It’s prime time of year for fleas, ticks and worms. Ten thoughts on the subject from people who like bugs best when well-zapped !
- Ticks feed on the blood of their host – they’re not fussy whether that’s man or beast. Or reptile for that matter
- A non-engorged tick is tiny and can be very hard to spot. It’s only when they are engorged (ie full of blood) that they are easily visible
- The best and safest way to remove a tick is to grasp the tick close to the skin with a tick hook (or domestic tweezers if you haven’t got the special tick hook to hand), and twist gently. Never pull or you risk tearing the tick’s body away from its mouthparts which will remain in the dog’s skin and could cause infection
- Once you’ve taken the tick out – squish it! They have a habit of surviving most things and the last thing you want is an angry and soon-to-be-hungry tick wondering around in your home!
- Fleas can remain in the pupa stage of their life cycle in the home for several months, and usually live for about 100 days.
- A single Flea can lay between 40-50 eggs a day
- Fleas don’t have wings, they leap. They can jump 200 x their own body length
- Since fleas are susceptible to different treatments during each life cycle phase, make sure you chose a treatment that covers all stages of flea development
- Unless a dog is thoroughly infested it can be hard to spot fleas. A good way of testing is to stand the dog on a sheet of newspaper, ruffle his hair in the wrong direction and catch any dirt particles that come off him in the newspaper. Get a piece of damp kitchen roll and dab the debris. If you see red, your dog has fleas; if you see black or dark brown, he just needs a good bath!
- Tapeworm can grow up to 5 metres in length. Enough said …!
… Except for that if you’re wanting advice on suitable treatments, do speak to your vet. Prevention is an awful lot better than cure and vet treatments are more effective than anything sold over the counter. There are so many options out there now there’s no need to be forced in to a treatment you don’t like administering. ie If you’re not into drops on the back of the neck, look into chewable tablets etc.