One of the most frequent concerns for dog and cat parents is how to keep their pets safe from pesky pests like fleas and ticks.
Fleas are parasites which consume blood. Over time this can cause blood loss or anemia. This can be especially dangerous in puppies and kittens, as well as other small animals. Some pets can also be allergic to the saliva from the fleas which could cause skin rashes and hot spots. Along with the health consequences, fleas are just plain annoying! Cleaning up after a flea infestation can be very costly and cumbersome.
Ticks are another parasite which consume blood. So, in keeping with fleas they can cause blood loss, anemia, and skin irritation. However, ticks can also carry many diseases, including Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be very serious in dogs and cats. It can cause fever, lameness, and kidney failure. If you do find a tick on your pet be sure to remove the tick as quickly as possible. To remove a tick: use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull straight up with a steady motion and store the tick in a jar with some rubbing alcohol. Once the tick is removed wash the area where your pet was bitten, and watch the spot for signs of infection (redness and swelling).
Taking action before a flea infestation or a tick bite is the best course of action. The doctors at the Boght and Oakwood Veterinary Clinics recommend year-round flea and tick prevention, and we offer a variety of options in our clinics. Be sure to ask your veterinarian which option is best for your pet.