Pets and parasites: fleas and ticks
The season of fleas and ticks is fast approaching. Indeed, even though fleas can be present year round, they become much more active from 14°C. On the other hand, ticks can be present from as low as 4°C!
Fleas usually cause only mild itching, but some animals may be allergic to their bites. This is usually seen as redness, pimples or scabs, and excessive hair loss.
A flea treatment is then necessary to resolve the situation as well as sometimes antibiotics or medication to control the itching. It is highly advisable to have preventive care and cure with flea products approved by your veterinarian, which ensures their safety and effectiveness. In order to get rid of the parasite, ALL pets must be treated monthly for 3 consecutive months.
Tick bites, on the other hand, can cause irritation and local swelling which disappears within a few days. The danger with tick bites is mainly related to the transmission of disease through their saliva, including Lyme Disease, which is increasingly present in Quebec.
It is good to know that animals cannot transmit Lyme to humans directly. The cycle of the bacteria must necessarily go through the tick.
The symptoms associated with Lyme in pets usually include lameness, lethargy and loss of appetite. Some dogs will never develop the disease despite being carriers of the bacteria.
Cats are even more resistant to the disease! Therefore, even if your pet is positive for the Lyme test, it will only be treated if it shows clinical signs. For dogs developing Lyme disease, a treatment of several weeks with antibiotics is necessary as well as blood monitoring.
Depending on the condition of your pet, your veterinarian will recommend further care and treatment. Fortunately, the majority of treated dogs are coping without after-effects, although recurrences may occur.