Insects and other arachnids such as ticks and mites directly and indirectly affect the well-being of our pets – directly by their bites and stings, and indirectly by disease transmission and allergies. Nuisance pests such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, mange mites, and the like can make life miserable at times for our pets. Insects and arachnids like mosquitoes and ticks may bite pets, causing serious diseases. Also, fleas can cause allergic skin reactions in dogs and cats prone to allergies.
Successful control of these pests requires preventive “maintenance,” correct pest identification when a problem occurs, and a sound knowledge of control options and how and when to apply control measures. Some of these control options can only be prescribed by a veterinarian. Insecticides are important tools for controlling insect and arachnids on pets around the home, but insecticides are only one of many methods of insect prevention and management. When insecticides are needed, knowing which insecticide to use and how to apply it safely is critical to obtaining effective control for minimum cost and effort.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dog owners may be surprised to find out that certain ticks can paralyze their beloved pets.
These tick species carry a nerurotoxin that affects the mobility of animals. If the animal is not treated, their limbs may become paralyzed.
Mississippi summers evoke thoughts of family vacations, rainy days and outdoor explorations. But with the heat and humidity come tiny critters that, if not discovered quickly, can ruin a fun day.
Nineteen species of ticks exist in Mississippi, but only a few are known to bite humans.
By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University veterinarians are urging pet owners to practice effective tick control on cats after the emergence of a fatal feline disease in the state.
Examinations of several domestic cats suffering unexplained deaths in the state and a recent cat patient that died at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine's Animal Health Center revealed cytauxzoonosis, a parasitic blood infection that is a “death sentence.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Dogs, cats and sometimes people are targets of fleas and ticks as warm weather brings out these annoying parasites.
Dr. Stanley Robertson, Extension veterinarian at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said fleas and ticks are a problem from spring to early fall in Mississippi.
“These are external parasites that use animals and humans for a blood meal,” Robertson said. “Ticks and fleas can transmit diseases and animals, especially dogs, can become allergic to a protein in the flea's saliva.”
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- If the area is dark, damp and warm with pets nearby, chances are good there will be fleas, too.
Dr. John Tyler, small animal internal medicine veterinarian at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, said fleas like these environments. Flea habitats include under porches, and in woodpiles, dog houses, piles of debris and similar areas.
"Mississippi is an ideal place for fleas. Up north, fleas are mainly a problem in the summer, but here they can be a problem year-round," Tyler said. "It never gets too hot for fleas."