, depending on the lifestyle of the animal, will prescribe an external parasiticide. There are some in the form of spot-on (pipettes), sprays, tablets … These treatments can also fight against ticks on cats.
And for the diseases that the latter are likely to transmit, it is also possible to resort to vaccination. This is the case for piroplasmosis in dogs. This vaccine with an annual booster is not 100% effective, but still provides good protection … not to be overlooked. Ask your veterinarian for advice.
In any case, do not buy an external parasiticide anywhere, because dogs and cats do not treat each other with the same products! Some antiparasitic used in dogs should not be used in cats. The veterinarian is the one who will best advise you on the one best suited to your companion, depending on its species, age, health, and lifestyle.
6 – My dog or cat has caught fleas: what should I do?
For fleas, you must first carry out a ” disinfestation”. The use of specific shampoos prescribed by the veterinarian is necessary. Will also be necessary to treat the wounds, The fleas have caused scratching leading to the formation of wounds, to avoid any infection.
It is not enough to rid the animal of these parasites. It is then necessary to set up a regular treatment using an external parasiticide.
7 – My animal has a tick, how to remove it
In the presence of a tick, it is necessary to act very quickly. The inoculation of a germ responsible for the disease can be done in the hours following the fixation of the tick. Do not tear the tick, at the risk of leaving the tick head stuck in dog that is planted in the skin but remove it entirely.
There are hooks for this that allow them to be extracted without pain (available from your veterinarian). It is one of the essential accessories to place in your dog or cat’s care kit.
You can also get tick remover for dogs to get the job property done:
8 – Also treat the environment and the interior of the house
About 95% of fleas are present in the environment, and therefore not only on the body of pets. It is therefore essential to treat the environment with a product that your veterinarian can recommend. Note that vacuuming eliminates 30 to 60% of flea eggs and 10 to 20% of flea larvae. There are also some to treat gardens.
9 – Other external parasites to be wary of
Fleas and ticks are the main parasites against which it is advisable to fight regularly. But your companion, dog, or cat – is not safe from other parasites either: chiggers, lice, stable flies, sandflies… Some antiparasitic offer protection against these unwanted guests. Take stock with your veterinarian and his team, and do not hesitate to ask for advice.
10 – Animal Health Insurance and Flea and Tick Control
Of course, the dog’s health insurance and the cat’s health insurance will cover veterinary costs related to a problem caused by fleas and ticks (consultations, examinations, treatments which may be necessary for life, as they are irreversible).
But it is also at the level of prevention that the “mutuelle” for dogs and the “mutuelle” for cats can help you manage your companion’s health budget, by taking the lead.
Thus, the prevention package, as offered by TNT Ticks, specialist in animal health insurance, provides you with a sum of money that can be used for the purchase of antiparasitic, vaccines, etc. This sum – also usable for the purchase of care products from the veterinarian – is renewed each year.
Common sense advice: to remember
– A regular and meticulous inspection of your dog or your cat (at the level of the ears, the abdomen or even the interdigital spaces, the legs…) will allow you to quickly spot the presence of a tick and/or chips. This control must be systematic and especially when returning from walks with the dog or if the cat has access to the outside.
– Do not wait for your dog or your cat to catch fleas: treat it as quickly as possible, upstream. The veterinarian and his team will advise you on how to use, apply and renew the treatment. Don’t hesitate to ask them for advice.
– All animals living under the same roof must be protected!
– Be regular in the fight against fleas and ticks, which constitute a real health problem… This must be carried out throughout the year apart from the peaks of infestation in autumn and spring. There is no season for these undesirable pests! Sometimes diseases – especially those transmitted by ticks – can take time to trigger problems.
– An animal, dog, or cat, which advances in age is not more immunized. His immune defenses weakening, he needs just as much as a younger one to be regularly treated against external parasites (and dewormed against intestinal worms).