You doubted that your dog or your cat carried parasites, now you are sure. You must then find a way to eliminate these little pests that mistreat the animals and can endanger their health.
Why protect your dog and cat against parasites?
It is necessary to help your animals by protecting them from the attacks of fleas, ticks and lice who are the most common parasites , and this for several reasons. On the one hand, they leave the animal with an uncomfortable feeling and force them to scratch often and on the other hand they can be vectors of allergies and diseases.
There Flea allergy dermatitis or DAPP is an example of a disease caused by parasites. It is characterized by a reaction to flea saliva occurring following a bite. The animal's skin becomes hypersensitive which causes severe itching in dogs or cats. It is to be distinguished from the pulicosis . In this case, there is infestation and the itching in the animal is caused by the large number of fleas moving on its skin while in the case of DAPP, the itching can be caused by only a few fleas. Parasitic diseases can prove fatal to dogs and cats .
Some diseases are also transmissible to humans. People with more fragile health such as children and pregnant women are particularly at risk. In order to preserve the health of your animal as well as yours, it is essential not to let the parasites multiply on your companion and in its environment. Find our tips for detecting parasites yourself here .
Where are the parasites found?
In general, the animal catches parasites outside the house during walks in the forest or in the countryside . However, it is possible to find them everywhere inside the habitat : in the fabrics, on the baskets, the baskets, in the car… and we can even bring some home with our shoes. It is for this reason that the infestations return. Even when chased away from the animal and thought to be safe, if the parasites are still present in the environment, the risk of re-infestation is very high. As we wrote above, ticks, fleas and lice are the main parasites. However, the list is long and there are also mosquitoes, sandflies, worms, etc.
Solutions for an effective treatment against parasites
In order to treat your animal against parasites effectively, there are a multitude of solutions. The treatments depend on the species of parasite that we want to eliminate and on the animal because some active substances should not be used in all animals. Indeed, they can be toxic as is the case for example of Permethrin in cats. For the effectiveness of your treatment to be total, it is necessary to treat both the animal and its environment.
Chemical solution or natural solution
Pesticides can be classified into two categories: insecticides or insect repellents . The insecticide is a chemical solution that kills parasites by acting on their nervous system, for example, while insect repellents keep them away. They are one natural alternative to insecticides. So-called “chemical” pest control products are tested and their marketing is highly regulated. However, with the growing awareness of the risks these chemicals can carry, more and more people are looking for less harsh solutions that are considered less harmful to their health and that of their animals. An example is the use of aromatherapy (use of plants in the form of essences or essential oils).
Be careful however, a natural product does not mean that it is safe . Keep in mind that animals are not human beings. The remedies of grandmothers effective on us are not systematically on them and can even prove to be toxic. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for advice if you have any doubts about the benefit of a product, even if it is natural.
Products in all forms to treat:
Pesticides are available in the market in many forms. Here is a list of the main products and some pros and cons of using them:
- The collar: The collar is placed around your pet's neck and can be adjusted. It is soaked in active product which is released on contact with the skin, allowing the animal to be protected for several months against fleas and ticks in dogs and cats and against mosquitoes and sandflies in dogs. The active substance present on the collar is toxic. Thus, you must take some precautions when using them, such as washing your hands well after handling and not touching the animal near the neck.
- The pipette: Compared to the collar, it has the advantage of not diffusing the product continuously since it dries. They are easy to use and effective for a period of one month. Thus, for optimal protection, applications must be renewed each month. The second advantage of the pipette is its double action against both external and internal parasites. The application is done on the skin (not the hair). The product contained in the pipettes may have a more or less strong smell. Once you have applied the contents of the pipette, the animal must avoid being bathed or shampooed within 48 hours so as not to reduce the effectiveness of the product.
- Shampoos: Bathing your infested animal with an antiparasitic shampoo is effective because it kills all the parasites in a single wash. There are also powders but which are a little less effective.
- THE sprays : They are useful to fight against the infestations of the animal, the sprays act quickly and are to be sprayed on all the body. Their effectiveness lasts up to a month and as with antiparasitic pipettes, the application must be renewed once a month. They often contain the Fipronil molecule tolerated by cats and dogs. However, the application is sometimes a little long and difficult because the number of sprays increases with the weight of the animal. The bigger it is, the more product is needed. Cats, on the other hand, may be afraid of the smell of the product or the noise of the spray and want to flee before the end of the application, making the latter delicate. Be careful not to bathe the animal within 48 hours after applying a spray.
- THE food tablets : To avoid the disadvantages of other products, you can give your pet a pest control in the form of tablets to eat. There are 3 types: tablets with immediate action on fleas but which do not protect against a new infestation; the so-called residual action tablets which act as soon as they are applied and provide protection for one month and the tablets which are effective for up to 3 months. You won't have any particular difficulty getting your dog to swallow the tablet, but with cats, you'll have to be cunning. Some side effects may appear as digestive disorders (vomiting) which will disappear quickly.
- THE deworming: Given regularly, deworming is the most effective solution to treat roundworms and tapeworms. It exists in various forms (in syrup, in tablets, in pipettes...).
In order for the pest control treatment to be effective, we advise you to use suitable products. Natural products containing essential oils are recommended in addition to a conventional treatment rather than alone. They must also be used with care so as not to risk poisoning the animal or an allergy caused by the oil.
...and its environment
Treating the animal is the first step in effective treatment against parasites. The 2nd stage, the treatment of the environment, is just as important if not more so. For what ? as we wrote above, the cat and the dog catch the parasites outside but also in the house. Adult fleas, for example, only live on the animal while their eggs and larvae disperse in its environment, this is where they will survive and develop. If you don't treat your habitat, the infestation will come back faster than you think. and the treatment of the animal will only have protected it for a very short time. It is a pity to take care of your animal and to realize that it still has parasites shortly afterwards, believing that the product is ineffective.
The products used to rid one's habitat of parasites are based on natural molecules such as Lavandin or Pyrethrum or chemical molecules like Permethrin. Depending on the type of molecule, they kill or drive away the parasites and the action will be more or less immediate. These products also contain a molecule ((S)-Methoprene) which will take care of block the development cycle of eggs and larvae to prevent a new generation of parasites. The active product is released into the environment and acts on surfaces (carpets, carpets, floors, etc.) to reach adult parasites, eggs and larvae. Finally, you will find certain products that do not kill but immobilize parasites (adults and eggs) based on Dimethicone for example. The most common product forms are:
- THE automatic diffusers that treat large surfaces;
- THE sprays Or sprayers which allow more targeted manual applications (baskets, sofas, blankets, etc.).
When and how often should I treat my animal?
Once you have decided on the method that is right for you and that may be right for your furry friend, you need to know when to treat. The frequency of treatment may depend on the products but in general, to guarantee optimal effectiveness, it is recommended to treat your animal all year round. Against worms (internal parasites) puppies and kittens must be dewormed from the age of 2 weeks up to 8 weeks (every two weeks) then every month until the age of 6 months. In adult animals, deworming is done twice a year. Also it is advisable to give deworming to females who have just had babies.
External parasites are very present in the summer season and the risk of infestation is highest in the spring, but they also like mild winters. And when it gets too cold, they stay warm in the houses where they thrive. If you haven't thought about spraying throughout the year, consider doing it before spring arrives. Note that when you have several animals at home, they must be treated at the same time.
Beaphar specializes in antiparasitics for the animal but also for its environment. We invite you to discover the Beaphar products in order to find a pest control for your animal and thus protect it from parasites.