When Your Pet Has Fleas or Ticks, They Aren’t Alone in Their Misery

An Aussie shepherd looking for attention

There are few things worse than a flea infestation. Beyond causing pets endless itching, scratching, and pain; fleas are infamous for upending entire households by exponentially reproducing themselves. For this reason alone, year-round parasite prevention 

is highly recommended to help pet owners avoid the miseries associated with flea infestation. 

Not to be outdone, ticks are also formidable pests to pets and their owners. Responsible for the spread of Lyme disease, ticks are nothing to shrug off. And due to their highly evolved anatomy, shrugging them off is nearly impossible!

Whether your pet is plagued by fleas and/or ticks, there are specific ways you can put a stop to their mayhem. Provided you catch these pesky parasites in time, you can minimize the misery they cause, while also preventing any future mishaps.

A Look at Fleas

General scratching is definitely a cause for concern, but pets can be itchy for other reasons aside from fleas (such as allergies or ear mites). However, if you have observed fleas on your pet’s skin and coat, or seen tell-tale flea dirt, it’s time to act quickly. Once you see signs of fleas, chances are the fleas have already laid eggs on your pet and/or in your house. 

Depending on your pet’s species and size, we can recommend the safest products to use in order to terminate both the fleas and their life cycle. 

Why It Matters

Flea pupae (the 3rd out of 4 stages before adult fleas emerge) are protected by a sticky cocoon that allows them to hide well. If environmental conditions aren’t great for emergence, pupae can survive for several months without hatching- secretly waiting for a good opportunity to jump back on your pet.

Fleas can carry tapeworms so it is vital to eradicate them from your pet and your home. While controlling fleas in the summer is especially important, parasite prevention is necessary all year-round. Please let us know if you need help getting started. 

A Look at Ticks on Pets

Responsible for blood loss and anemia, ticks are known for infecting their hosts with Lyme disease amongst several other life-threatening diseases. This is frightening enough for a family pet, but because Lyme disease can also be transmitted to humans, ticks are downright scary.

The best way to combat ticks is to stay ahead of them. Ticks can be anywhere, but restrict access to areas with high tick populations (long grass or overgrown brush) and keep your pet on a preventative that would kill any stray ticks that do make their way onto your pet’s coat. Incredibly hardy, ticks can survive through harsh temperature extremes making year-round parasite prevention a necessity. Furthermore, vaccination to decrease the risk of Lyme is a good idea for pets at high risk.

Be sure to check your pet for ticks on a daily basis, especially right after coming in from outside. We recommend reading up on safe tick removal methods.  Schedule an appointment if you suspect the tick was attached to your pet longer than 36-48 hours. Antibiotics may be necessary.  

Fleas and Ticks

These parasites and the miseries they ensue are not fun. That is why our veterinarians and staff members believe in year-round parasite prevention. When properly administered, flea and tick preventatives are the best defense against fleas and ticks.

Please let us know if you need further assistance. Schedule an appointment with Berkeley Veterinary Center today! We always here for you and your pet!

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