Ticks can transmit a number of diseases, including Lyme, Ehrlichia, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Anaplasmosis. Some of these are potentially lethal.
Flea infestation can lead to skin infections, tapeworms, hair loss from scratching, and anemia. This anemia can be life-threatening, especially in puppies and geriatric animals. Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD) is quite common, in which even a single bite can cause a severe rash.
Signs of Infection
Ticks bury their head under the skin and stay in one spot. When they first attach they may be as small as a pinhead, but they enlarge when they become engorged with blood. They often attach in warm areas, such as the neck or head.
Flea infection usually leads to itching, although some animals are not allergic to the bites and do not develop a severe rash. While you may see actual fleas on your dog, the most common sign is flea dirt, pepper-like granules in the coat, especially on the rump and groin. These are found by either parting the coat or using a special "flea comb" with narrow-spaced teeth. To determine if what you find is flea dirt, which is actually digested blood, place the granules on a moistened white paper towel. Rub them gently; if the paper towel turns orange or red, your pet has flea dirt. It is not necessary to find actual fleas to confirm an infection.
How Style Mutt can help!
Stop in to see our assortment of flea and tick preventatives, including spot-on treatment, medicated collars and shampoos. We even have natural flea and tick solutions from Alzoo.