Pets spend plenty of time outdoors especially in the late spring and summer seasons, which makes them susceptible to flea and tick bites and infestation. Flea and tick infestation is dangerous and if you suspect that these parasites are present in your pet dogs, then expect the vermin to also thrive in your lawn as well. Dogs become infected with these bloodsuckers when they accidentally brush against surfaces that are teeming with them.
Ticks harbor diseases that can cause your pets to display symptoms like fever, infections, skin lesions, and even paralysis. Watch out for these symptoms if you have visual evidence of ticks and fleas on your pet’s fur. The importance of pest control for fleas and ticks cannot be stressed enough because some of these symptoms and diseases may also be transmitted to humans.
How do ticks attach to hosts and transmit diseases?
Fleas and ticks are capable of detecting animal warmth, scents, moisture, shadows, and vibrations. They select a particular high-traffic location and position themselves slyly on the tips of grasses and objects where cats, dogs, and even humans frequent. They then get picked up by the hosts, and then go to look for warm and moist areas to latch on.
Tick saliva can contain various toxins that affect the different organs of your pets. When the pest bites, it burrows down further which creates breaks in the skin. Then an anatomical feeding tube is inserted and chemicals are secreted to help it latch. Some hosts are carriers of diseases, this is how the ticks ingest protozoans and other blood-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, tularemia, Babesiosis etc.
This process is how the toxin is introduced in your dog’s bloodstream. Toxins then travel to the nervous system, which may explain some symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, and paralysis. Moreover, your dog doesn’t need to get infested to catch these diseases. One tick is enough to cause tick-bite paralysis in some animals.
In regions with hotter climates, ticks may be present throughout the year, while in some areas, the prevalence of ticks and fleas is seasonal.
Things to watch out for for tick and flea infestations
To know if your pet has ticks and fleas, there must be a history of contact with another animal that has ticks. Neighbors’ pets that visit yours are the likely culprit if you live far away from a wooded or an endemic area.
On the other hand, if you live near the woods and your pet has been wandering, inspect the coat and skin more frequently to check if ticks are present. Symptoms appear gradually and the prognosis typically depends on how quickly you will be able to isolate the area and treat it with natural means or approved chemicals.
Some of the signs and symptoms are vomiting, weakness of the hind limbs, unsteady gait, eating and drinking difficulties, depression, anemia and high blood pressure, among others. Immediately consult your veterinarian in case you notice anything off with your pet. The vet will assess your dog’s health history, when the symptoms started, and may ask you questions about recent excursions. If ticks are found upon inspection, they will be sent to the lab for identification, and flea and tick treatment will then follow.
What to do after finding out about the fleas and ticks?
- Isolate your pet.
Keep your pet comfortable and avoid activities for a few weeks until the medication is complete and the dog is fully-recovered. Prevent contact with other pets to avoid infestation. Observe if your affected pet is responding to medications.
- Clean pet’s bedding.
Now’s the best time to sterilize or discard all previous pet bedding and thoroughly clean the area where the dog stays most. Cleanliness is one of the most important defense against these parasites.
- Clean walls.
Some ticks follow an upward direction after feeding, so you might be able to see some that are moving up your walls. Don’t pop them individually, instead, douse the walls with hot water and clean with a soap and bleach solution.
- Sterilize clothes and upholstery.
Ticks and fleas can cling to your clothes and upholstery. Wash clothes with hot water, if possible to kill all eggs and hidden ticks and fleas.
- Schedule a lawn treatment for fleas and ticks
Your lawn is a very common questing area for ticks and fleas. All-State Pest and Lawn can begin treatments to prevent another round of the pests. We can also setup a schedule to mow the grass and keep it manageable for you to enjoy.
Whether you came to know about the fleas and ticks by sight or from the vet’s diagnosis, always take the necessary steps to rid your home and clothes of ticks and fleas. Even if you treat your dog with insecticidal baths and injections, these pests will simply come back if your surroundings are not treated with acaricides to kill all the remaining vermin in your lawn or other areas of the house.
If you live in areas where ticks are endemic, don’t think twice about seeking the help of professional pest control companies. The can get the job done in no time. Protect your pets and family’s health and well-being by hiring the right people to apply pest control for dog ticks in your home.