Fleas and ticks don’t merely make animals itch.
Large amounts of biting can cause serious blood loss in pets, and both of these tiny organisms are vectors for disease. Because they can cause these problems, it’s vital to prevent infestation with either of these pests. The climate of this region is very well suited for fleas and ticks, and in the absence of any preventative measures, most pets will develop an infestation with one of these organisms.
This is even true of indoor pets, as fleas can come indoors through window screens, clothing, or another pet who does go outside. Sprays, collars, shampoos and the like designed to control fleas are no longer the best means to deal with an infestation. In fact, these seldom play any role in flea control. Nowadays, the main way to deal with a flea problem is with the application of a topical medication which kills adult fleas quickly and completely, and which inhibits the growth of immature fleas, preventing the recurrence of the infestation. There are also chewable products available which fulfill the same function.Only a small portion of the available medications provide effective and enduring elimination of fleas. The majority of over-the-counter topical flea control products are simply a topical version of pesticides.
Many animals will not have any adverse reaction to the pesticides, but there is a portion of animals who have special sensitivity to them. Consequently, toxic reactions can and do happen, even for the animals on which the products are labeled for use.This is to speak nothing of the animals on which the products are not labeled for use. These over-the counter products for dogs are generally labeled for older puppies and adult dogs only, due to the risk of an adverse reaction. Many of these of these products are also highly toxic to cats, and despite the labelling, hundreds of cats are annually treated for toxic reactions to them.
In some cases, cats have become sick merely by living in the same household as a dog treated with one of these over-the-counter-products. Veterinarians have the ability to distribute medications which are both safer and more effective. Ticks in this area come in multiple types, and each different type is apt to carry a disease particular to it.
For instance, the Deer Tick is infamous in Southeastern Pennsylvania as a vector of Lyme Disease. However, there are many other kinds of tick-borne diseases which can make your pet sick, and in some cases are even lethal. Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are all threats in this area, and can all cause your pet’s health to take a turn for the worse. Though we can diagnose and treat these diseases, it is far preferable to prevent them. The best way to do so is to make sure your pet is on monthly tick prevention.