FleasIf your pet dog or cat has a freely roaming outdoor lifestyle or mixes frequently with other animals, it is almost certain at some time to come into contact with fleas. The most common type of flea is the well-known dog or cat flea, although rabbit fleas will also feed from your pet.
Any fleas that are brought in by your pet will also infest your home, This is because, although adult fleas live and feed on a dog or cat, the females lay eggs that fall off into carpets or bedding. These first develop into pupae, which lie dormant until a suitable meal - animal or human - comes along.
Flea larvae like warm, moist environments, the ideal place being at the base of the carpet p
ile in a cetrally heated house. They feed on debris in the carpet - especially the feces from adult fleas that fall from your cat along with the eggs. This is a very clever ploy for survival that exsures you can have fleas in your home all year around, not just in the summer months, when they are more common outdoors.Ticks
Ticks are leathery creatures that are visible to the naked eye but become most obvious when their bodies enlarge after feeding. They spend most of their lives in the environment, only visiting cats, dogs or other animals to feed for a few days during spring and fall. Your pet may pick up ticks by brushing against plants infested with them. Certain ticks can spread serious infections, such as Lyme disease, and may cause skin
irritations or even anemia in a heave infesetation.
To remove a tick, dab it wih cotton wool soaked in an appropriate insecticide (ask your vet's advice on this). Leave it for a few minutes to die, then use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick, rotate it, and pull it from the skin. Do this very carefully or you may leave the tick's head embedded in your pets skin, which could cause infection.
Treating for fleas and ticks
Sprays are quick and easy to apply but some pets dislike the sound and feel for the them. As an alternative, the spot-on products have been very effective. Shampoos and powders have a limited effectiveness because they only work for a short while after application.
Always ask your vet for advice in which products to choose: this is very important, as certain products must now be used on young puppies and kittens. Always read the label and follow dosage instructions carefully, as some flea products can cause problems if used too frequently or in too great a quanity. Do not mix different products unless on the advice of your vet, as you could overdose your pet.