Common Skin Problems for Dogs + Cats Part 1: Fleas + Ticks
Oh Florida, thou art a heartless- STATE OF HOT. Tis the season in the pet care world that even more skin issues arise- due to so many reasons. As a pet owner- sometimes you cant figure out what it is because you haven’t been exposed to it- so here we are. I am going to EXPOSE- you to education, that is!
Now imagine how your pet feels! It is no fun for any pet parent when it comes to skin disease in dogs + cats( and yes these affect some other animals too!). Here is what y’all need to know about the common skin problems in dogs and also the signs.
Signs of Skin Problem in your Dogs + Cats
Besides scratching and licking, pets with skin disease may also paw and chew the affected area. Other signs include; Rashes, swelling or lumps, lesions or scabs, bald patches, Inflammation, dry or flaky skin, and hotspots (in areas where itching is particularly intense). These signs may vary depending on the type of infection or disease that is causing the problem. Different skin problems can have similar symptoms, so it is essential to visit your Vet to get an accurate diagnosis of course, because sometimes these look similar.
Skin diseases in dogs are caused by several problems or even a combination of them. . These skin diseases include:
- fleas+ ticks
- environmental allergies- grass, pollen, etc
- food allergies- meat types being the most common
- parasites-mange mites
- bacterial skin infections – hot spots
- underlying diseases
- parasite infections- ringworm
But, lets talk about Fleas + Ticks in todays conversation!
What is a Flea?
Now, it’s okay not to know EXACTLY what a fleas is- fleas are small insects that survive by feeding on animal or human blood by biting them. Their bites can cause discomfort, itchiness, and irritation. Sometimes, fleas can infect people or pets with the germs that cause flea-borne typhus, plague, or cat scratch disease.
How do Dogs Get Fleas?
Fleas prefer animal hosts but will resort to biting people when animals are unavailable. Adult fleas find hosts by detecting body heat, movement, the vibrations caused by movement, and breathing .Fleas transmit germs that cause disease primarily through the processes of feeding on hosts or through fecal contamination, when infected flea feces (poop; also called “flea dirt”) are scratched into an open wound
What is a Tick?
Ticks are parasites that feed on warm-blooded hosts by biting them. A tick bite can infect humans and animals with bacteria, viruses and protozoans (organisms made up of one cell) that can cause diseases. Some of these conditions can be very serious and may include:
Other conditions spread by ticks include:
- Powassan virus.
- Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI).
- Tick paralysis.
- Spotted fever.
- Relapsing fever.
- Heartland virus.
How fleas spread disease
Fleas transmit germs that cause disease primarily through the processes of feeding on hosts or through fecal contamination, when infected flea feces (poop; also called “flea dirt”) are scratched into an open wounds.
How does my Pet get them?
Ticks find their hosts by detecting animals´ breath and body odors, or by sensing body heat, moisture, and vibrations. Some species can even recognize a shadow. In addition, ticks pick a place to wait by identifying well-used paths. Then they wait for a host, resting on the tips of grasses and shrubs.
How to Prevent Fleas + Ticks
Veterinary Approved Preventatives
Using a Veterinary Approved Flea + Tick med. Yes, I know- they can be higher priced. But, the thing is you get what you pay for. They work, they are regulated and they are safe for the majority of pets.
Over the Counter Preventatives
Over the Counter Flea + Tick meds are not regulated, can have an over or under quantity of the main medication which can make it not work, or worse- cause a toxicity and death even to your pets.
- Keeping your yards clean of excess wood and leaf piles
- Planting plants that they don’t like: Citronella, Eucalyptus, Peppermint around your yard ( but away from pets as some are toxic!)
- Avoid spraying essential oils that are unsafe on your pets- Citronella + Eucalyptus being some of them!
- Washing any fabric and bedding in the house frequently with HOT water + detergent
When pet sitting for pets we try and avoid majorly wooded areas or playing in wood piles and long grasses while dog walking to avoid parasites from jumping on your pets. Need pet care this summer? Register today: www.AttaBoyAnimalCare.com/Contact-Us