Why should I protect my pet from fleas and ticks?
Fleas and ticks are very common in the warm, humid climate of Hong Kong. They can cause a variety of conditions from skin disease and allergies to severe anaemias. Control of these pests is therefore important for the welfare of your animal.
In small quantities, fleas may not cause any obvious signs of disease in your pet. In large numbers, though, they may cause your pet significant discomfort and can carry disease.
Your pet is vulnerable to picking up fleas every time they go outside. Flea eggs are everywhere and it is very easy to create a reservoir within the home that can cause repeated or continued infestation.
The signs that your animal is suffering with fleas are: excessive scratching, depression, hair loss and skin infections. And, of course, you may see fleas on your pet. Your animal may develop allergies due to continual exposure to flea bite saliva and large numbers of flea eggs in your home can lead to mass hatchings, with fleas biting you and your family.
Ticks are large, slow moving parasites. They climb onto a dog, use their mouth to pierce the skin and suck your pet’s blood. Once they have fed, they drop off making them difficult to spot.
The presence of the tick itself can trigger skin disease through irritation during feeding. In Hong Kong, ticks can also introduce parasites into your dog’s blood which can cause systemic disease, either attacking the platelets (small cells in the bloodstream associated with blood clotting) or red blood cells, collectively known as Tick Fever.
This can be fatal, even with treatment, and many dogs that survive the initial disease can be life-long carriers, prone to subsequent relapses.
There is no dog-to-dog transmission but animals in tick-infested areas are at risk.
Effective control of fleas and ticks requires treatment of both the animal and the environment:
- FRONTLINE® spray or FRONTLINE-plus® spot-on can be applied safely to your pet and should be given monthly to all pets in the household ALL YEAR ROUND in order to effectively control fleas and ticks. In high risk tick areas, application can be increased to every two weeks. The spray is safe to use on pregnant and lactating animals and puppies and kittens as young as two days. FRONTLINE-plus® spot-on is safe to use on animals aged eight weeks and older.
- Flea and tick collars – for example PREVENTIC® – are available for both cats and dogs. They are not particularly effective against fleas but are a valuable tool in stopping ticks from biting your dog. They should not be used on young animals.
- REVOLUTION® spot-on can be applied every four weeks, providing reasonable flea control but it is not effective for ticks.
Please ask your vet for more information about which product is suitable for your pet and you can download our flea and tick control sheet.
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