Guide to Surviving Tick and Flea season
Oneplan Pet Insurance is one of the best-loved providers of Pet Health Insurance in South Africa, so when it comes to dogs and cats, we’re pretty confident when we say we’ve seen it all. From fights in the park, unfortunate run-ins with automobiles and other terrible accidents, conditions and diseases waiting just outside your door or even your back yard; taking good care of your furry friend can seem like a full-time (and expensive) activity!
One thing that most dog and cat owners have to deal with from time to time are ticks and fleas, but thankfully you won’t have to file a Pet Health Insurance claim to make sure your pet gets the help he or she needs! Tick and flea season is officially upon us, so here’s what you need to know about keeping these pesky pests at bay.
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The best offence is a good defence
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure! We strongly advise that you get your dog or cat a tick and flea collar, and change it regularly throughout the warm seasons. These collars are safe for animals and release active ingredients slowly over time. Some contain medications that are spread by absorption into the fat layer of the dog’s skin and through the natural oils of the fur, while others release a gas that repels pests and prevents infestations from occurring in the first place.
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How to Remove a Tick
When you find a tick on your pet, it is important to remove it carefully and properly, rather than just yanking it out. The tick’s mouthparts are usually firmly clamped into your dog or cat’s skin, and leaving this apparatus behind after removing the tick can cause skin infections and other complications. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as you possibly can (this is the head). Pull upward with a steady and even pressure, without twisting or jerking. If the mouthparts become detached, remove them with the tweezers as well. Finally, clean the area with iodine, rubbing alcohol, or soap and water.
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Using Flea and Tick products – Points to Remember
Follow directions exactly
Only use products as often as directed by your vet or the manufacturer, and don’t use products on different species’ than what they were intended for.
Make sure that the products don’t get onto your skin by using protective gloves when applying shampoos and medications.
Look out for side effects
If your pet shows any strange symptoms or behaviour during or after treatment, cease using the product and contact your vet immediately. Poisoning usually manifests itself as poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, vomiting and excessive salivation or drooling.
Invest in a flea-comb and use it on your pet often. This way you will be able to observe if their flea infestation is worsening or improving. The comb will also help to remove any eggs or nits left behind by the adult fleas.
It is also wise to wash your pet’s bedding regularly while they undergo treatment for pests, as well as to mow patches of grass where your pets spend time, as this can harbour fleas and ticks that may attach themselves.
For more information about Oneplan Pet Insurance in South Africa, or to sign up for one of our affordable Pet Health Insurance plans, get in touch via our website at www.oneplan.co.za