How to put an end to fleas and ticks

Whereas significant number of dog owners do not care about deworming at all, nobody would stand a flea-bitten dog at home. That is good, because fleas pose not only hygienic but also health issue. Their bites often cause severe and difficult to treat allergies, due to which a dog life becomes almost unbearable. They also tend to have germs of canine tapeworms within themselves.

Ticks are also dangerous, since they are source of Lyme disease or encephalitis, to which dogs are also responsive. Like fleas, ticks can be source of severe allergies and they may even cause paralysis.

The fight against fleas and ticks begins with dog birth and ends with its departure into dog heaven. Fortunately, you can choose from wide range of products.


Antiparasitic shampoos

It is a good choice for persons, who have a dog at home and bathe it 1x in a month. Better antiparasitic shampoos provide protection for this specific period of time.

How to use them?

Dilute the shampoo in warm water and pour it over a wet dog. Thoroughly rub tits entire coat including the head. Be careful around eyes and ears. Let the shampoo work for five minutes and then rinse it well with warm water and dry the dog.


Anti-parasitic sprays and powders

Some sprays and powders protect the dog only for a few days, but they can be used already with the smallest puppies, other sprays and powders have resistant effect for 2-4 weeks. They are particularly suitable in case, when it is not possible or save to bathe the animal. They absorb into the body minimally, so they can be used even with old and sick dogs. Antiparasitic powders and sprays do not guarantee 100% effectiveness, since almost always there is a certain part of the body that you forget to cover and the parasites can survive there. Additionally, the anti-parasitic agents are directly in the coat and they can easily get into the mouth – for instance of your child that is playing with the dog.

How to use them?

Sequentially you will apply spray or powder on every single place of the animal body, including the head and belly. Be careful! The substance must not get into eyes! Then you need to comb and rub the coat, so that even the last hair is covered. Let the spray dry. Powder can be combed out after a few minutes along with dead parasites.


Antiparasitic collars

Actually, it is a powder container, which constantly pours powder into the fur as the animal moves. Their advantage is a long-term efficacy, better collar can protect the animal up to 7 months. The disadvantage is higher cost and the need to constantly wear the collar. Of course, even in this case there are antiparasitic agents in the coat of the dog.

How to use them?

Always read carefully the instructions! Some collars work as a salt shaker – before application it is necessary to remove protective foil and it should not be shortened. Other collars can be trimmed as you wish, but it is important to put it on with the right side … first read, then proceed to application or trimming.


Spot-on preparations

They are the well-known “drops between shoulder blades”. They work for months and the animal is clean, since the active substance is absorbed into the body. However, even there are certain drawbacks. They cannot be used with the smallest puppies (ie till 2-3 months of age), with small dogs or weakened or sick animals. Moreover, they start working after the bite of a parasite, which is a problem, mainly with respect to allergies. One single bite can cause fierce skin problems.

How to use them?

Select a place of application, the one the animal is unable to reach with its tongue – concerning dogs, this place is located between the shoulder blades. Break the top of the applicator, part the coat with your fingers and empty the applicator to the skin. Let it get dry – do not let the animal out, to prevent it from “rolling off” the solution from the coat, since it may be a little itchy. Do not bathe the animal, nor let it get wet for the period of 24 hours.


Always treat all animals in the household. Do not combine different antiparasitic products together without prior consultation with your veterinarian. They may cause side effects on the skin.

Each antiparasitic product may cause an intolerance in the form of intense itching. In such a case, bathe the itching spot in a gentle shampoo and rinse it properly with lukewarm water with one spoonful of vinegar. If the itching does not stop within 48 hours, or the animal scratches the place into blood, you should better visit the veterinary office. You should always report any reactions that occurred. Your veterinarian may recommend you a preparation with a different active substance.

Be patient! Antiparasitic products usually work only on adult parasites, however, when an adult parasite is detected, there is already an unspecified number of eggs in its vicinity. For instance a flea lays eggs that fall from the hair on the floor and furniture. On these places larvae are hatched. They change their skins several times and after three weeks they attack the dog once again. Even after the extinction of every single last adult flea, you have to count with a three-week “ending cycle”. A single flea, as reported, can produce in two months about 20.000 adult offspring and 160.000 “pre-adult” fleas!

The place where the animal resides has to be thoroughly cleaned or repeatedly sprayed with antiparasitic spray – pillows and blankets need to be washed in hot water and ironed if possible. Prepare yourself for seeing the parasites on your animal for certain time, since their life cycles (eggs-larva-the adult, which attacks the animal) last for weeks. The animal once invaded by parasites has to be continually protected by repeated application of antiparasitic substances (shampoo, powder) or you can choose a product with a long duration of effect (spot-on, collar).

Check the animal periodically. If you are using the same active substance for a long time, the parasites may develop certain resistance to it and the product is no longer effective. In this case, it is necessary to change it.

If you find an attached tick, grasp its head with extracting forceps and slowly twist it off (it does not matter to which side you are twisting, do not drip anything on it). Flush the pulled tick into the sewerage system and clean your hands properly. Drip disinfectant on the place of attachment.

Try to prevent the animal from getting in contact with parasites. For instance ticks lurk mainly on the half-height grass at the edges of woods or in parks. If you carry your dog over these places, you will reduce the amount of ticks that you may bring home. The rest of them you can remove by thorough brushing.

If you prefer natural products, you can choose a spray, powder or collar with natural essences. These products are particularly suitable as a prevention for animals, which may rarely come into contact with parasites. Nevertheless, do not believe fairy tales about the repellent effect of garlic, vitamin B or onions. These methods do not work.


© This article was taken from website and its publication is subject to prior written approval of Mrs MVDr. Renata Popelářová.

!!! Further distribution of this article is possible only with the consent of Mrs MVDr. Renata Popelářová!!!

Hereby I would like to thank Mrs MVDr. Renata Popelářová for the consent to the publication of her article.

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