Banishing Bugs: Flea and Tick Prevention for Pets

fleas and ticks on dogIf there is one thing that we know about here in Texas, it is bugs. We have plenty of them, but that doesn’t mean that they need to terrorize our pets. Learn what you need to know about good flea and tick prevention for your furry friend.

Pets and Fleas

If there is anything a dog or cat will tell you, it is that fleas are simply no fun. These tiny little blood suckers love our warm, humid climate and don’t discriminate amongst pets.

Besides being annoying and just plain gross, fleas can cause problems for pets as well, particularly if the pet is allergic to the flea’s saliva. Pets who are playing host to fleas may have:

  • Excessive scratching, licking and/or chewing
  • Hair loss
  • Scabs or sores
  • Anemia if enough blood is lost (a concern especially for small kittens or puppies)
  • Tapeworms (these are carried by fleas)

Because fleas are such efficient reproducers, a single stowaway can turn into an infestation in your home or yard in a hurry. This makes keeping your pets on a quality flea preventative essential in avoiding these pesky parasites.

Ticks and Pets

Another nasty external parasite is the tick, which has no problem latching onto a pet in order to take a blood meal. Ticks are most prevalent in the spring and fall and like to hang out in the tall brush or grass.

While they can cause a localized infection or potentially enough blood loss to cause a problem, the biggest concern with ticks is the diseases that they can carry. Threats to our pets include:

  • Erlichiosis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Lyme Disease
  • Tick paralysis

Flea and Tick Prevention

Advances in medicine have brought us many new and very effective flea and tick prevention options in the last few years. Whichever product you choose, it is very important to be consistent and to be sure that every animal in the household is being given an appropriate preventative.

Not all preventatives are created equal, and not all will be effective or safe for every dog or cat. While it may be tempting to buy an over-the-counter collars, spray, or dip many of these products are marginally effective and potentially even dangerous to certain animals.

It is important to let us discuss with you the best way to protect your pets against these parasites. We can recommend a product that will provide you and your pets with the best results and safest delivery so that you can keep your pets bug free, even here in Texas. If you think your dog or cat may have fleas or ticks, don’t hesitate to contact Ten West Animal Hospital!