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'Tis the Season for Flea and Tick Prevention
Published 4/5/16 by Maryland Avenue Pet Hospital
Now that spring has officially arrived in Minnesota, it's even more important that you protect your dog or cat from fleas and ticks. These parasites are present all year long, but become much more active in the spring once the snow cover is gone. Fleas and ticks are uncomfortable for your pet in addition to being carriers of many viruses. Maryland Avenue Pet Hospital recommends Advantix and Frontline for long-term protection from these parasites. We are offering a special right now on both products.
Signs of Flea and Tick Infestation in Your Pet
Many pets are allergic to the saliva in fleas and will develop dermatitis after being bitten only a few times. The skin becomes so itchy that your dog or cat may create bald spots from scratching so hard. The most common places for fleas to attach to pets include the hind end, tail,thighs, and upper arms. In addition to intense itching, you are likely to notice the following if your pet has fleas:
Since fleas are a tapeworm carrier, the only way to prevent them is to use a year-round flea control product.
Ticks can transmit serious diseases to pets, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and tick paralysis. These parasites are initially small in size but swell up as they feast on an animal's blood. They can also cause general symptoms such as fever, lethargy,arthritis, skin infections, and lameness.
Unlike fleas that are too small see with the naked eye, it's much easier to spot a tick on your pet. If your pet spends any time outdoors, you should perform a tick check every day. Since it takes 24 to 48 hours for a tick to transmit an infection to your pet, a daily check allows you to remove ticks before they do any serious damage.
Start the check by running your hands down your pet's body to feel for bumps. You should also check between the toes, under the ears, on the face and chin, and under the armpits. Be sure to check all pets for ticks if one goes outside and others remain indoors. The human members of your family should perform these daily checks in the spring, summer, and fall as well.
If you spot a tick, use a tweezers to pull it straight out. Do not twist as you pull since this could leave parts of the tick lodged in your pet's body. Be sure to wear gloves when you do this to avoid contact with the tick. Once you have removed the tick, place it in a jar of isopropyl alcohol to kill it. Place a cover on the jar, write the date on it, and place it into storage. Should your pet start displaying signs of tick-borne illness, schedule an appointment with Maryland Avenue Pet Hospital and bring the jar with you. We will test the tick to determine if it was carrying any viruses.
Let Us Know How We Can Help
Getting into a routine with flea and tick prevention can be challenging,especially when you have a newly adopted pet. Our veterinarians are happy to discuss your treatment options and make a recommendation based on your pet's species, age, and lifestyle. We also check for signs of parasite infestation at every wellness exam.
Photo Credit: Goldfinch4ever / iStock Photo