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Infections caused by parasites

Almost every pet suffers a parasite infestation in the course of its life – which has nothing to do with poor hygiene. To prevent health damages, it is important to detect such an infestation as quickly as possible and treat it properly. We have listed the symptoms of an infestation as well as the possible dangers for you.

Fleas

Fleas do not have wings, but strong legs, which enable them to jump up to one metre and thus get from animal to animal or from animal to human. A flea infestation can lead to skin inflammation and anaemia in the pet. A sign of a flea infestation can be a constant nervousness of the animal or a shaggy coat.

Fleas are also carriers of the so-called cucumber tapeworm, the most common tapeworm in dogs. The worm eggs are picked up by the flea larvae and develop further there. Through the natural coat care of animals, the worm is ingested and thus reaches the intestines, where it then develops into a full-grown tapeworm within 20 days. The adult tapeworm can grow up to 70 cm long and should be treated by a veterinarian.

Ticks

Ticks are about the size of a pin and belong to the superfamily of mites and thus to the spider animals. Unlike many people think, ticks do not fall from trees, but are at a height of max. 1.5 meters and can be wiped off by passing a suitable host. In addition to the Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis, there are other diseases caused by ticks such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis and ehrlichiosis.

Lyme disease is a bacterial disease in which the symptoms usually appear 4-6 weeks after the tick bite. Typical symptoms are loss of appetite, fatigue and fever. In humans, there is often a ring-shaped reddening of the skin around the bite site. However, this is completely missing in pets or is covered by fur, which is why the disease is often only discovered in a later phase. The disease can cause painful joint inflammation in dogs and in some cases can even affect organs and the nervous system. For this reason, it is recommended to always remove the tick as quickly as possible, use tick repellents and vaccinate pets against them.

Anaplasmosis can be fatal, but the mortality rate among animals is low. Symptoms include fatigue and listlessness, fever, muscle and joint pain, joint swelling and lameness. Many pets are unwilling to eat and lose weight. It can also lead to increased thirst. Anaplasmosis often leads to an enlargement of the liver, spleen or lymph nodes. A sign of this is when the animal suddenly no longer allows itself to be touched in the abdominal area or at the lymph nodes or shows pain under pressure (as with palpation). In the later course of anaplasmosis, bleeding of the meninges and damage to the eyes (retinal detachment, blindness) can occur. Complications include meningitis, shortness of breath and organ failure. Since no vaccine against this pathogen has yet been developed, it is important to protect pets with tick repellents and to remove the tick as quickly as possible in the event of an infestation.

The TBE virus, which triggers tick-borne encephalitis, is a rare disease in pets, but it is often fatal. Typical symptoms are fever, muscle tremor, dizziness, paralysis and overstretching of the trunk and extremities. Unlike humans, no vaccine has yet been developed for pets, so it is all the more important to protect your pet with tick repellents and to regularly check your pet for ticks.

Babesiosis was originally considered a travel sickness. However, as temperatures rise, the pathogens spread more and more to the north. Babesias destroy the red blood cells of the domestic animal, often occur acutely and can lead to death within a few days. Approximately 1-3 weeks after the tick bite, the first symptoms such as high fever and a dark discolouration of the urine appear. Other symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, frequent jaundice, pale mucous membranes, low blood pressure, enlarged spleen or multiorgan failure. If such symptoms occur, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

Ehrlichiosis occurs mainly in warmer regions such as the tropics, subtropics and the Mediterranean. The transmission is caused by bacteria, which infect the white blood cells of domestic animals. In ehrlichiosis, a distinction is made between acute and chronic disease. The latter, however, is more difficult to treat. The acute phase usually occurs around 10 days after infection, with the most common symptoms being fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, swelling of the lymph nodes and possibly muscle twitching. The disease can be treated with a suitable therapy, nevertheless should pet owners always have an effective tick protection with them when travelling.

Mites

Mites prefer to live in places where they find animal- or plant-based food. Due to their body size of less than one millimetre, they are not visible to the naked eye. Although mites do not transmit pathogens, they can trigger an infectious skin disease that is associated with severe itching. Further symptoms are pus pimples, crusts, hair loss, deposits in the ears and dandruff. Some mites can also be transmitted from pets to humans. In addition, mites can under certain conditions survive for a while without a host. It is therefore extremely important that not only the pets are treated with parasite protection, but also the environment, e.g. with martec PET CARE Spray Insecticide.

Lice

Lice are small insects that can occur in almost all types of domestic animals. A distinction is made between blood lice and hair lice.

Blood lice, as the name suggests, feed on the blood of their host animal. Although they are mainly found in birds, practically all mammals can be infected, including humans. They can survive for months without food and with extreme temperature fluctuations and are extremely difficult to control. In dogs and cats blood lice are fortunately rather rare.

Hair lice, also called fur lice, live permanently in the fur of the animal and feed on its skin scales and blood. They are approx. 1-2 mm in size and can therefore be recognized by the naked eye. With a nit comb the parasites can be easily discovered and combed out.

The symptoms of an infestation are itching and severe scratching, a musty smell of the coat, skin lesions or infections caused by scratching. Protect your pets with antiparasitic products. The animal environment should be thoroughly cleaned and treated with the martec PET CARE Spray Insecticide. It is important that all pets are always treated at the same time so that further spreading can be avoided. Use biocides safely. Always read labelling and product information before use.