You might not see anything unusual about your dog or cat scratching an itch. However, when that itching and irritation stems from a flea or tick infestation, you need to do something about it. These parasitic pests can transmit serious diseases while also damaging your pet's sensitive skin. Thankfully, you'll find the help your Knoxville, TN, pet needs here at Bluegrass Animal Hospital.
Potential Dangers of Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks count as very different creatures, but they both feed on the blood of host animals through bites in the skin. Fleas can jump several feet from one animal to the next, while ticks tend to latch onto their host and stay anchored as they fill up on blood. The saliva in their bites can cause skin irritation, redness, and itching. As your pet scratches the bites, additional damage can lead to bacterial infections.
Fleas and ticks both carry dangerous diseases that they can transmit through their bites. Fleas can transmit infectious bacteria called Bartonella and also giving your pet tapeworms. Ticks can transmit Bartonella, anaplasma, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and other ailments. Very young, small, or sick animals may even die from anemia and blood loss when subjected to a major flea infestation.
Fleas and ticks tend to grow most active during the warmer months of the year, often breeding and nesting in tall grass and other outdoor fauna where pets may roam. As these pests hitch a ride into your home via your pet, they can breed in large numbers and attack your human family members as well.
Treatment and Preventative Care from Our Veterinarian
If your pet suffers from a flea or tick infestation, turn to Bluegrass animal Hospital. Our veterinarian can prescribe medicated shampoos that can rid your pet of an active flea or tick problem. To keep the problem from coming back, however, your pet needs ongoing preventative care. We can prescribe oral, topical, or collar-based products that kill fleas and ticks at various stages of their life cycles. Some of these products also protect against worms and other parasites.
In addition to protecting your pet with medication, you'll also want to keep your home and yard as pest-free as possible. Vacuum frequently, trim your lawn short, and remove piles of outdoor debris that might harbor flea and tick populations.
Contact Bluegrass Animal Hospital Today
Your pet's freedom from fleas and ticks starts here at Bluegrass Animal Hospital. Contact our Knoxville, TN, clinic today to schedule an appointment and learn more preventative care for your four-legged friend.