Anyone who has ever had to deal with ticks and fleas, knows that having to pick them off your pooch or bring them to the vet is never fun without pet wellness coverage. We tend to think of these parasites only in terms of all the measures we need to take to eliminate them and not often prevention. It's always a good idea to know your enemies, however.
This blog will discuss the most common canine fleas and ticks that you're likely to come up against and to help you prepare for a prevention and treatment plan. Knowing is half the battle, after all!
What's the Difference Between a Flea and a Tick?
Fleas and ticks are both bugs, right? And they're both usually covered together under pet insurance and pet wellness coverage. And if your dog wellness plan is getting rid of them, does it really matter?
Well, the risks associated with each are different, so it's better to know what you're dealing with.
Fleas are very tiny insects with longish bodies, normally dark-colored. They have a proboscis for sucking blood and powerful hind legs that let them make impressive leaps. This makes fleas incredibly fast. You can generally recognize fleas by their bites' raised and swollen marks.
Ticks are actually arachnids, not insects, and are closer to spiders than fleas. They have an oval-shaped body that gets notably swollen as they drink blood.
Ticks are often considered the more dangerous of the two because they can cause serious diseases, like Lyme disease. However, fleas shouldn't be treated as just an itchy annoyance. They can be a vector for potentially dangerous parasites, particularly for dogs.
What Are Some Common Fleas That Affect Dogs?
The Dog Flea
It's no surprise that the most common flea that affects dogs is, well, the dog flea. This is a very common, very tiny kind of flea that holds close to the "average" appearance of a flea. Mostly you'll recognize its presence on dogs and humans by an itching ratch with small bumps, often
located on your joints or armpits. Your dogs will be scratching and biting themselves a lot on the head, neck, and tail if they have dog fleas.
Despite being common, dog fleas can be dangerous because they can carry parasites like tapeworms. Some dogs are also allergic to dog fleas - in this case, their allergy can cause them to scratch so intensely that they start to lose hair and get skin infections.
The Cat Flea
Yep, there's a cat flea too. And yes, despite the name, this flea is very happy to snack on dogs as well as cats and humans. Physically there are only minor differences between this flea and a dog flea. Like dog fleas, they can be annoying, cause allergies, or even spread parasites or diseases.
The Oriental Rat Flea
Also known as the "tropical rat flea," this insect has a fearsome historical reputation. It was one of the carriers of the dreaded bubonic plague. While it might not be a plague carrier these days, it can still be filled with bacteria and parasites. Just because it's a "rat flea" doesn't mean it won't happily take up residence on a dog.
What Are Some Common Ticks That Affect Dogs?
Brown Dog Tick
Found pretty much everywhere in America. As the name suggests, it's brown, and it likes to make its home on dogs. Unfortunately, this tick makes a lousy houseguest, as it can spread various diseases, including Rockey Mountain Spotted Fever.
American Dog Tick
The American Dog Tick is found all over the Eastern United States and in California. They are also often referred to as "wood ticks." They're noted for their brown and white coloration. They're also the vector for diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Also known as the Blacklegged Tick, this insect has, well, black legs. However, its true claim to fame is as the vector for Lyme Disease in humans and dogs. However, it can also spread over diseases such as anaplasmosis or Ehrlichia. It's generally found in the Eastern United States.
How Can Dog Wellness Plans Help?
Pet wellness coverage ensures that no matter what your pooch is experiencing - whether fleas, ticks, or dental hygiene issues, they will be taken care of. As part of a dog wellness plan, you will have peace of mind knowing that you can address your pet’s needs with a vet of your choice.
Most pet wellness coverage plans offer pet owners routine checkups that would involve procedures such as general health checkups and dog vaccinations. Not to mention that pet insurance with wellness plans will save your pet care budget a lot.
Get Pet Wellness Coverage That Deals With All The Creepy Crawlies
Ticks and Fleas are no fun, no matter how you look at them. While flea collars and the like help, sometimes you'll just need to deploy the medication. That means that you'll want pet insurance with wellness plans options that include flea and tick medication. Thankfully, Wagmo has just the dog wellness plans that you need.