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Fleas and ticks once again

Posted by Kyle Long on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 04:00 PM

Dog ScratchingIt’s almost that time of year again when we’ll see lush green grass, beautiful trees and sparkling water… and not to mention warm temperatures and sunshine! Unfortunately, however, this beautiful spring will also bring out some of the dormant creatures we’d probably prefer stay hidden away...

Fleas and ticks make their way onto many pets every year. Although this is so common, it’s still an extreme health hazard. If your pet is burdened with fleas or ticks, your pet is at risk for Lyme disease, anemia, allergic dermatitis and even tapeworms. Because these two little creatures can cause such turmoil to our pets, we feel it’s imperative we educate pet owners on the risks and preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the ailments of fleas and ticks.

Fleas, the lesser of the two evils, are a small parasite that feeds on the blood of animals… and even us humans! Fleas are more annoying than anything else, but have been known to be irritating and painful to their host, and can in some cases, transmit flea-borne diseases that lead to other serious health complications. Two very prominent warning signs of fleas on your pet are your pet constantly scratching or biting at their skin, or you see spots on their skin similar to a mosquito bite. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, and can jump upwards of 18 cm vertically and 33 cm horizontally. With this unique skill, fleas can make their way onto your furniture, other fixtures in your home and even onto you.

Another parasite that feeds on the blood of animals (including your pets!) are ticks. Ticks are mean little creatures, which attach themselves to their host and feed off their blood. Tick bites not only cause discomfort and irritation, but can also transmit canine vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease. There are 16 different types of ticks in Nova Scotia, however there are only two you should be wary of: the dog tick and the blacklegged tick. Ticks may cause fever, paralysis, weakness and in some extreme cases, may cause dogs to swell and become lame.

Although fleas are found both in dogs and cats, ticks are more commonly found in dogs. If your pet spends time outside, a good habit to get into is checking your pet or pets daily for either of these parasites. Although there is no complete way to avoid the risk of fleas and ticks, there is preventative treatment you can give your dog or cat. Remember, flea and tick prevention is much easier than elimination or after care later.

Available at our clinics are two forms of treatments, advantage® and K9 advantix®.

advantage® can be given to both cats and dogs, and is a topical formula that is applied to the skin at the back of the neck. The formula remains locked in the oil of your pet’s skin for up to 28 days, and breaks the lifecycle of adult fleas before they lay eggs and cause further infestation.

K9 advantix® is a similar topical formula, but is only for dogs. The formula works the same as the advantage® formula, but as well as protecting against fleas, also protects against ticks. While breaking the lifecycle of adult fleas, K9 advantix® also prevents tick attachment, reducing the risk of a tick transmitting a disease to your pet.

Both formulas result in rapid paralysis and death of fleas, while K9 advantix® also has the same effect on ticks.

Both the advantage® and K9 advantix® treatments can be found at any one of our three clinics. If you would like more information, read our blog post from last year about what to do if your pet gets bit by a tick.

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian, please click below to contact us.

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Topics: animal hospital, Halifax vet, dog care, veterinary hospital, cat care