Veterinarian Column: Preventing parasites such as fleas, ticks, heartworms, and stomach bugs that you should be careful about while walking!

by Alice's Dog & Catスタッフ

As the coming season warms up, fleas and ticks will become more active, and there is a high possibility that they will infect your dog when you take them for a walk. In addition to causing dermatitis, fleas and ticks can also transmit stomach bugs, bacterial infections, and viral infections, so it is important to prevent them properly.

This time, we will explain in detail about parasites such as fleas, ticks, heartworms, and stomach bugs.


Fleas: Parasites to watch out for while walking

Fleas are present throughout the year, but they are most common from spring to fall. In addition to the adult fleas that parasitize dogs and cats, there are invisible eggs, larvae, and pupae that live in the environment. Fleas can cause stinging dermatitis in humans as well as animals.

Diseases caused by fleas

Flea allergy dermatitis : The saliva released by fleas when they suck blood becomes an allergen, causing dermatitis with severe itching.

Cat-scratch disease (Bartonellosis) : When a person is scratched or bitten by an infected cat, the lymph nodes become swollen.

Tapeworm : Infection occurs when dogs and cats swallow adult fleas that are infested with tapeworm larvae while grooming.

People can also become infected by licking their hands that have crushed fleas.

*The best way to prevent disease is to prevent flea bites.


Parasites to watch out for when walking: Ticks

Ticks live in forests, grasslands, etc. Tick ​​season is said to occur most frequently in spring and fall. Ticks can transmit a viral infection that causes SFTS ( Severe Fever Thrombocytopenia Syndrome ) in humans and animals.

Diseases caused by ticks

Anemia, dermatitis : If large numbers of small animals are infested, there is a risk of anemia.

Babesiosis in dogs : A parasitic protozoan in red blood cells is transmitted by ticks, and infection causes hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and fever.

SFTS (Severe Fever Thrombocytopenia Syndrome): In humans, symptoms include fever and gastrointestinal symptoms, and decreased platelets and white blood cells are observed. It is a terrible infectious disease with some deaths.

Lyme disease : Spread by the bite of a tick that carries spirochetes (bacteria). It infects both humans and animals.

In humans, the disease begins with flu-like symptoms with skin symptoms and progresses chronically.

Japanese Spotted Fever : Infected through the bite of a tick that carries a pathogen called Rickettsia. Fever, rash, and stings are the main symptoms.

*To prevent disease, animals should be treated with preventive medicines to prevent tick bites, and people should wear long sleeves, long pants, and shoes to avoid exposing their skin when entering tick habitat.


Parasites to watch out for when walking: Mosquitoes

Dogs become infected with heartworms when they are bitten by mosquitoes that have sucked heartworm larvae. Infected heartworms grow from larvae to adult worms inside the dog's body, parasitize the heart and pulmonary arteries and cause various problems. It can also infect cats.

*It can be prevented if medicines are administered properly. The important thing is to continue administering the drug one month after no mosquitoes are seen. Taking heartworm medicine does not mean that you will not get bitten by a mosquito, and that heartworms will not enter your body even if you are bitten. Heartworm medicine is a drug used to deworm heartworms that enter the dog's body after being bitten by a mosquito.

◎Stomach parasites

Stomach worms (intestinal parasites) are often contracted during puppyhood. Eggs are invisible to the naked eye and are excreted in feces, so you can become infected while walking or in areas where dogs gather.

Recently, there are products that can prevent fleas, ticks, heartworms, and stomach bugs with a single medication. All parasites can cause infection, so proper prevention is important.

Also, to prevent fleas, ticks, and insect eggs from being brought indoors, check your dog's body after returning from a walk and thoroughly disinfect the soles of its feet.