Flea and Tick Prevention
As the weather warms up, the bugs start to come out and play -- only they don't always play very nicely. Fleas and ticks are both small types of bugs that can cause big types of health damage to your pet cat or dog. Flea and tick prevention is incredibly important every day of the year, but you especially want to ensure you have the right medicine during the warmer months and if your pet goes outside. Our team at Bluegrass Animal Hospital in Knoxville is here to help your furry friend avoid these pests.
How Flea and Tick Prevention Helps
Both fleas and ticks carry ugly diseases and other ailments that can harm not only your pet, but they can also transmit problems to humans. Let's take a quick look at both of these bugs and what they can cause to help highlight why it's so important to keep your pet on regular flea and tick medication:
Fleas: Most people are aware of how fleas can cause painful and annoying itchiness, but they also carry some pretty nasty things that you don't want in your pet or your household members:
- Tapeworms: If any animal eats a flea infected with tapeworms, they can become infected with tapeworms. Tapeworms grow in the body and consume nutrients from the food the host eats, causing the host to battle with malnutrition.
- Bartonellosis: Also called cat scratch fever, this flea-borne disease causes flu-like symptoms that require antibiotics. A certain type of Canine Bartonellosis is also transmissible by ticks.
Ticks: Ticks hang onto tall grasses, bushes, and other foliage, waiting to grab onto a passing living thing so as to bite and consume its blood. Any mammal can be bitten by a tick if they are not wearing tick protection or haven't taken a monthly tick preventative. Common tick-borne illnesses include:
- Lyme Disease: Lyme disease can cause a host of long-term health issues that include lethargy, fever, lameness, and painful joint swelling.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Fever, joint pain, and poor appetite are among the most common symptoms of this disease, although some breeds of dogs may also experience serious neurological issues.
Choosing the Right Flea and Tick Prevention
Flea and tick prevention is sold primarily by application. You can use a flea and tick collar that works topically, monthly liquid applications, and new sprays that also work topically, and oral medication which is generally available in either monthly or quarterly (every three months) tablets. Most vets will agree that oral flea and tick preventatives are the best general solution thanks to their long-lasting, ongoing effects. While certain topical liquid solutions are just as effective if correctly applied, many pet owners struggle with correct application due to pet fur and difficulty applying.
Learn More About Flea and Tick Prevention
Are you ready to get a prescription for the best flea and tick prevention for your pet? Give our veterinarians in Knoxville a call today at (865) 694-8387 to schedule your appointment at Bluegrass Animal Hospital.