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Posted on 07-11-2017

Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs and Cats

Summer is here and you will probably be spending a lot of time outdoors with your pets. Although tick and flea prevention is needed year round, during the summer when we see the most issues with infestation. Tick and flea prevention needs to be on your mind to keep your pets healthy. Here are several tips and information about tick and flea prevention and why you should. Before we get started you should understand the dangers of using over the counter flea prevention on cats and the potential for neurotoxicity.  Using a vet prescribed product is safest.

Ticks

Disease

Disease is the number one reason why you should protect your pet from ticks. In our area ticks are very prevalent in the environment and so are the diseases they carry. There are two types of diseases that you will commonly encounter: Lyme disease and Cytauxzoonosis. Both affect cats and dogs as well as humans. Also, remember that any blood from a tick can carry disease so never handle ticks or touch them with bare hands.

Lyme Disease

The deer tick is the host for Lyme disease and is found all over the US and in North Carolina. At full size it is the size of a sesame seed. The babies are around the size of a pin head and are very hard to detect. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can cause a large amount of health issues including swollen lymph nodes, fever, bacteria, kidney failure, and death if not treated. If promptly treated the patient can make a full recovery.

Cytauxzoonosis

Cytauxzoonosis is found primarily in the South and had been reported in North Carolina. Its main host is the Bobcat. Domestic cats can be infected by ticks that have the disease (Cytauxzoon felis). Cytauxzoonosis is a lethal infection that causes difficulty in breathing, coma, and death. In the past there has never been a cure. Researchers have explored a treatment for this disease and it shows promise.

Fleas

Fleas are very common all over the United States. Although they are not usually life threatening, they cause many symptoms that can make your pet uncomfortable. Note: Fleas can be life threatening in puppies and kittens if not treated because of a reduction in red blood cells. Here are some common symptoms to look for.

1.     Skin allergies

2.     Areas that are sensitive

3.     Flea eggs and feces in hair

4.     Tapeworms

5.     Pale lips and gums

Prevention

1.    The safest and most effective products are prescription prevention sold by your veterinary hospital. They come in oral tablets and topical drops. Contact us and we will help you choose the best product for your pet.

2.     To keep tick numbers lower on your lawn mow regularly and keep bushes trimmed.

3.     Spray your lawn monthly with nontoxic products to prevent ticks and fleas.

4.     Wash your pet’s bed on a regular basis and vacuum all the carpet in your home.

5.     Comb your bets hair and make sure you throw the excess hair in the toilet to prevent the spread of fleas.

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