There are a lot of different parasites that can affect our pets. Parasites are tiny creatures that live on our pets and drink their blood. Although they are very small in size, they can cause a range of very unpleasant symptoms, from intense itching and infection to transmitting diseases between their hosts. Two of the most common parasites are fleas and ticks.
Fleas are virtually microscopic and jump from host to host. Once they get onto a pet, they bury deep in the fur and drink their blood. Once full, they may drop off and move on to the next host they come across.
Flea saliva causes intense itching and irritation, and pets with fleas will scratch incessantly – sometimes hard enough to damage the skin and put them at risk of infection. Fleas can also reproduce very quickly, meaning that a couple of fleas can quickly turn into a large infestation!
Ticks are a little larger than fleas and can easily be seen by the naked eye. They can start as small as a poppy seed, but their bodies will swell as they drink your pet’s blood. They drink until they are full and then drop off. Ticks are known for carrying many diseases including Lyme Disease and must be removed from your pet with extreme care to prevent blood from leaking onto your skin.
Pets should be treated for fleas and ticks when they have them, BUT, preventatives should be given regularly to ensure that they are fully protected from these parasites. Exactly how often will depend on which preventatives you choose, since each type is only effective for several weeks or months before it loses its ability to protect your pet. At this point, another dose is needed to extend the protection that your chosen preventative offers.
Flea and tick preventatives come in many different varieties. Some of the most common options include:
Your vet will be able to advise you on treatment for your pet. Many different preventatives are combined into a single treatment, meaning that you may be able to buy a single product to protect against both ticks and fleas, rather than two separate ones.
Set a reminder to tell you when your pet’s next dose is due
It is important to make sure that each dose of flea and tick preventative is delivered on time, it can be helpful to set a reminder on your cell phone or write when the next dose is due on your calendar.
If you would like more information about flea and tick prevention for your pet, or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital in Pearland, Texas at (281) 997-1426 today.