As a pet parent, we always want that our furry companions are free from both external and internal parasites. They not only should be healthy but also should be free from any type of diseases and infestation. We usually want to secure their health and provide them total protection against severe illnesses. You can only do this if you have proper knowledge about different parasites that are always threat to your pets.

Normally, there are different parasites that largely attack pets and spread various diseases. They are of two kinds – external and internal, which can infect dogs and cats. Know about some of the most common external parasites, and find out how you can protect our companions from their nuisance.

Sand Flies

Sand flies are blood sucking flying parasites that mostly exists in sandy terrain, especially in tropical regions. These bloodsuckers transmit pathogens, which can cause serious diseases in both cats and dogs.

  • Treatment:

A colloidal shampoo or lotion can help to soothe irritation caused by bites. The best option to prevent sand flies is to use flea and tick preventives to inhibit the spread of disease.

Itch Mites

Itch mites scientifically known as sarcoptes scabiei, are a genus of mites with several species that affect pets. Species of itch mites are known to infest cats, dogs, humans and horses.

  • Treatment

Pet medications that contain moxidectin or imidacloprid are effective for treating dogs. Similarly, fipronil based treatments are best suitable for treating cats. Ivermectin is another medication that is useful for treating both cats and dogs.

Fleas

Fleas are the most common external parasites that attack pets. Highly active in spring and summers, these parasites pose a threat of causing several diseases in dogs and cats. These blood-sucking pests complete their life cycle on pets through sucking blood and finally grow to adult fleas.

  • Treatment

Frontline plus and advantage II are highly effective flea treatments that help to kill fleas and prevent flea infestation.

Ticks

Ticks are the hardcore blood sucking parasites that highly feed on dogs and cats blood. Not limited to this, they also bring the added risk of spreading serious diseases. Tick life cycle consists of larva, nymph and adult.

  • Treatment

To repel ticks, topical preventives work best, whereas other treatment such as K9 Advantix II kills ticks when they come in contact with treated pets. When less number of ticks found on pet skin, they can be removed manually using different tools like tweezers. However, it is important to remove ticks to protect pets from infestation.

Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic Mange is an acute form of mange species and involves the entire body surface of the animal within a short time. A type of mite, Sarcoptic Mange causes small red papules of the skin and the infected area is damaged due to itching and scratching.

  • Treatment

Amitraz offers shampoos and dips that are useful in treating sarcoptic mange. Dogs and cats can be given bath with a shampoo that cleanses out the pores of the skin. Fipronil can also be used to control these dreadful mites.

Lice

Lice or chewing lice are another type of external parasites, which are less adapted to bloodsucking. One type of lice infects cats while another type infests dogs. Normally, lice spread from cat to cat and dog to dog. It causes intense itching and scratching in pets and make them restless resulting into matted coats.

  • Treatment

To kill and prevent lice, flea medications are sufficient. Flea treatment can remove lice completely. However, as lice can survive without the host, it is necessary to treat your pets bedding and surroundings with disinfectant sprays.

Ear Mites

A species of mites, these irritating parasites target ear canal of cat or dog to make their home. With three weeks of life cycle, they are too small to be noticed by naked eyes. They are more likely to cause ear infection and irritation in ears.

  • Treatment

Certain flea and tick medications are helpful in removing ear mites by killing both adults and eggs over a period of administration. Further treatment of Otic cleanser is implied to cure infection caused due to these parasites.

Mosquitoes

These blood-sucking parasites are highly found in the environment. Though they do not live on the host, they are capable of inducing dangerous diseases while feeding on them. By sucking blood from one animal to another, they can spread serious diseases.

  • Treatment

Due to their high mobility and omnipresent existence, it is difficult to eradicate mosquitoes completely from your house. There are flea preventives that are competent in controlling and preventing mosquitoes from biting dogs or cats. They repel these external parasites and protect pets from any harmful diseases.

Flies

Found all around the world, these second most common external parasite highly irritates the animals. Flies do not suck blood, but they do irritate the surface of pet skin and can carry pathogens to spread diseases.

  • Treatment

Flea and tick preventives repel flies when they come in contact with pet’s body. They work well in keeping away the flies off the pets.

Maggots

These are the most common pests found in America and highly infect rodents. These parasites live in host’s body and cause serious damage to their hosts.

  • Treatment

In the early stages of maggot infection, it would be beneficiary if your veterinarian can remove the parasite manually from your pet. For severe infection, anti-parasite medications work well in treating pets.