Due to a mild winter here in Colorado, external parasites like fleas and ticks are in full swing. Our sister company, Ken Caryl Pet Spa has already had 2 cases of tick and 2 cases of flea infestations on pets coming in to be groomed. When it comes to protecting, your pet knowing what parasites are lurking and how to prevent them is key! Read along to find out more about parasite prevention and how to keep your pets and family safe.
What type of external parasites are a threat to our pets in Littleton, Colorado? How can they be prevented?
There are over 30 known species of ticks in the state of Colorado. The most common ticks found are the Brown Dog Tick (click here for more information) and the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (click here for more information). Ticks are most active during the Spring and Summer, just in time for you and your pets to enjoy the great outdoors. Ticks are not only gross, they spread diseases to both humans and pets that can sometimes be fatal. These diseases include but are not limited to, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. The time it takes for a disease to be transmitted varies between the different tick species and the disease that is being transmitted. Ticks can also cause a form of paralysis transmitted by female ticks that produce a neurotoxin. If you find a tick on you or your pet, remove it carefully with tweezers or a tick remover (click here for a list of ticker removers available on Amazon). If using tweezers, grasp the tick with the tweezers close to the skin as possible. Gently pull upward until the tick is released from the skin. Place the tick in a plastic baggy with a wet paper towel and then set it in the fridge. Preserving the tick can come in handy if testing is later needed. Then wash the bite with soap and water or swab the area with alcohol to clean it. After removal, monitor yourself or your pet for any unusual symptoms. For humans, the CDC says to avoid wooded and brushy areas, use a tick repellent with 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535, and to remove ticks as soon as you find them. For pets, the CDC says to check your pet for ticks daily, reduce tick habitats in your yard, and talk to your veterinarian about the use of tick preventatives.
Fleas are found all over North America. The most common flea found here in Colorado is the Cat Flea. In additional to being a nuisance, fleas can transmit disease and cause death with extreme infestations. Fleas can cause, Flea Allergy Dermatitis, Flea Anemia, Feline Infectious Anemia, Cat Scratch Fever/Bartonellosis, and Tapeworm infection. Fleas can live and thrive in both outdoor and indoor environments, sometimes waiting up to a year for the right host to feed off of. Female fleas will continuously lay eggs, (up to 50 eggs per day until her death) leading to massive flea infestations. Noticing fleas on your pet may not be easy, however, flea dirt is often within the hair which means fleas are present. To detect flea dirt, run a flea comb through your pet’s fur. Take the hair and debris in the comb and place a paper towel. Add a small amount of water to the paper towel. If the small dark specks stain the towel red, then your pet has fleas. When dealing with a flea infestation, it is always best to treat your home, yard, and pet. Preventing fleas can be done by talking to your vet and using monthly flea preventative medication, or a natural flea spray.
In most cases, good grooming habits are the first defense against fleas & ticks. Call our sister company, Ken Caryl Pet Spa for more information about their grooming services at (720) 981-7387.