Why should I protect my pet from fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks are very common in the humid warm environment of Hong Kong. They can cause a variety of conditions from skin disease, and allergies to severe anaemias. Control of these pests is therefore of the utmost importance.
A flea hugely magnified.
A low level of fleas may not cause any obvious signs of disease in your pet. Large numbers of fleas may cause your pet significant discomfort and disease.
Every time your pet goes outside then they can pick up fleas. Fleas lay eggs everywhere in the animal’s normal environment, thereby producing a growing reservoir of parasites within the home that can cause repeated or continued infestation.
- Increasing numbers of fleas can lead to excessive scratching, depression, hair loss and skin infections. You may see fleas on your pet.
- Pets may develop allergies due to continual exposure to flea bite saliva.
- Large numbers of flea eggs in your house can also lead to mass hatchings and fleas biting yourself and your family.
Ticks before and after a blood meal.
Ticks are large, slow moving parasites that feed and then drop off, thus the actual parasite may or may not be seen.
- Ticks climb onto your dog, use their mouth parts to pierce the skin and suck a blood meal.
- The presence of the tick itself can trigger skin disease through irritation. During the feeding mechanism the tick can introduce microscopic organisms into your dog’s blood which can cause systemic disease.
- There is no dog to dog transmission. However, dogs that are in tick-infested areas are at risk.
- Tick bites - small raised itchy lesions on the skin.
- In Hong Kong, a number of parasites are carried by ticks and spread to your dog’s blood via the tick’s saliva during feeding.
- There are two main types of these parasites, known as Ehrlichia and Babesia, which attack the platelets (small cells in the blood stream involved in clotting) and red blood cells respectively. The blood-borne diseases they cause are collectively termed Tick Fever.
Tick Fever can prove fatal despite treatment.
Many dogs that survive the initial disease may end up as life-long carriers prone to subsequent relapses of the disease.
Download Tick Fever information sheet
Effective control involves treating both the animal and the environment:
- Flea & tick control products - a spray, spot-on and tick collar.FRONTLINE® spray or FRONTLINE-plus® spot-on can be applied safely to your pet and should be given once monthly to all pets in the household ALL YEAR ROUND in order to most effectively control fleas and ticks. (In high risk tick area, application can be up to every 2 weeks.) The spray is safe to use in pregnant and lactating animals and puppies and kittens from 2-3 days. FRONTLINE-plus®spot-on is safe to use on animals aged 8-12 weeks and above.
- Flea and tick collars are available for cats and dogs. They are not particularly effective against fleas but are a valuable tool in preventing ticks from biting your dog e.g. PREVENTIC® collars. These collars cannot be used in young animals.
- REVOLUTION® spot-on can be applied every 4 weeks for reasonable flea control but is not effective for ticks.
Please ask your vet for more information regarding which product is suitable for your pet.
Download Flea & Tick Control information sheet