There are many pests that are attracted to a dog and in most cases the pests can be taken care of and your dog will be fine. Sometimes, however, these pests can actually cause your dog to become sick. Below are two of these pests and how they can harm your dog so you can make sure it gets the care it needs.
There is nothing you can do to completely prevent fleas from getting onto your dog during the summer months. Fleas are more prevalent if you live in an area that gets very hot and has high humidity. Even if your dog only has a few fleas, the problem will escalate very quickly. This is because a female flea can live up to 90 days and can lay more than 5000 eggs on their host.
The most common sign of a flea is constant scratching. This alone will cause sores and hair loss. If the flea has bitten a wild animal that has the plaque, such as a chipmunk or vole, the flea will spread the plague to your dog. Even though this is not a common problem, it is still possible. Common symptoms of the plaque are fever and swollen lymph nodes, and your dog could die very suddenly.
Some fleas carry tapeworm eggs inside their bodies. If your dog is bitten by one of these fleas, they could easily become infected with tapeworm. If so, the tapeworm will hatch and attach itself to your dog's intestines, causing vomiting and weight loss. If not taken care of, your dog could eventually die.
Ticks love to hang out on anything that is warm-blooded, including your dog. It is generally not hard to see a tick once it becomes engorged with blood, and it can be removed with tweezers. Your dog may feel itchy for a few days, but then the symptoms are gone.
Fleas can transmit diseases, however, such as:
- Babesiosis: An infectious disease that attacks red blood cells causing symptoms like fatigue, vomiting, and reduced appetite. Symptoms can last for several months. It is not deadly for your dog.
- Ehrlichiosis: An infectious disease that can last weeks or months. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, bloody discharge from eyes and nose, weight loss, and coughing.
- Lyme disease: A bacterial infection causing fatigue due to joint inflammation and can last a few days up to a few weeks.
If you spend time outside with your dog, especially in wooded areas, check it for fleas as soon as you get home.
Take your dog to the veterinarian at a clinic like Kenmore Veterinary Hospital to get a flea and tick prevention medicine to prevent any of these diseases from happening.