When it comes to fleas and ticks on your pet Shih Tzu experts agree that natural flea & tick prevention should be the first line of defense. Ticks and fleas are an absolute menace for your treasured pet, and, when left untreated, a dog with fleas generally suffers from various skin irritating conditions, including dermatitis.
So, how do you know whether your pet has fleas? In this context, here are some most common telltale signs to consider:
- Rough patches of dry skin
- Sudden increase in biting & scratching
- Flea Dirt on their skin
- Flea eggs on their skin
- Evidence of tick or flea bites
Prevention: If you suspect that your Shih Tzu is suffering from fleas and ticks you need to take the appropriate measures in order to help them to get rids of these pests as soon as possible to try and stop these irritants turning into potentially dreadful diseases.
Natural prevention can be as simple as thorough daily vacuuming of your floors and carpets. Make sure you use the bar-beater on your vacuum to loosen and pick up any eggs and flea cocoons. You should also vacuum your pet’s bedding regularly, since flea eggs may also reside in there. The key to using this method is to make sure you remove all of the vacuumed dirt and take it out and away from your house, otherwise all you’ve done is create a reservoir of a breeding ground for flea infection which can soon be released back into your home.
Although your veterinarian can provide you with prescription medicine to stop fleas and ticks, the most popular method of ticks and flea control most dog owners use are over-the-counter medications, such as Frontline, HeartGard, Capstar, etc. These medicinal products contain an active ingredient – an adult flea insecticide that efficiently helps your pet to get rid of dog fleas (e.g. Frontline uses fipronil and (S)-methoprene and pyriproxyfen to make it relentless at killing fleas, flea eggs, and larvae, as well as ticks).
Different Stages of Flea Growth and Their Treatment: If you want to eliminate fleas – the dreadful parasite that drives your dog crazy with the incessant itching, then there are some key points to consider. And, the best way to treat the symptoms of fleas is to take adequate measures to eliminate fleas at all stages of their life cycle. Depending on the humidity levels and environmental temperature, a flea life cycle takes between a couple of weeks to several months.
Up to 60% Off selected Flea and Tick products at EntirelyPets.
There are four distinctive stages of flea life cycle – flea eggs, larvae & pupae, and adult flea.
1. Flea Eggs: The lifecycle starts when the adult female flea lays her eggs. These eggs are tiny and may remain unnoticeable to the naked eye. These white tiny objects are laid on the pet’s fur in bunches 20 eggs or more. As your pet moves, these eggs will fall off and widely disburse throughout the entire environment where your pets spend their time, including the carpet of your home, the bedding in it’s kennel and so on. Depending on the environmental conditions, eggs can take between 2 weeks to 2 months to hatch.
2. Larvae: The next stage of the flea life cycle is when then they hatch from their eggs and turn into larvae. Flea larvae look like little white ping pong balls and they hate the light. This means that they try to bury themselves as deep down into your carpets and floorboard as possible in order to stay away from the light. During that time the larvae will feed as much as possible on organic dirt and adult flea droppings to survive If the environment conditions are quite favorable, these larvae will spin cocoons within 5 – 20 days and enter into the pupal stage of their life.
3. Pupae: The flea pupae have a sticky outer coating which allows them to hide inside your carpeting. In addition, this sticky coating means that they can’t be easily removed by sweeping or light vacuuming. Flea pupae can remain inside their protective cocoon for long periods of time and will only emerge when there are signs that a potential host is present. Once this sign is triggered, an adult flea will emerge from the cocoon and take up residence on the host animal.
4. Adult Fleas: Once emerged from their cocoons, a flea needs a host to start feeding. Shortly after their first meal, the adult fleas will breed & start laying flea eggs (within a few days). An adult flea has a regular flat-bodied appearance & it is dark in color.
Once they feed, they’ll soon become larger in size & lighter in color. Next, they take a recognizable flea shape and they spend a majority of their time living on their host where they feed, breed, & lay eggs.
As previously mentioned, the best method of tick and flea control is prevention, but this can be difficult regardless of how meticulously clean you are in your home because your pet can still come in contact with other animals when you take them out for walks. A good start would be to keep your pets indoors as much as possible and have a good routine for visually inspecting deep inside their fur.
Don’t have any gaps when giving your Shih Tzu flea control medication. If you’re in any doubt as to what is the best tick and flea medication to give your pet then you should consult with your veterinarian who will offer you the best advice for your particular animal.
Tick and Flea Prevention - The Best Strategy for Flea Prevention