Ticks and fleas are not just a nuisance – they are a major cause of disease and death in dogs.
Dog parents frequently overlook tick infestations, especially because they are so common. And vets often give surface solutions without taking a look at the real issue.
Ticks: A silent killer
Ticks cause tick fever. There are no overt symptoms. It is often only detected when there is sudden weight loss or loss of appetite. By the time the platelet count has fallen to a critical level, it can be fatal. Fleas, on the other hand, do not cause fatal diseases but they are very painful. Some dogs respond with an allergic reaction (called flea allergic dermatitis). This causes widespread inflammation of the skin surface and lesions because of all the scratching and biting. Dogs end up ingesting flea eggs that hatch in the stomach and become worms. This consequently causes anemia.
How to address ticks and fleas
Use a high-quality tick and flea shampoo
Lotion works to an extent, but direct shampooing kills 100% of the ticks and fleas. It washes off the eggs that are hidden on the skin and sometimes in hair follicles which hatch in 5-7 days. Buy a good quality flea shampoo for your dog.
Use a high quality ‘adulticide’ lotion
Adulticides kill ticks and fleas on contact. Their toxicity is low because they contact anesthetic agents. The adulticide numbs the entire tick, killing it immediately. As a lotion, you use less product. A good lotion will always benefit fur health.
Keep outdoors and indoors tick and flea free
If there is a heavy infestation the ticks will gorge themselves on blood, fall off the dog and lay eggs in walls and crevices. Buy a good quality concentrate or a spray to clean your house in places you might overlook.
Use neem oil
Neem is a natural preventive. Neem Oil has been used traditionally in India for its strong insecticidal action. It works well for short-haired dogs when massaged on the skin and has the added advantage of keeping the skin hydrated. It can also be used in the case of small abrasions, cuts, etc.
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The information contained in VOSD Vet Advice™ is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical action which is provided by your vet. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. For any emergency situation related to a dog’s health, please visit the nearest veterinary clinic.