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Posted on 11-06-2017

Flea and Tick Prevention

         Fairfax Station Vet giving flea and tick prevention treatment

If the thought of fleas and ticks invading your pet’s fur as well as your Fairfax Station home-you are not alone! Flea and tick control isn’t only for keeping you and your home comfortable, it is equally as important for the safety of your pet. Dogs and cats are highly prone to fleas and ticks because both of these insects love to find their way into your pet’s fur and unfortunately, your pet isn’t able to tell you that they are having a problem. These pests are especially problematic because their bites can lead to infection and/or disease.

Why is Flea and Tick Prevention Critical for Cats & Dogs?

When your pet has a flea infestation it causes severe itching and discomfort for your pet. Many dogs and cats have allergies to fleas and to make matters even worse, a flea infestation can result in massive hair loss and a secondary skin infection. Infections, as well as hair loss, can lead to multiple visits to your veterinarian as well as expensive oral and topical treatments.

Fleas suck the blood from your pet, which can infect your cat with an infection known as “cat scratch fever”. This infection can be a serious problem for your cat as well as humans; it can be deadly for organ transplant patients, the elderly, those with diseases of the immune system and people who are fighting cancer.

Fleas also carry the cystic form of the tapeworm, which can be ingested when cats and dogs eat their fleas in order to relieve the itchiness. Once your pet ingests an infected flea, the cystic form of the tapeworm develops into an adult in your pet’s GI tract.

Ticks are also blood suckers and they carry a significant amount of diseases that can be transmitted to pets as well as people. Some of the most common diseases transmitted by ticks include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky mountain spotted fever
  • Babesia
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • tularemia

What are the Different Types/Methods of Flea and Tick Prevention?

The best way to ensure your pet is free from fleas and ticks is through prevention. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods your veterinary office can recommend that will protect your pet from these pests. A flea collar is worn around your pet’s neck and can help protect them for about 6-8 months. Other options for flea and tick prevention may include an oral flea and tick controlling agent, which is given to your pet about every three months or your veterinary office may recommend a topical product, which is especially effective for pets who spend a lot of time outdoors.

If you have noticed fleas or ticks on your pet, it is extremely important that you take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment. Although there are over-the-counter products available, it is best to have your pet examined in a veterinary office first before using these products. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your pet and determine if there is already an infection that requires treatment as well as recommends the best product for your pet.

Contact the Crosspointe Animal Hospital in Fairfax Station today to learn more information about how we can help your pet find relief from fleas and ticks.

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