While fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes may be small and seemingly inconspicuous, they can cause big problems for our canine and feline companions. Fortunately, we can help you protect your pet and reduce their risk of infection.
Ticks are resilient, going dormant in the winter and reviving in temperatures anywhere above 4 degrees. Also, these arachnids can be hard to find. They can easily burrow into your pet’s coat or between their paw pads and avoid detection. If the weather is right and your pet has spent time outdoors, be sure to check them carefully for any signs of ticks. The main concern with ticks is their ability to transmit harmful diseases to your pet (and you). Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis can be passed on to an animal with a single bite. Lyme disease often results in inflamed joints, fever, and lethargy, and can also be passed on to humans. Ehrlichiosis can cause fever, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory issues, and weight loss.
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. When a mosquito feeds on a heartworm-positive animal, they unknowingly pick up heartworm larvae from the animal’s bloodstream. When the mosquito feeds on another animal, they pass the larvae on to them. These larvae mature over the course of several months and after traveling through the bloodstream, find their way to the heart and lungs. Heartworms can clog the arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart, with sometimes fatal results. Early treatment is necessary for preventing further internal damage, but prevention is ideal. Even after treatment, some pets may have a lower quality of life than they did before becoming infected.
FLEA ALLERGY DERMATITIS
Fleas are not as dangerous as ticks and heartworms. However, they can cause an allergic reaction in some pets, resulting in severe itching, hot spots, and secondary infections. Treating allergies can be tricky, especially if your pet is suffering from a variety of problems as a result of their allergy. This is why flea prevention is so important–it prevents both annoying infestations and irritating skin conditions!
KEEPING YOUR PET PROTECTED
Oral and/or topical preventatives can quickly kill any parasites that try to attach to your pet and prevent future encounters. The key to successful prevention is consistently treating your pet as instructed to maintain maximum levels of protection. For more information regarding tick prevention and the preventatives we carry at Caledon Mountain Veterinary Hospital, give us a call at 519-927-5775. Our team will be more than happy to assist you.