Fleas and ticks: symptoms and treatment

 Fleas and ticks are always something to look out for in our pets and we should be conducting regular checks.

As our summer has been seeing some unusually lovely weather, our four-legged family members are joining us in the great outdoors and their risk is a little higher to be joined by some unfriendly visitors. Here we have some signs to look out for and advice on treatment.

Fleas and ticks can be very dangerous and potentially fatal if not treated in time or correctly. As always, if you are concerned, you should consult your trusted veterinarian straight away.

 

Signs of Fleas

Scratching is the most obvious sign, but other symptoms may be fleas:

  • Areas of hair loss, bald patches or places that are sore
  • Redness and irritation
  • Spots on the skin, and thickened skin around edges such as ears
  • Seeing dark specs in fur, and if you can visibly see any brown/black insects crawling around
  • If you have any insect bites on you
  • You can also use a fine comb on your pet over a light surface to see if any fleas drop out

 

Treating Fleas

  • Use a regular flea treatment on your pet, we recommend consulting your vet for the best one for your four-legged family member as some can work for certain animals/breeds but be toxic for others
  • Make sure to treat your home as well by cleaning areas such as furniture, bedding, floors and anywhere else your pet may be regularly. Fleas can live without a host and may still be around your home
  • Regularly check to get on top of any flea infection

 two pugs looking up from the grass

We are sowree fleas are in your house mum

Signs of Ticks

Ticks on the other hand are easier to spot as they are usually larger in size and easier to feel:

  • After being outside, run your hand across your pet’s coat and check for any unusual bumps; a lump may be a tick
  • Special areas to consider are head, neck, ears, and feet, but always check the full body
  • A tick looks like a spider and varies in size as they become bigger as they fill with blood

 tick close up

Kinda yuck, right?

Treating Ticks

  • Removing ticks as soon as you can removes the risk of diseases being spread
  • You must be careful not to squeeze a tick’s body or allow its head to get stuck in your pet
  • Twisting them off is usually the safest method, and there are special tick removers that may be available in your local pet shop or from your vet. Ask your vet for further advice on tick removal should you be unsure
  • Wash the area immediately once the tick is removed, and consult your vet if you have any concerns immediately

 

We love our four-legged family members and want to keep them safe. By reading this and educating yourself you are doing just that – so go you, awesome pawrenting!!