Love Dogs... Love Nature

The TICK Explosion!

August 2010

Love your pet… love your vet                                               Hillside logo higher resolution

 

Advice for pet owners on an irritating little problem

With warmer winters and modern central heating, fleas and ticks are no longer the seasonal summer problem they used to be. Instead the little horrors get onto your pet and into your home throughout the year causing problems ranging form sore bites to skin irritation, infections, hair loss and anaemia. Did you know, for example, that a female flea can lay 50 or more eggs in a single day? These fall off your pet and drop into your carpets and bedding where they can remain dormant for many months before developing via larval and pupal stages into adult fleas. In just a few weeks adult fleas can multiply into several thousand.

So often vets hear owners saying their pet has only got one or two fleas. Most experts think that for every live flea you spot on your pet, there will be up to 200 in your carpets and soft furnishings!

Control of the life-cycle is the key to keeping your pet (and your home) free from these unwanted visitors. Pet shop products offer some protection but always read the labels carefully as the chemicals they contain may be toxic to some pets, and care should be taken if you are unwell or have children. The better preventative products cost a little more but are well worth it, being much safer, more effective and offering lasting treatment and protection ensuring your home stays truly flea free. The best place for advice is your Veterinary Surgery.

By contrast ticks live in areas of woodland, moor land and heath land, making Broadstone, Corfe Mullen and Lytchett a prime breeding ground from them. The adults climb up onto long vegetation waiting for a passing dog or cat before jumping onto them and attaching to suck the blood from your pet. They can often attach for several days before dropping off.

 

                                      Tick photo 2                          Tick photo 1

 Ticks cause a problem in two ways ­ firstly they can cause a tissue reaction at the attachment site and secondly they can transmit serious diseases such as Lyme disease and Babesiosis. Prevention and treatment of these annoying little pests will depend on your particular pet’s susceptibility to ticks. Some owners can become quite adept at removing them, others prefer an insecticide spray onto the tick or a combined flea and tick control product. Again your Vet will be able to advise you on the best options for your pets.

In summary, don’t wait until you have a problem (by which time it will be worse than you think). Act now to keep your pets healthy and parasite free ­ prevention really is better than cure!

 

Chris Devlin is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen.  For more information visit www.hillsidevets.co.uk.