Wrong time of year - THINK AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!
WRONG TIME OF YEAR TO BE CONCERNED WITH TICKS??? Think AGAIN……
Our climates are slightly haywire at this stage and therefore we still see ticks around in winter, although years and years ago, winter would have been bitterly cold and the ticks would be nowhere to be seen.
BILLIARY – Tick Bite Fever……. Winter is here and ticks are still around…
Ticks are responsible for the disease known as BILLIARY. Not all ticks are infected with the parasite known as Babesiosis, therefore not all ticks will cause your dog to go down with billiary.
How do you prevent your dog from becoming infected – the only way is by applying a good tick control. As said above not all ticks are infected with this parasite. The infective stages of the parasite live in the ticks` salivary glands and are injected into the dog once the tick has been feeding for 2 – 3 days. Many tick control products are available to suit every situation and pocket.
How do you treat your dog?
Dips are available – ensure you read the leaflet with instructions correctly, the dip strength will differ in some cases from dog to dog – mass etc. Remember if your dog swims, lies out in the rain, runs under the sprinkler system - gets wet – all of these factors reduce the effectiveness of the dip. Dipping your dog is usually repeated on a weekly basis. Check your package insert for more accurate information.
The spot-on treatments are user friendly but more pricey than most of the treatments. They are available in various sizes. Your vet can supply you with the exact dosage required for your pet/s. HOWEVER you must know the accurate weight of the pet concerned. Dogs and cats spot on treatments will differ. There is also the spray types available Frontline, Fiprotec. Can be used on both cats and dogs. Ensure that you spray according to instructions, too little treatment is not going to be totally effective. Tick collars are also available but usually used in conjunction with another form of treatment eg. Tick collar and dip. If you are situated in a high risk area for ticks, a combination treatment may be more effective. Tick powders and shampoos are more old school now and are usually ineffective in areas where there is a dense tick population.
Most of these treatments the spray and spot on variety are repeatable on a monthly basis. Some inserts advise only treating every three months. In general this does not work. Monthly is the answer, rather be safe than sorry. Choose a day which you will remember. EG the 1st of the month, mid month. 30th of each month and remember to treat that same date each and every month. Very small breeds of dogs are very unlikely to survive billiary unless caught in the early stages.
How do these treatments kill the ticks? The ticks mouth is paralysed making it impossible to feed – when using these treatments you may find a tick fall off your pet, it may still be alive, but in time will die.
Billiary is an unpleasant and dangerous disease – not to be brushed aside.
What are the symptoms to look out for – the dog will be lethargic, lack appetite, may or may not have white gums. May present with a fever, the dog may suffer with general deterioration. Shock, coma or death after less than a day of lethargy and appetite loss can occur. Billiary is not a disease that you can adopt the attitude – let’s wait and see – tomorrow may just be too late. If you suspect your dog could be suffering from Billiary you need to see your vet immediately. No dog will survive billiary unless treated. If you leave it too long, chances are your dog will need a blood transfusion and even after having a transfusion, there is no guarantee your dog will surive. Prevention in this disease is the way to go – rather than CURE.
IF you do take precautionary measures and your pet still presents with these symptoms seek professional assistance immediately.
Ensure you follow all instructions perfectly when using any preventative treatment. Treatments not applied as directed may prove to be useless.
The last two weeks we have had people enquiring about eradicating flea infestations. This is the time of year to sort out that problem.
The best way to treat ticks is to stop them happening in the first place. A good few insecticides and insect growth regulators are available in easy to use topical or oral forms- these methods do not only eliminate existing fleas but also work long term to prevent future infestations. This will be accomplished by either killing the fleas prior to them reproducing or preventing their eggs from developing into fleas. Vacuum daily and wash all pet bedding regularly. This alone will help prevent fleas from becoming a problem in your home.
Treat your pets as you would for tick prevention, remember CATS may not be able to be treated with the same product you use on your dogs. Your animals need to be protected, and then tackle the areas fleas LOVE to hide in. Crevices, carpets, furniture. Use a fogger or flea spray (DOOM – TARGET check the one you choose kills fleas……. Make sure there is no livestock in the rooms you intend treating. Fish tanks cover –birds remove…. Use a mask and treat according to directions. Sprinkle Karbadust on all areas fleas may be hiding. Remember the flea has a life cycle so treating today is not the end, continue a program. If you can leave the powder in the areas, it will continue to do its job, if you need to vacuum up you will have to repeat the treatment until all signs of infestation have vanished. Once you have achieved eradicating the problem, continue to treat your pets on an ongoing basis. Don’t treat them and sort the infestation, and believe no fleas will return. Fleas are in the grass, and in a relatively short period of time, your pets if not protected are going to have fleas again. REMEMBER if your pets have had fleas, they will have tapeworm, ask your vet for suitable deworming medication. ANY animal infested with fleas runs the risk of being or becoming anemic.
FACTS ABOUT FLEAS
There are around 3 000 different types of fleas worldwide. The cat flea is the most common flea, which affects both dogs and cats. In 30 days, 25 adult female fleas can multiple to 250 000 fleas!!!!!!
FACTS ABOUT TICKS
A female tick can lay up to 3 000 eggs. Excluding the eggs, ticks need a blood meal to progress to the next stage of their life cycle. Some ticks can survive for a year without a single meal.