Pets love the summer months as much as we do, but for some pets the summer means a season-long battle with fleas and ticks. Some pet owners are reluctant to apply flea and tick preventatives fearing the chemicals that they contain. However, most of the new flea and tick products available at your veterinarian’s office have chemicals that remain in the hair follicles and are not absorbed into the blood stream. This means that there is less chance of a reaction to the product. Topical flea and tick preventatives recommended by veterinarians are typically more effective and, in the end, more cost efficient than frequently using flea shampoos or flea collars. The products that are recommended by veterinarians are also safer for your pet. See below for 5 reasons to use a recommended flea and tick preventative on your pet this summer.
1. Fleas and ticks bite the skin of your pet to get a blood meal. This bite leaves a wound on the skin that becomes itchy and sometimes even infected. When your pet scratches at the affected area it becomes further damaged, more itchy, and more infected. Some animals are allergic to the flea saliva making things even worse. When the skin becomes infected the animal may lose hair and/or develop a systemic infection as the problem progresses.
2. Fleas and ticks carry many diseases. They can carry microscopic parasites that live on blood cells destroying the blood cells. Ticks carry Lyme disease and other related diseases that can cause arthritis and damage to internal organs in dogs. Fleas carry the eggs for tapeworms, so when your pet grooms off a flea and swallows it you may start to see small worms in the stool.
3. Because fleas and ticks feed off of an animal’s blood, they have the potential to cause anemia (low blood volume). Some animals become so infested with fleas and ticks that they develop a life-threatening anemia which may require hospitalization and blood transfusion. Flea anemia can even be fatal to puppies, kittens, and adults of very small breeds. This is easily preventable by using a flea and tick preventative.
4. As discussed earlier, a good reason to use flea and tick preventative is just for the comfort of your pet. We can all relate to having mosquito bites and know the misery of the constant itching that accompanies those bites. Now imagine having those mosquitoes living in your clothes and you can’t remove your clothes! That’s how your pet feels with fleas and ticks. Recommended flea and tick preventatives are not painful to apply. They are safe and your pet will definitely thank you.
5. If the comfort of your pet isn’t reason enough for you to get on the flea and tick preventative bandwagon, how about preventing fleas and ticks on yourself? If your pet has fleas, guess what?…..you have flea eggs and larvae living in your carpet, rugs, and probably the fabric of furniture in your home. Once you have a flea infestation in your home, it is not easy to remedy the situation. Not to mention you’re likely to have flea bites yourself (and all the itchiness and risk of disease that goes with them).
“But flea and tick preventatives are expensive!”, you say. Well, they’re a lot less expensive than treating a skin infection or Lyme disease, or calling an exterminator to de-flea your house. So do your pet a favor (and yourself) and get it a good quality flea and tick preventative this summer.
To order flea and tick preventatives, visit our online store at Homefront Veterinary House Calls Online Pharmacy