Fleas and ticks are more than just a nuisance, they're parasites! Parasites can cause a wide spectrum of discomfort for your pet, and can even infect them with dangerous pathogens. The problems they bring run deeper than basic itching, and even that itching can lead to problems of it's own.
The Hazards Of Fleas And Ticks
Fleas and ticks carry diseases that can cause serious harm to your pet. Addressing fleas first, the most common problem stemming from them tends to be flea allergy dermatitis which causes excessive itching, licking, inflammation of the skin, sores, and hair loss. Fleas also carry tapeworms, and can transmit them to your pet through it's bite. A severe flea infestation can also cause anemia, which is a loss of red blood cells that can make your pet sick, weak, and lethargic.
Ticks are especially dangerous, and can carry many different things that can lead to infection and disease. They're famously known to transmit Lyme disease, but can also transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Bartonellosis among other things. Some tick preventions start killing ticks fast, and can stop the transmission of these diseases and infections because of it. If you see a tick on your pet, please call us so we can further advise you on the necessary steps going forward.
In addition to fleas and ticks, there's also the matter of intestinal parasites. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, giardia and coccidia are all microscopic parasites that can cause major problems for your pets. In addition to being on a parasite prevention as directed, we recommend testing your pet's stool annually to ensure they are parasite free. Even if your pet only goes outside to do it's business, or is indoor only, there are plenty of ways for parasites to find their way to them. A lot of these parasites and pathogens can be zoonotic, which means you and I can become infected. In the case of hookworms, all it takes sometimes is contact through the skin! Even stepping out into soil can be enough contact. So, testing your pet's stool annually is a good idea for you and them.
Choosing the Right Prevention for Your Pet
There are many parasite preventatives available for purchase online and in veterinary clinics. With so many combinations of flea, heartworm, and intestinal parasite preventatives, it can seem like an overwhelming choice to make. We are a happy resource to you in this process, and have all the tools to help you make this decision. Please refrain from getting over-the-counter flea preventatives (flea collars, powders, topicals and pills) that do not require a prescription from a veterinarian unless otherwise stated by your vet. Many of these preventions contain things like permethrins which are toxic to cats, for example.
We also advise caution when purchasing preventatives through online pharmacies not hosted by a veterinarian you bring your pet to. The manufacturers of these preventions do not actually sell their product to these companies. We nor the manufacturers can guarantee the safety of a product purchased outside of our clinic, our online pharmacy or a reputable pharmacy near you. We can guarantee the products we sell, as they are purchased directly through the manufacturers and their approved distributors.
We are happy to discuss your pet's specific prevention needs further, and guide you to a healthy, safe choice for your pet. For more information on our flea and tick prevention services, please call, text, or email us.