Pet Health Hazards Of Fleas And Ticks

tick Fleas and ticks carry diseases that can cause serious harm to your pet. The most common problem associated with fleas is flea allergy dermatitis, which causes excessive itching, skin inflammation, sores, and hair loss. The second most common problem associated with fleas is tapeworms. Fleas can carry tapeworm eggs, and when the flea bites your pet, the egg can be deposited under your pet’s skin, causing a tapeworm infestation.

Ticks are known to carry many different types of diseases that can cause illness in our pets.  Ticks are able to transmit single or multiple organisms to your dog through a single bite.  Symptoms may not develop for several weeks post infection.  Clinical signs include lethargy, decreased appetite, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, bloodwork abnormalities, joint pain, and neurologic signs.  Examples of tick borne diseases are lyme disease, canine bartonellosis, rickettsial diseases, rocky  mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and anaplamosis to name a few.  Dogs diagnosed with tick-borne illnesses are typically treated with broad spectrum antibiotics.  Year-round tick prevention medications are the number one defense against tick-borne diseases in dogs.

Types Of Flea Prevention Medication Available

When it comes to preventing fleas and ticks, there are several different types of medications available, including oral tablets and spot-on treatments. City Park Animal Clinic can help you decide which method is best for your pet, depending on his or her lifestyle.

  • Oral Tablets – Typically given once a month to control fleas and ticks. When the parasite bites your pet, it ingests the medication and dies.
  • Spot-On Treatments – Placed between your pet’s shoulder blades once a month. Kills fleas and ticks on contact.

What is Heartworm?

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis.  Dirofilaria immitis invades the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of the affected animal.  They can cause a delayed onset of clinic signs such as lethargy, coughing, decreased appetite, and weight loss.  Mosquitos are vectors (carriers) of Heartworm larvae, and when they bite another animal they deposit the larvae into the animal, thus causing an infection. Although mosquitos are most prevalent during the warmer months of the year, it is highly recommended that pets be on Heartworm prevention year-round as the lifecycle is 6-7 months.  If infected and left untreated, Heartworm disease can lead to severe lung disease, heart failure, and organ damage. To learn more about Heartworm disease in dogs and cats, please visit the American Heartworm Society (AHS).  Options for heartworm prevention include monthly pills or an injection that will last 12 months. 

Flea/Tick and Heartworm Prevention Help With City Park Animal Clinic

When it comes to controlling fleas/ticks and Heartworm disease, you can count on us to provide you with the right type of medication for your pet.  There are several available options-oral, topical, and injectable medications.  

For more information on our flea and tick prevention services or to schedule another type of service, like your pet’s yearly wellness examination, call us at (970) 224-2929 today!

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