Some Veterinary info on TICKS AND FLEAS

One of our members of the JHB Beagle Club is a vet, and has kindly written some articles regarding dogs’ health for us for the website…

I will be posting a new article once a week – so please keep a look out for it, have a read, and circulate to your animal loving friends 🙂





Ticks and fleas have at least one thing in common – they are both parasites that feed on your dog’s blood and can cause a lot of discomfort and more serious health problems.

Flea bites may go unnoticed on some pets, cause slight irritation in others and produce extensive itching, red lesions, hair loss and even ulcers in those animals with flea allergy dermatitis, which is the result of extreme sensitivity to flea saliva. Severe flea infestations can cause anemia, especially in puppies. Fleas can also transmit several diseases, as well as tapeworm. Ticks are “vectors” or carriers of a number of potentially fatal diseases, for example, biliary (tick bite fever) and Ehrlichia.


The problem with fleas is that the adult fleas that you see on your dog or cat make up only 5%  of the flea’s lifecycle. Another 10% are pupae, 35% are larvae and 50% are eggs. In just 30 days, 25 adult female fleas can multiply to 250,000 fleas! Only the adults are on your dog/cat whilst the rest of the lifecycle stages are in the environment. Therefore to treat fleas on your dog you also need to treat the environment.


The best way to control flea problems is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Available for both dogs and cats, new insecticides and insect growth regulators in easy-to-use topical or oral forms not only eliminate any existing fleas, but also work long-term to prevent future infestations. This is accomplished either by killing the parasites before they can reproduce or by preventing their eggs from developing into normal adult fleas. Consult your veterinary surgeon for advice about the proper product for your pet. Furthermore, through daily vacuuming of high-traffic areas and frequent washing of your pet’s bedding will also go a long way in reducing the flea population in your home. There are also products that you can spray onto your carpets, furniture, etc. that kills the fleas.
Some of the same types of topical or oral products used to control flea infestation are also effective against ticks. Such treatments should be combined with daily examinations and tick removal for those pets, especially dogs, who are frequently outdoors in areas with high tick populations. Ask your veterinary surgeon for information about the situation in your locality. If flies are also a problem in your area then a product that works for ticks, fleas and flies, like Exspot, may be a good option. Clearing brush and long grasses and removing leaves, grass clippings and other organic debris will also help reduce the presence of ticks by disturbing their natural outdoor habitats.


If, despite your best efforts at control, you find that fleas or ticks have crawled (or jumped) on board your pet, you will have to use a product that will kill and/or repel the parasites. These include once-a-month topical treatments, sprays, powders, dips, shampoos, collars and, to combat fleas, and oral medication. And remember, it is perfectly normal to see live fleas or ticks on a pet immediately after a topical treatment, spray, shampoo, collar, etc. is applied. Many believe that this means the product is not working, but the fleas or ticks have to fully absorb the product before they will be affected, which may take from a few hours to a few days

3 Responses to “ Some Veterinary info on TICKS AND FLEAS ”

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