Fleas and ticks are both ectoparasites, meaning that they live on the skin of animals. They can make your pet extremely uncomfortable, and cause several different types of serious illnesses.That makes both of these parasites more than just a nuisance. Fleas can cause several types of health issues including anemia, flea allergy dermatitis, and tapeworm infestations. Ticks can cause some very serious and potentially fatal illnesses including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis . Seneca Animal Hospital can evaluate your pet to determine what the best type of flea and tick prevention is to protect your pet.
Pet Health Hazards Of Fleas
The most common problem associated with fleas is a flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). Fleas need to ingest the blood of a dog or cat in order to survive.The saliva injected into your pet as a flea feeds can cause an allergic reaction to occur. Your pet will start to have excessive itching, skin inflammation, sores and hair loss.
The second most common problem associated with fleas is tapeworms. Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae. When the flea bites your pet, your pet's response will be to chew and swallow the flea that is carrying the tapeworm larvae. This larvae will mature and develop into a full tapeworm within your pet's intestinal tract. Tapeworms have a hook like mouth that latches onto the wall of the intestines. A tapeworm infection is most commonly detected when the dried segments from the tapeworm are seen as "grains of rice" in the fur near the anus of your pet or as moving flattened segments in your pet's feces.
A flea infestation can also cause a pet to become very anemic, rather quickly. When there is an excessive amount of fleas on one animal all at once, the flea feeding activity causes a significant drop in the number of red blood cells producing anemia. Very young puppies and kittens, plus elderly pets are more susceptible to severe blood loss due to flea infestations. If you suspect your pet has anemia due to fleas, it is an emergency situation.
Pet Health Hazards of Ticks
Ticks are known to carry many different types of bacteria that can be transmitted to both dogs and people. A few examples would be Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in dogs can cause poor appetite, fever, coughing, vomiting, focal hemorrhages, abdominal pain, depression and joint pain. Lyme Disease can cause lethargy, fever, pain in your pets joints, on and off lameness, and a decrease in appetite.
Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis are also tick borne diseases. Erlichiosis can also cause a fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, pain and stiffness, and abnormal bleeding. Anaplasmosis, just like the other tick borne diseases it can also cause lethargy, anorexia, fever, and joint pain.
Many of the symptoms are similar in all four of these tick borne diseases. Seneca Animal Hospital offers a a test called a 4DX. With this test, we are not only checking for heartworm infection, but we are also checking for tick diseases. This is to ensure that if you pet should become ill with any of these symptoms that we have an accurate diagnosis on which tick disease that we are specifically treating.
Types Of Flea/Tick Prevention Medication Available
When it comes to preventing fleas and ticks, there are several different types of medications available. Owners have the option of using oral tablets, topical treatments, and veterinarian recommended flea collars. Seneca Animal Hospital 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.
- Topical Treatments – Placed between your pet’s shoulder blades once a month. Kills fleas and ticks on contact.
- Veterinarian recommended Flea Collars---Worn around your pet’s neck to help prevent flea infestations. Kills on contact. Not all flea collars are recommended by your veterinarian
Flea and Tick Prevention Help With Seneca Animal Hospital
When it comes to controlling fleas and ticks, you can count on us to provide you with the right type of medication for your pet(s). We will also give advice on how to rid your home flea infestation. If you are looking for a medication where the parasite does not need to bite your pet in order to be killed, we may recommend topical flea treatments, or a Seresto flea and tick collar. If you prefer to give an oral medication to control fleas and ticks in your dog , we have several options available. If you have a current flea infestation, you may want to use one of the above flea products plus a home spray treatment as well.
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 (716) 652-6120 today.