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Its time of the year again where fleas and ticks are on full swing infecting your pets. Or the question is – did they ever leave? Well, according to a study, many fleas and ticks survive cold season, and get ready to attack as soon as the temperature rises. Therefore, with the onset of spring and summer, flea and tick season starts.

Before they make plan to attack your pets and your home and family, get ready to prevent them. Let us check on those pests that are looking to get a ride on your pet, and ways to protect pets against them.
You may be loaded with a few questions related to flea infestation like how to protect your pets and family from their harmful attack, what type of disease they spread and so on.

Talking to some of the experienced veterinarians, our editors have penned down answers for some of the important questions that most of the pet parents ask.

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What are the common external parasites that are found on pets or attack pets?

The most common external parasites that attack pets and cause irritation are fleas and ticks. These external parasites not only cause your pets discomfort, but also pose risk of transmitting diseases to humans.

Another common parasite that most pet parents are familiar with is heartworm. However, they do not transmit to humans, but when left untreated; the disease is deadly in dogs and fatal in cats.

Apart from these parasites, there are few other harmful parasites not known to most of the pet parents. These are tapeworms, hookworms, redworms, roundworms and whipworms.

Why are these pests of such concern?

These pests are of much concern not only for pets but also for humans. Most of them transmit to humans and spread diseases in humans.

Parasite infestation and disease transmission from pets to humans is called ZOONOTIC transmission, which are completely preventable if much care is taken on.

Fleas and ticks cause various diseases including skin infection, flea dermatitis, Lyme disease.

Heartworms attack lungs and heart, and when ignored are fatal causing death in dogs and cats.

The different intestinal worms, which are dangerous to both pets and humans cause severe conditions like diarrhea, vomiting, skin problems, anemia, bloody stool along with loss in appetite resulting in weakness and serious illness.

Can fleas and ticks really transmit disease to my family?

Yes. These external parasites can carry and transmit severe diseases to humans. Fleas transmit potential illness to humans and serve as carrier and host of tapeworms, which can infect both pets and humans. Ticks can spread serious disease such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and others.

What are the different ways to protect my pets and family from parasitic infestation?

  1. Firstly, talk to your vet about the best control of internal and external parasites.
  2. There are numerous products available both online and in retail stores to prevent these deadly parasites.
  3. Administering necessary flea and tick preventive treatment, you can protect your pets and family.
  4. Proper disposing of pet feces regularly can help remove infective worms and worm eggs before they get distributed into the environment and get ingested by pets or humans and infect them.
  5. Pay extra attention to regularly clean and disinfect areas such as sandboxes and other places like yard, where your kids and pets regularly go.
  6. Take necessary steps to restrict your pets and children from visiting certain outdoor places to avoid contact with contaminated soil.
  7. In yard, always keep the grass cut short and if you have to go overgrown areas better wear long clothing to prevent ticks from accessing your skin.
  8. After returning from woods, yard, playing area or beach, always check for fleas and ticks on yourself, your children and your pets.
  9. Encourage all the members in the family especially children to practice healthy personal hygiene and prevent exposure to contaminated areas.

Jesse McDaniel is an animal activist that raises concerns and spreads awareness regarding pet health issues. She is also a self-proclaimed pet lover who tends to support many pet shelters, assisting them with supplies and medical aide on a regular basis.