Ticks are a common parasite and occur mainly along the eastern seaboard and across the coastal north of Australia.
Brown dog ticks (rhipicephalus sanguineus) can be found clustered in great numbers in dogs’ ears, between the toes and to a lesser extent on the body. They are a source of constant irritation and in large numbers can cause anaemia.
Ticks can exist for a long time in the soil and can be found mainly where dogs lie in the dirt or inside kennels. Controlling their breeding areas outside the home is difficult.
Paralysis ticks (ixodes holocyclus) occur in warmer months, mainly on the eastern coast of Australia. The bite of just one tick is capable of causing paralysis and death. Ticks may latch on to dogs as they brush against them while walking through long grass or scrub. The paralysis tick releases toxins causing wobbly hind legs and a change in the tone of the dog’s bark. The dog must receive emergency veterinary care immediately to have any chance of survival. It is important to protect your dog with the repellent Kiltix until the tick season is over for the year.
Check your dog daily for ticks by running your fingers through your dog’s hair or use a comb. If a tick is found, contact your vet immediately. Wikipedia provides detailed illustrations and photos to help you identify this dangerous parasite.
Bush ticks (haemaphysalis longicornis) affect dogs in a similar way to the brown dog tick, heavily infesting the dog and producing irritation and sometimes extensive blood loss.
Fleas cause distress and irritation
Your dog’s attempt to get rid of fleas may result in itchy red patches on the skin. Fleas can also produce flea allergy and transmit tapeworm.
Only adult fleas are obvious, while the eggs, larvae and pupae are harder to find.
The best way to check for fleas is to look for flea dirt (faeces) in your dog’s hair. Briskly comb a section of the hair on your dog’s back; flea dirt appears as black flecks which will turn a rusty red if moistened. The red is the excreted blood on which the fleas have been feeding.
It will be necessary to get rid of the whole flea colony by using products such as FRONTLINE® to eliminate and prevent further outbreaks.
Controlling fleas in your house and yard
To control fleas indoors, first stop them from reproducing. Carpets, soft furniture, cushions, throw rugs, bedding, pet beds, or anywhere your dog lies are areas fleas will breed. Frequent vacuuming of carpets, rugs and sofas along with frequent washing of cushion covers, bedding and especially your pet’s bed and blankets will reduce the number of fleas inside your home.
Fleas also thrive outdoors in the more protected, shady parts of the garden. You’ll find them in areas your dog likes to spend time. His favourite cool summer hole will harbour many of these pests. Find a good pest control agent and use regularly.
Tags: dog home care, flea control in dogs, ticks on dogs