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(Quiz) What’s That Pest On My Pet?

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This summer, you’re prepared to fight the bugs with bottles of repellent—but what about your pets’ protection? Unfortunately, common pests like mosquitoes and ticks can do a number on them, too.

Take this quiz and discover the symptoms to look for on your four-legged friends:

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  • Having pet insurance can help you enjoy your summer adventures without worrying about going into debt. Visit geico.com to learn more.

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  1. Question 1 of 7
    1. Question

    Which of these may indicate your pet has fleas?

    Correct

    Flea bites commonly cause painful, itchy red bumps in cats and dogs. In more sensitive animals, the result could even be hair loss and skin infections, says Dr. Jorge P. Parada, M.D., M.P.H., medical advisor for the National Pest Management Association. Left untreated, one flea can multiply to 1,000 in just 21 days. Fortunately, with all the scratching, licking and irritation they cause, a case of fleas is easy to ID early on. If you see any of these signs on your pet, call your vet right away.

    Incorrect

    Flea bites commonly cause painful, itchy red bumps in cats and dogs. In more sensitive animals, the result could even be hair loss and skin infections, says Dr. Jorge P. Parada, M.D., M.P.H., medical advisor for the National Pest Management Association. Left untreated, one flea can multiply to 1,000 in just 21 days. Fortunately, with all the scratching, licking and irritation they cause, a case of fleas is easy to ID early on. If you see any of these signs on your pet, call your vet right away.

  2. Question 2 of 7
    2. Question

    If you notice a reddish-brown spot that looks and feels like a scab or a red ring on your pet’s skin, it’s a sign that they might have been bitten by a:

    Correct

    Ticks will cause a red ring around where they’re attached, and some pets will scratch at the area, says holistic veterinarian, speaker and author Dr. Judy Morgan. Some of the more serious diseases they can transmit to your pet include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis. If you find a tick, remove it with a slow, steady pull to dislodge the entire tick (including the mouthparts) and snap a pic of it to show your vet, who can then advise you on whether diagnostic tests are warranted.

    Incorrect

    Ticks will cause a red ring around where they’re attached, and some pets will scratch at the area, says holistic veterinarian, speaker and author Dr. Judy Morgan. Some of the more serious diseases they can transmit to your pet include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis. If you find a tick, remove it with a slow, steady pull to dislodge the entire tick (including the mouthparts) and snap a pic of it to show your vet, who can then advise you on whether diagnostic tests are warranted.

  3. Question 3 of 7
    3. Question

    Ticks typically require how many hours of feeding to put your pet at risk?

    Correct

    If a tick is carrying disease-causing bacteria, it usually takes at least 24 hours of feeding to infect your pet, according to Dr. Parada, so you’ll want to find them the day they attach. Upon returning from a hike—or even just a walk in the park—inspect your furry friend’s skin thoroughly. Focus especially on areas with less fur, like belly, armpits, groin and ears.

    Incorrect

    If a tick is carrying disease-causing bacteria, it usually takes at least 24 hours of feeding to infect your pet, according to Dr. Parada, so you’ll want to find them the day they attach. Upon returning from a hike—or even just a walk in the park—inspect your furry friend’s skin thoroughly. Focus especially on areas with less fur, like belly, armpits, groin and ears.

  4. Question 4 of 7
    4. Question

    What’s the biggest health risk to your pet from mosquito bites?

    Correct

    Heartworm is often transmitted by mosquitoes—and it’s a silent killer, says Dr. Parada. Because it usually takes several years before your pet will show warning signs of the infection, prevention is key. Dr. Mark Verdino, senior vice president and chief of veterinary staff at North Shore Animal League America in Long Island, N.Y., suggests asking your vet about newer flea/tick products that can help repel mosquitoes.

    Incorrect

    Heartworm is often transmitted by mosquitoes—and it’s a silent killer, says Dr. Parada. Because it usually takes several years before your pet will show warning signs of the infection, prevention is key. Dr. Mark Verdino, senior vice president and chief of veterinary staff at North Shore Animal League America in Long Island, N.Y., suggests asking your vet about newer flea/tick products that can help repel mosquitoes.

  5. Question 5 of 7
    5. Question

    If you notice what appears to be a growing boil with a small hole on your pet’s skin, which pests could be the culprit?

    Correct

    The botfly, also called the Cuterebra, hangs out in grass and is known for depositing larvae on warm-blooded animals. As the larvae grow, it appears as if a boil is developing on the skin of your pet, explains Dr. Parada. Symptoms will be of a lump or bump on the skin, with the pet often licking or scratching. Unlike ticks, you shouldn’t try to remove botflies yourself. Consult your vet when you notice symptoms.

    Incorrect

    The botfly, also called the Cuterebra, hangs out in grass and is known for depositing larvae on warm-blooded animals. As the larvae grow, it appears as if a boil is developing on the skin of your pet, explains Dr. Parada. Symptoms will be of a lump or bump on the skin, with the pet often licking or scratching. Unlike ticks, you shouldn’t try to remove botflies yourself. Consult your vet when you notice symptoms.

  6. Question 6 of 7
    6. Question

    Which kind of tick is most likely to carry Lyme disease?

    Correct

    Blacklegged ticks (aka deer ticks) are the main carriers of Lyme disease, but other ticks can have diseases, too, so if your pet goes outside often, consider protecting them with a tick collar or treatment. Typically, it takes 2 to 5 months after being bitten for a dog to experience symptoms of Lyme disease. The most common ones to look for are fever, swollen joints, lethargy and sudden loss of appetite. If you see these signs, head to the vet’s office.

    Incorrect

    Blacklegged ticks (aka deer ticks) are the main carriers of Lyme disease, but other ticks can have diseases, too, so if your pet goes outside often, consider protecting them with a tick collar or treatment. Typically, it takes 2 to 5 months after being bitten for a dog to experience symptoms of Lyme disease. The most common ones to look for are fever, swollen joints, lethargy and sudden loss of appetite. If you see these signs, head to the vet’s office.

  7. Question 7 of 7
    7. Question

    This highly contagious pest causes a very itchy, red skin rash and can even be transmitted to people:

    Correct

    Most prevalent in the summer months, the condition caused by this mite is also referred to as scabies or mange. Mites burrow into the skin, causing intense itching, irritation and hair loss, and can be spread to other animals that come in direct contact. If you suspect your pet may have mites, consult your vet, stat, advises Dr. Verdino.

    Incorrect

    Most prevalent in the summer months, the condition caused by this mite is also referred to as scabies or mange. Mites burrow into the skin, causing intense itching, irritation and hair loss, and can be spread to other animals that come in direct contact. If you suspect your pet may have mites, consult your vet, stat, advises Dr. Verdino.

By Nicole Cherie Jones