Parasite Prevention with our Gardner Veterinarian
Fleas and ticks are externally infesting parasites that will not only create extreme discomfort for your dog and cat, but they can also cause serious diseases. Both fleas and ticks are a problem all year round, even during the cold winters in Gardner. Although adult fleas cannot survive in cold conditions, the larvae and eggs can, which means without the proper flea treatment, fleas will not go away. All it takes is for one flea to find your pet and lay some eggs and your pet and your home are infested. Ticks are also a threat all year round, especially during the warm Kansas summers. Flea and tick prevention are much more effective and less expensive than controlling them.
Why is Flea Treatment Important?
Fleas cause extreme itching and discomfort for pets and many cats and dogs can develop an allergy to fleas, which can result in multiple veterinary visits for secondary skin infections and excess hair loss. Fleas also carry an egg form of the tapeworm. Dogs and cats naturally eat the fleas in order to relieve the itchiness; unfortunately, when the fleas are ingested the egg of the tapeworm develops into an adult in the digestive tract of your pet. A cat with fleas is at risk of being infected with cat scratch fever, which is an infection that can be deadly for humans with diseases of the immune system, organ transplant patients and the elderly.
Why is Tick Prevention Important?
Ticks are not an insect; however, they are closely related to mites, spiders and scorpions. Although there are about 80 different species of ticks, the most common are the brown dog tick, deer ticks and the American dog tick. The brown dog tick is the only tick species that can complete an entire lifecycle on a dog as well as infest homes and kennels. A tick bite can be extremely painful and irritating, but the primary concern with ticks is the excessive amount of serious diseases they can transmit, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis and ehrlichiosis. These diseases can cause serious illness as well as death in both pets and people. Although it is more common for dogs to get ticks, it is important to note that cats can also get tick-borne diseases.
Flea and Tick Prevention & Treatment
The best way to protect your pets, your family and your home from fleas and ticks is with consistent preventative measures. It is essential that you routinely check your pet for fleas and ticks as well as take them for routine veterinary appointments for flea and tick prevention medications. When it comes to flea and tick prevention, there are several options available, including:
- Bath products
- Oral medications
If your pet gets fleas or ticks, the most important thing to do is schedule a veterinary appointment to get control treatment. The veterinarian can examine your pet to determine the severity of the infestation to determine which treatment will be the most effective. When it comes to controlling an infestation, the most popular option is spot on treatments which typically do not produce any side effects. Your vet may recommend you first give your pet a flea treatment bath in order to kill the live fleas and prevent them from hosting. Once the fleas have been removed from your pet, the vet will recommend the best type of preventative treatment for your pet. It is extremely important to not use dog intended flea and tick treatments on a cat and vice versa.
Contact Our Local Veterinarian Today
To schedule an appointment for your pet’s flea and tick prevention and/or treatment, contact Oakbrook Animal Hospital.