By Jay Prakash Yadav and Maninder Singh
Ticks and fleas are obligate blood-feeding ectoparasites with complex life cycle. Depending upon circumstances, infestations can result in irritation/itching, loss of hair i.e. alopecia, restlessness, anaemia, loss of appetite, body weight gain, hypersensitivity, and transmission of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites or rickettsia). Active substances that kill ticks are termed acaricides, while those killing adult fleas are known as insecticides, pulicides, or adulticides. Commonly used criteria for different aspects of pulicidal activity include: ‘knockdown’, ‘immediate efficacy’, ‘therapeutic efficacy’, and ‘speed of kill or action’ [short-term persistent efficacy (or prophylactic efficacy); and long-term persistent efficacy]. Ticks generally have specific environmental requirements that limit their geographical distribution and local impact. Some species, particularly Amblyomma spp., produce deep painful bites that can become secondarily infected. Several tick species transmit serious microbial and protozoan diseases of animals and humans such as Kyasanur forest disease, Lyme disease, Rocky mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, Q fever, OMSK haemorrhagic fever, Russian spring summer encephalitis, Central European tick-borne encephalitis, Piroplasmosis, Hepatozoonosis, and Cytauxzoonosis.
The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is a near ubiquitous problem globally in both cats and dogs, whereas C. canis is largely confined to dogs and more restricted in its distribution. Cat fleas are usually troublesome because of the intense irritation and allergy they can cause, but they also transmit the tapeworm Dipylidium, and the filarial parasite Acanthocheilonema (Dipetalonema), as well as many microbial agents (Bartonella, Rickettsia, Mycoplasma etc.).
- Detection of ectoparasites on animal body
- On the basis of symptoms
- Using serological and molecular diagnostic tests in laboratory
- Spraying or dusting with following insecticides:
- Amitraz (Ridd) @ 2 ml/lit. of water
- Carbaryl (Notix forte) @ 10% w/w in water
- Cypermethrin (Tickcide, Tikkil, Pektocide, Cyprol etc.) @ 1-2 ml/lit. of water
- Deltamethrin (Butox) @ 2-3 ml/lit. of water
- Fipronil (Effipro) @ 0.25% w/v in water
- Benzene hexa chloride (Gammexane/lindane) @ 5% dust
- Tickless (herbal ectoparasiticide shampoo)
- Tickoff (anti-tick shampoo and dusting powder)
- Zerokeet (herbal liquid concentrate) @ dilute in water 2–4 times the volume
- Spraying of insecticides in drainage channels and in animal shed.
Prevention and control
- Isolation and treatment of infected animals.
- Spraying of insecticides in and around pet dwelling area.
- Close cracks and crevices on the walls of animal shed.
- Maintain sanitary conditions.
- All vegetation surrounding the animal shed should be cleaned.
Marchiondo, A.A., Holdsworth, P.A., Fourie, L.J., Rugg, D., Hellmann, K., Snyder, D.E. and Dryden, M.W., 2013. World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP): guidelines for evaluating the efficacy of parasiticides for the treatment, prevention and control of flea and tick infestations on dogs and cats. Veterinary Parasitology, 194(1): 84-97.
Bhikane, A.U. and Kawitkar, S.B. 2010. Handbook for Veterinary Clinicians. Krishna Publisher. p.no. 422. Sunil Trade Centre. Udgir (M.S.), India.
*Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Rampura Phul, Bathinda- 151103, India
**Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Rampura Phul, Bathinda- 151103, India