Three basic external parasites in dogs can wreak havoc on a dog’s body: fleas, ticks, and skin mites. A fourth skin irritant, ringworm, is actually a fungus. While infestation is not fatal to your dog, these critters can certainly make his life miserable.
The best defense against these varmints is to keep an eye open for their appearance. if you see just one flea on your dog, chances are high that there are more. Each of these troublemakers can be prevented and, should an outbreak occur, remedied. The sooner you recognize the specific parasites, the sooner you can start bringing your dog some relief.
The annoying predator needs a host to survive and presents health problems for people and dogs. There are more than 2,000 different species of fleas in the world, several in the United States and the Uk. When your dog acquires even one flea, he will act as if he has 2,000! Fleas are troublesome pests you’ll wish you and your pet never encountered.
Incredibly hardy, fleas are able to survive in almost any climate, but not at high altitudes. With the exception of high mountains, wherever you and your dog, expect to find fleas. These tiny black or brown pests live for just three to four months, but during that time they reproduce, creating future generations that can make your pets miserable for years.
Besides scratching and biting at himself to get rid of fleas that have bitten him, your dog suffer from long-lasting damage. Fleas carry diseases such as plague and typhus and can give your dogs tapeworm. The flea saliva alone creates a strong allergen for many dogs and causes flea-allergy dermatitis. Your dog’s coat can actually fall out if he is allergic to fleabites. Besides feeling very uncomfortable, a dog with severe flea-allergy dermatitis looks awful. Fleas crawl along the dog’s skin, poking in and out of the fur looking for the right place to bite the host. Once they have a blood meal, they can begin to reproduce.
Just one female flea can lay 2,000 eggs during her life span. The eggs usually don’t stay on your dog but will fall off and take up residence in your backyard or inside the house in your carpet, furniture, floor crevices, and bedding. When the eggs hatch, the new flea larvae will feast on debris buried deep in carpet pile or couch cushions where they will nest for up to a year. At that point, insecticides cannot harm the larvae. When the weather is warm(65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and the humidity is high(70 to 80 percent), the fleas become active again.
It’s easy to tell when your dog has fleas because he will use his front teeth to bite closely at his own skin or will constantly scratch himself in an effort to rid himself of the irritating parasites. Rolling on the floor in an attempt to ease the discomfort is another sign that he has fleas.
Prevention/elimination of fleas (basic external parasites in dogs)
Major flea control methods used by dog owner’s include flea traps, mechanical removal with vacuums, high-audio frequency sound generator, and drying agents—all of which have been used with varying degrees of success (kindly comment on ways you eliminate fleas from your pets, let’s know if you are doing it the right way).
Many advertisements extol the virtues of flea powders, dipping, and bathing; but the actual treatment is short-lived. Sprays work for a brief time on a dog with a short coat, but will not penetrate the dogs with long coat/hair(Yorkies).
ELIMINATION METHODS FOR FLEAS
1. A dip can be used once every two weeks. The dog must be bathed first, then the flea dip is poured over him and cannot be rinsed off. A flea collar may prevent a few fleas from swarming near your dog’s head but won’t do much to stop fleas from congregating near his hindquarters.
2. A better line of defense is administering a pill containing lufenuron, which prevents flea eggs from maturing into adults. Given once a month, lufenuron is only effective when a flea bites your dog. The drug is passed to the flea via your dog’s bloodstream then affects eggs, preventing them from hatching.
DID YOU KNOW?
“Dogs have extremely sensitive hearing and a sense of smell up to 1,000 times better than humans to compensate for their relatively poor eyesight”
NOTE: Many people believe that filling your dog”s bedding with cedar chips and feeding him garlic will prevent fleas from setting up residence. Garlic, in fact, will make your dog sick.
Another pest that is a dog’s worst enemy is the tick. A dog who has a large number of ticks can become anemic or develop tick paralysis. Ticks are parasites that look brown or black sesame seeds with eight legs attached. If they are engorged with blood they’ve siphoned from your dog, they will appear round and bloated. They love to congregate in shady, wooded fields and bushes, although they are also known to exist in grasslands and in every type of weather condition.
Ticks carry diseases that can affect both dogs and people. Their saliva can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, tick paralysis, and Lyme disease. They cause anemia, fever, depression, weakness, and wasting away.
Be sure to thoroughly examine your dog after every visit outdoors. Separate the long strands of hair and check his skin. The best defense against ticks is to avoid them, and quick removal is almost as good. The sooner a tick is removed the less likely it is to spread diseases.
Although many flea products will also rid your dog of ticks, they aren’t as effective. The product should be used more frequently than when treating fleas. A permethrin spray or a broad-spectrum insect repellent is effective if you apply it before taking your dog for a walk into tick-infested areas. other IGR( Insect growth regulator) products break the flea and tick life cycles. several of the prescription topical remedies are quite effective against ticks.
Many reasons could account for your dog’s frantic scratching, but if you do see any fleas, he may actually have mites. You would expect to see some culprit by separating the strands of hair in your dog’s coat, but you won’t see anything if your itchy dog has mites. Mites are so small they can only be detected by skin scrapping done by a veterinarian. Looking at these scrapings under the microscope could reveal that several different types of mites are bothering your dog.
Sarcoptic mange mites, or scabies, can take up residence anywhere on your dog—most commonly around the elbow, hocks, ears, and face—-where they dig under the skin to lay their eggs. Mites irritate the skin uncontrollably, causing “mange”
Demodex mites cause demodectic mange. Demodex mites live on almost all dogs and are passed on by nursing mothers to their puppies. Very few dogs are bothered by a mite, but when a dog’s immune system doesn’t work well, the mite runs rampant, and the affected area becomes inflamed and hairless. Symptoms first appear around the dog’s eyes, elbows, and paws. Most dogs require repeated dips to get well. because a weak immune system that allows Demodex to spread, maybe inherited, dogs that develop this type of disease should not be bred.
A misnamed ailment, ringworm is not a worm nut a fungus. it is easily recognized by the distinctive red ring surrounding a circle of hair loss. The ring will form scabs and crusts that become painful sores. In other cases, though, no ring forms, oily crust, and scabs appear. If your dog develops ringworm, he will be contagious to pets and people, especially to children. Avoid touching the area.
Detecting ringworm isn’t always easy, and isolate this parasite, your veterinarian has to use ultraviolent and obtain skin scrapings, which are placed under a microscope. Once the ringworm is confirmed, the infected hair may be trimmed away and a special veterinarian-prescribes shampoo should be used. Left untreated, the signs of ringworm will usually disappear on their own within three months, but many times the infection remains, and infectious spores are shed into the environment and to people and other pets. Because this disease are so easily spread, it should always be treated as directed by your veterinarian
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