Pet Health Hazards Of Fleas And Ticks
Fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance, they can also cause life threatening illness. It is important to keep you pet parasite free not only for their health, but for yours as well.
Fleas are a tiny parasite that suck blood from the host (your pet or you!). After a blood meal, the female flea starts producing eggs within 24 hours, and can lay 50 eggs per day. Those eggs fall off the host and live in the environment (carpet, baseboards, bedding, furniture, etc...). From there, they develop into a larval stage, pupa stage, spin a cocoon, and emerge as an adult. The newly hatched adult will start feeding within hours, and begin the cycle anew.
Fleas can cause intense itching in animals, and those with allergies can scratch until they bleed. In severe flea infestations, pets can develop anemia due to the loss of blood, and death can occur if not treated. In humans, fleas are transmitters of typhus, plague, cat scratch disease, and tapeworms.
Ticks are an 8 legged arachnid that attaches to the host (animals or humans), sucks blood for several days, and eventually falls off. Before the blood meal, ticks are very small and flat, and can be hard to find, especially in the hair or fur. Once they have ingested enough blood, their bodies swell and they are much easier to find. Unfortunately, by that point, the tick has had plenty of time to transmit disease.
Diseases from ticks include Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, and many more. The best way to avoid these diseases is to prevent the tick bite to begin with.
If you do find a tick that has attached to the skin, we have an easy to use tool that will remove the head and body all at once. If you don't have access to a tick remover, you can use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull upwards with steady pressure until the tick is removed. Don't twist or yank because you may accidently separate the head from the body, and leave the mouth-parts embedded in the skin. Do not use matches to "burn" the tick out. Wash your hands and the tick bite area with soap and water. Watch for signs of illness that may develop in 7 to 21 days.
Types Of Flea Prevention Medication Available
There are many flea and tick preventions available. We recommend and carry several oral and topical products that offer 100 percent efficacy. Flea and tick shampoos are only a temporary solution and are not an effective treatment. They are harsh on the skin, and offer little residual activity once washed off. Flea and tick collars are useless, with the exception of the Seresto collar. Essential oils and other "natural" products can be toxic to animals (even if not toxic to humans) and should not be applied to their skin or surroundings.
Important: Many dog products can NOT be applied to cats. Make sure the product you are using is labeled for the species you are applying it to.