the warm weather is here. it’s the ideal season to take your chihuahua to the park to play or go for long walks. unfortunately, it’s also the season for fleas and ticks. fleas emerge from their larvae as adults and migrate to the nearest mammal for blood meals.
has your chihuahua got fleas or ticks? here are the signs and symptoms:
- excessive or constant scratching and itching
- biting or chewing, especially at the rear, tail and inside or outside of thighs
- hair loss
- skin lesions
- red, raised bumps that look like pimples
- flea dirt, black gritty material in coat
an adult flea has 6 legs and is about the size of a pinhead and can jump about 100 times its own height. their ability to jump makes it possible for them to travel quickly from host to host and to hiding places for laying eggs.
ticks on the other hand, has eight legs instead of six and is known for spreading diseases like rocky mountain spotted fever, encephalitis, tularemia, tick paralysis, and lyme disease. several species of ticks feed on dogs, including the wood tick, the brown dog tick, the deer tick which can be found in tall grass, shrubby areas, and in the woods.
there also exists the sheep tick. ticks have a large abdomen that stretches as they feed on blood and they tend to hang onto your chihuahua’s hair and latches on to their skin to suck blood.
getting rid of fleas and ticks: treatment and prevention
groom your chihuahua often – if they have fleas, wash him with a flea shampoo or add neem oil to your regular shampoo. use a flea comb to trap the fleas and then apply aloe vera or tea tree oil mixed with water to soothe inflamed areas. if they don’t have them, bath them daily with a natural flea repellent like neem oil or eucalyptus to ward them off.
use flea repellent – natural products like flea away powder and essential oils (cedar, tea tree, lavender, citronella) are effective.
eliminate fleas from your home – keep your house clean. vacuum daily and pay close attention to dark, moist places and your chihuahua’s bed. put flea powder in your vacuum bag prior to vacuuming and then dispose of the bag immediately after. you can also try a natural compound cleaning powder like borax or diatomaceous earth.
eliminate fleas form your yard – keep your grass short and avoid leaf piles or other “dark, moist places” for critters to infest in. natural flea repellents like cedar chips and flea away sprayed through a hose along the fence line or in spots your dog really likes will also help combat fleas.
feed your chihuahua a healthy diet. poor, defenseless or malnourished pets have weak immune systems which make them more vulnerable to flea and tick infestation.
it’s best to take your chihuahua puppy to the vet if they are infected with fleas as they are especially vulnerable because of their size and may need special care.
learn how to care for your chihuahua with these chihuahua care books!
save your chihuahua with pet life jackets for small and extra small dogs!