Having dogs in the house aren’t only for entertainment purposes. They become part of the family as soon as they step their paws on our welcome mat. Sometimes when they cross that mat they bring someone with them – dangerous insects that can negatively affect your dog and you. They can not only cause discomfort but also threaten lives. To save yourself and your friend from negative experience keep in mind the following advice.
These insects are among the most common. They leap to our dog’s coat and multiply. Typical areas where they are most irritable are the head, neck, around the anus, groin, and the tail. These are the locations where they love to bite and accumulate.
Because flea saliva is highly allergenic, a single bite from one flea will cause your pup to immediately react by licking, scratching, or chewing to ease the irritation.
Flea bites will cause skin lesions such as redness, hair loss, swelling, and crusting.
These tiny brown-like insects love to hide in green and shady areas like leaves, trees, and shrubs. Once they see a potential host that passes by, they will quickly jump to attack and immigrate. According to a study made by the American Animal Hospital Association, one flea in your home can immediately multiply to one thousand fleas in only 21 days.
You and your dog will wonder why both of you are scratching all over. Other than the irritating scabs, fleas are also known to cause tapeworms and other diseases. Buy medications or dog shampoos made to prevent fleas and save yourself the hassle of these pests.
Commons areas for ticks to feed are the head, face, ears, limbs, and flanks. These are their usual nesting places and where they’re found gathered together. The diameter of smaller ticks measures only a few millimeters, making them go unnoticed.
When they start feeding and growing, they get apparent. Around a tick bite usually occurs redness and swelling. Sometimes crusting occurs after the tick falls off or is removed.
Like fleas, they are attracted to green, shaded, woody areas and love to wait until they spot a potential host. Dogs aren’t the only animals that ticks want to feed off from. In fact, they can feed on any mammal, and that includes humans. They can spread several deadly diseases from only one bite, such as:
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever;
- Lyme disease;
Try not to underestimate ticks despite their size.
The conditions they transmit are fatal and can become year-long problems if left untreated.
There are plenty of products to protect your dog and yourself from these deadly pests. They can come as collars, oral medications, and spot-on.
These microscopic but dangerous insects love to burrow themselves deep into your dog’s skin layers to thrive and feed. They use their sharp teeth to chew their way around the skin that leads to swelling and eventually, secondary infections. Most affected areas are:
- Ear margins;
- Locations with barely any hair.
Even though our best friends are furry, they still feel when a mosquito bites, with their needles digging deep into the skin. Like any other irritation, your dog will scratch, chew, and lick the place where the mosquito bit. Mosquitos can bite anywhere they want to, but areas, like the back and flank, are more prone to bites than the others.
After bite there naturally occurs swelling and redness, and your pet’s inflammatory response can make your pet itch for hours. Fortunately, mosquito bites are not known to have effects that last long-term.
Female mosquito bites can be a huge nuisance, especially in tropical areas. It’s where they thrive the most. But they aren’t your only problem.
Heartworms congregate through mosquitos with the infective larvae, making them quite deadly.
The larvae are then passed to your pet through the bite, and travels the body until it reaches the lungs, and eventually the heart.
They will live there and grow up to twelve inches, causing blood flow blockage. The more severe the disease, the more fatal it is. To prevent this, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian.
Bees, Hornets, and Wasps
A sting from these dangerous insects can happen anywhere on your pet’s body. Their bites can cause itching, lameness, and significant pain that can make your dog cry out loud.
Other than that, these are other possible consequences:
- Low blood pressure.
Similar to mosquitos, bites from ants are localized and can cause swelling, but do not cause any long-term effects. Pets will likely be bitten on their feet or anywhere on their body that is touching the ground. Symptoms are usually redness, itching, and lameness.
Fly bites may cause pain and inflammation, but they don’t cause any problem that affects whole-body. Flies can land anywhere they want to and have no common specific bite areas. However, they do pick their hosts. Geriatric pets, newborn puppies, and dogs that have limitations on mobility are more prone to fly bites.
Unfortunately, pets with open sores will have the risk of having fly eggs on their skin.
It will only take days until the eggs eventually become larvae. Because they love to crawl around and bury themselves deep into skin layers, they can cause secondary infections to your pets.
Kissing bugs, also known as triatomines, feed on blood. They are mostly attracted to intense odors and warm-blooded mammals, which means these dangerous insects can also feed on humans.
They cause Chagas disease for both dogs and people.
Currently, there is no known treatment for pets infected with Chagas disease, that is why it is always essential to take precautions and consistent monitoring on your pet, especially if you live in an area where kissing bugs are common.
Larvae of Cuterebra flies or botflies usually hang in the grass and latch onto your pets whenever they pass through. Common symptoms for botfly infestation are:
- Lumps on the skin where the botfly has infested;
The best prevention, based on the VCA Animal Hospital, is
Early removal of warbles lessens the risk of severe damages.
If your dog shows any symptoms from any bug mentioned above, consult your veterinarian right away. Don’t let any of the signs progress to prevent the risk of negative long-term effects on you and your beloved dog. If you need more information about dangerous insects find it here.