Your poor dog has Flea?s
It doesn't matter if you own a Portuguese Water Dog or a mutt, eventually flea's will find you.
Fleas and ticks are little parasites that live off your precious dogs blood.
Their biting causes little Bridgett or Spot to feel very uncomfortable and itchy, often leading to dog allergies.
Most often once you?ve found fleas you can pretty much count on your dog now having tape worm, it comes from the flea and once you?ve treated the fleas you should have the Vet do a fecal for tape worm.
Depending on the climate you live in, the season for fleas/ticks only last 3 or 4 months, or all year.
Prevention is definitely better than cure, and it's a really good idea to get your puppy started on a regular course of flea and tick preventative as soon as possible. I usually recommend starting flea meds at least a month or two before you think you need them, March or April, where I live here in Ontario, Canada
If your pet is one of the many dogs that?s allergic to flea saliva, all this biting can result in dermatitis. This is a skin condition that causes excessive scratching, irritated skin and hair loss. This can sometimes appear like pimples, and can spread quickly. If you notice anything like this, it?s important to visit your Vet asap. They will most likely put your dog on antibiotics.
I tend to use Advantage, its reliable and very easy to use and its avail everywhere. It only kills adult fleas though, so any larva or eggs that are in your home will soon be ready to jump back on your dog.
If you have a bad case, you might want to wash all dog bedding, and vacume regularly, until your flea free. You can also buy special sprays such as Virbac, to treat soft furnishings and carpets.
Ticks on dogs
Ticks are small, brown or black creatures with teardrop-shaped bodies and 8 legs (they're related to spiders - "yuk"! I hate spiders).
The most common ticks in the Canada & the U.S. are the brown dog tick and the American dog tick. The Deer tick (the variety most likely to carry and transmit Lyme Disease) and the Western Black-legged tick can also be found.
Ticks vary in size from tiny, pin-head critters to much larger one - sometimes as large as a kernel of corn, especially when they're full of your poor dogs blood!
The best, most effective and safest way to prevent or kill ticks is to use a medication specifically designed to kill fleas and ticks. I've found that the best product to deal with ticks on dogs is Advantage multi. If ticks are a big problem in your area you can use this every two weeks rather than once a month during the worst of the season.
But, it takes longer to kill ticks than it does fleas. Although the packaging may say 24 hours, if your dog has a lot of ticks it could take several days for them all to die.
How to remove a tick from a dog
A farmer friend, told to me to drop pure alcohol right on the tick, either rubbing or rye. It makes the tick stupid. Now you can get a pair of tweezers and grasp the tick's head firmly, as close to your dogs skin as possible. Pull slowly (don't twist it) but firmly. Don't grip the tick around its swollen body or squeeze it's body.
Once the whole tick has been removed, use alcohol to clean the area (and your gloves/tweezers etc. too), and to then apply a little anti-biotic ointment to the area of the bite.
When you're removing a tick from your dog, if it's head (or any part of it) is left under your dog's skin it could become infected, so keep an extra-close eye on the area for the next few days.
Don't forget to make sure you kill the tick before disposing of it or you may see it again!
Once you've done all that, be sure to get your dog on a regular schedule of flea and tick medication so you don't have to do the same thing all over again.
Good luck, remember prevention is really the cheaper way to go
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