Ticks are not only irritating but can also cause a world of problems for your pets. However, it is not easy to tell if these tiny parasites call your dog’s fur their home sweet, home.
If ticks are an annoyance, fleas are downright irritating. Just like ticks, the signs of their infestation may not always meet the eye. This is the reason experts recommend that you should get your pets checked every once in a while for fleas and ticks.
That said, here are a few things that vets recommend to keep an eye out for. If you notice anything odd in your dog’s behavior, report it to their doctor immediately.
Abnormal scratching behavior
Fleas and ticks feed on your pet’s blood for food. Once these little intruders find their way inside your pet’s fur, they settle themselves in the hardest to reach corners such as tail, armpits, neck etc. If you notice a lot of licking, biting, scratching in your dog, then it may be an indication of flea/ticks infestation.
Redness of Skin
Some dogs are allergic to flea bite saliva, leaving behind the telltale signs of skin rash and redness. These allergic reactions may occur on any part of the body. Keep an eye out for unusual skin redness. If you notice the rash on your dog’s skin, show it to their vet or seek their expert opinion.
Loss of appetite and hair
One of the most common reactions to flea bites or tick infestation is loss of hair. Your pets may pull out some of their own hair due to irritation caused by flea bites. They may also show signs of reduced appetite. These two factors individually are alarming enough. But if they occur together, seek the vet’s appointment immediately.
The leading cause of anemia in pets is flea or ticks’ infestation. This has often been the reason associated with pale gums. This mainly happens due to lack of red blood cells that your pet needs to meet the loss of blood caused by flea bites. As a result, your pets show pale gum that is a sign of a more serious issue.
Look for Flea Feces
If you notice black/red spots on your pet’s body, then these could be flea feces that is made up of digested blood sucked out of your pet. You can verify the flea dirt by spraying it with water on a white paper towel. If they turn dark red, then what you have in your hands is your pet’s excreted blood. Experts like Pet-Lock.com also recommend you to walk in your house wearing white socks. Check for the feces stuck on to your socks’ fibers. If you notice these signs, then take your pet for diagnosis right away.
Sometimes the best way to tell something’s off is paying close attention to your pet’s behavior. Displaying signs like restlessness or incessant head shaking can indicate a tick or a flea that is buried in its ear canal. This is the most common place for ticks to hide and thrive as they like warm and damp places. If your pet is shaking its head vigorously or seems to be too restless, then you should check your dogs for ticks’ infestation.
Check for a bump
The first telltale sign of checking for ticks is to look for a bump on your pet. When you a run a hand through its coat, if you feel that your dog has a bump then it could be due to a tick bite. You may not always see the tick, even with close inspection. In that case, it is better o go to a doctor for their expert opinion.
The dogs often experience mild fever after a tick bite. While in most cases the fever may not last more than 24-hours, your pets may exhibit weakness, shivering, and panting. Sometimes the fever may even last for days. Even though fever could indicate a lot of things, you should always first look for ticks.
These signs often indicate a much bigger problem that needs a professional’s attention. If you are unable to see fleas or ticks on your pet, then that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. You should still take them for a full inspection and start the flea/tick elimination treatment. Your veterinarian is the right person to guide you through the tick/flea removal process so don’t forget to take an expert’s advice. They will not only tell you the exact cause of your pet’s discomfort but can also give you treatments to alleviate their misery.