Fleas and ticks are two of the most frequent pet care concerns in Ghana. While prevention is the best defense against these parasites, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of fleas and ticks so you can help your pets if necessary.FleasFleas are the most common external parasite to plague companion animals. They are wingless insects that feed on blood, can jump up to two feet high and are persistent in the environment.Fleas can live for as few as 13 days or as long as 12 months—and during that time, can produce millions of offspring. Though there are many species of fleas, the one that most often affects both dogs and cats in Africa is the cat and dog fleas, Ctenocephalides felis and canis respectfully.Symptoms of Fleas on DogsFleas are most commonly noticed on a dog’s abdomen, the base of the tail and the head. Common symptoms of fleas on dogs include:Droppings or “flea dirt” in a dog’s coat (small dark "grains of sand")Flea eggs (tiny, white grains)Allergic dermatitisExcessive scratching, licking or biting the skinHair lossScabs and hot spotsPale gumsTapewormsSymptoms of Fleas on CatsIf you see your cat scratching often and persistently, invest in a fine tooth comb and run it through her fur, paying special attention to the neck and the base of the tail. If you see small, fast-moving brown shapes about the size of a pinhead in her fur, your cat has fleas. Other symptoms:Droppings of “flea dirt” in a cat’s fur (small dark "grains of sand")Flea eggs (tiny, white grains)Itchy, irritated skinPersistent scratchingChewing and lickingHair lossTapewormsPale lips and gumsFleas are easily brought in from the outdoors.Fleas thrive in warm, humid climates at temperatures of 65 to 80 degrees.Adult fleas spend most of their lives on the animal, laying eggs in the fur.These eggs drop out onto rugs, upholstery, bedding and furniture; the new adult fleas will, in turn, find their living host (either human or animal).Flea ComplicationsFleas can consume 15 times their own body weight in blood, which can cause anemia or a significant amount of blood loss over time.This is especially problematic in young puppies or kittens, where an inadequate number of red blood cells can be life-threatening.Some pets have heightened sensitivity to the saliva of fleas, which can cause an allergic reaction known as flea allergy dermatitis.3-Step ProtectionBecause of their resilience, the most effective approach to a flea or tick problem is to treat your pet, your home, and your yard to eliminate the pests themselves—as well as their eggs and larvae—wherever they may be hiding. Overall, the best course of action is to treat your pet and the environment before an infestation takes hold in the first place.
1 month ago - Pets & Mascots - Accra
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