PetDogPlanet.com is an Amazon Associate, and we earn from qualifying purchases.
Bug bites can be very obnoxious. Not to mention when they love to bite you and your pets to suck the blood of you both. And what’s even worse is that the bugs of that nature often behave like bed bugs and lay eggs everywhere. So, you will eventually have an infestation problem at your hands to deal with. They are nasty ectoparasites and often tormenting to the host they reside in. Fleas and ticks both exhibit all of these habits.
So, what do these insects do? And why you and your pet can be vulnerable to these parasites?
Ectoparasites are creatures that live on other animal’s bodies ’ surfaces, specifically usually on the skin. They feed on the sustenance from the said body of the animal, often in the form of blood. They colonize the skin of the hosts. Their infestation is very abhorrent, itchy, and very disturbing. Ectoparasites cause diseases instead of carrying diseases. So, they are very dangerous to more impoverished households that cannot go to a doctor or a vet as much as well of households.
And often these diseases cause a chain reaction in the body causing secondary infections, bacterial or sequelae (infectious arthritis). Many of ectoparasites lay their eggs on the surface of the skin or the fur follicles. The even scarier part is that organisms evolve, so over time they are progressively developing resistance to all our chemicals and method to eliminate them.
Last update on 2023-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our main concern of this article is two species of the ectoparasite family, the ticks and fleas. And how they interact with us and our pets.
Ticks are common ectoparasites found often terrorizing our pets, specifically our (cats and mouse). They inhabit warm weather and warmer regions. Most ticks attack during the spring and autumn. Dogs more often contract ticks from outside. And they live on barks of trees and plants waiting for hosts to pass by and latch on. On more residential areas they don’t fall off after having their fill of blood, they infest the animals.
Ticks have a hollow straw-like appendage that it injects in the skin of the animal to consume blood from it. Many tick species produce liquid mucus-like substances that can be used to attach on the skin and their saliva is irritant. The locations of their attack are inflamed and cause severe irritation and itchiness.
The symptoms of ticks attacking your pets are usually the erratic behavior displayed by your pet. Your dogs might run around spontaneously. Scratching and gnawing at the back and sides. The best option is to remove them as soon as possible, as they inflict diseases on your pets.
The infestation is worse because dogs are on all fours with fur and many crevices on its body. They attach themselves in the head, in the ears, and behind it. Under the paws between their paw pads. The back, shoulder blades, and around tails thighs. Harder to reach areas are their favorite spots to live on as dogs can’t reach it to scratch it off.
Ticks are visible parasites and they can be felt as lumps under the fur often moving around under the skin. Their size varies between 1mm and 2 cm. They come in various colors and often the most well known once are lime green or brown giant ticks often found on dogs. Using medical tweezers, they can be twisted off easily as ticks don’t scurry around about too much. Destroy them on the skin itself as the blood they contain spills over with the diseases and the probability of infection increases.
Often tools and shampoos to remove ticks are quite and affordably found online. And veterinary, grooming care, and online sites like Doglymail have a lot of similar people who share their experience with stuff like these to help you out.
Fleas are ectoparasites that are common with cats and dogs like ticks. They live on the fur of the animals then the skin and only go down to draw and consume blood. They are more common then ticks as they live all around the world and infest the body of more animals. They go a step beyond by infesting your own home upon getting a chance to do so. The special life cycle makes it severely tough to kill or deal with.
Their mouths are perfected to suck the blood of the host’s skin. Fleas are super spry; their hind legs help them jump from the surrounds to the host and vice versa. Their body is filled with hair and spikes to help attach to hair and whizz around with superb mobility. Their saliva is irritating to the skin. They lay their eggs on the fur of the dog.
The fleas can survive on their cocoons and eggs for a very long time. They can survive around 4 to 9 months without any blood as an adult and a few weeks to months as a young flea. They are well known to cause bubonic plague and often infect the hosts with tapeworms that can be as painful as kidney stones.
The symptoms that dogs exhibit when attacked or swarmed by fleas. Dogs show irritation and agitation, they keep scratching and biting their body to get rid of the fleas. The body is often red with lumps under the fur. They are very visible with a brownish or white body. The skin on the dog will have lots of dropping of dried blood expelled by the flea.
Fleas are too fast and lay too many eggs to count. Often baths with flea removing shampoo are needed. Vacuuming and thorough cleaning of the carpets is recommended. Keeping the dog quarantined is a great idea. Professional help is recommended from vets and also pest control is a guarantee to end their infestation.
Ticks and fleas are annoying and very dangerous creatures. They can be dealt with in a very swift manner with good knowledge.