Out For Blood: Preventing Fleas And Ticks
We can have some great weather here in Austin. Our long, hot summers and short, not-so-cold winters attract people and pets from all over. Unfortunately, Austin’s warm and humid climate also makes it the perfect breeding grounds for fleas and ticks, which can cause a host of problems for our pets, and for us.
Creepy Crawly Complications
Fleas and ticks are more than just a nuisance – although they certainly are that. These problematic parasites incite a number of health concerns for your precious pet as well.
Ticks can transmit a host of diseases to your dog or cat, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonella, and Lyme disease. Likewise, fleas can trigger not only simple scratching, but flea allergy dermatitis (where allergy symptoms are found on the skin). They have also been known to carry tapeworm.
An Ounce Of Prevention…
As with most health issues, prevention as a part of overall wellness care is far easier (and more cost effective) than treatment. By far, the best proactive measure you can take to protect your pet from these (and other) parasites is keeping him or her on a year-round parasite preventative.
When coupled with a clean environment and regular tick checks, flea and tick preventatives should keep your pet parasite-free. Better still, if a tick does happen to latch on to your pet, the odds of any transferred diseases impacting your pet’s health are minor.
It’s also important to remember that:
- These problematic pests love to spend their time in tall grass and shady areas. Mow your lawn regularly and remove tall weeds and leaf litter around the outside of your home to help create an inhospitable environment outside.
- Rodents make good homes for fleas and ticks, which can then spread to your pet. Keep garbage cans covered and inaccessible to raccoons, mice, and their ilk.
- Over-the-counter flea and tick medications and remedies can actually do more harm than good for your pet. Please come in to your Austin ZippiVet pet hospital to speak to your veterinarian in choosing a safe, effective preventative!
Treating The Troublesome Tormentors
Ticks – Check your pet all over for ticks on a regular basis, especially after an outdoor walk or play session in the grass or near bushes. If you spot a tick, remove it immediately. Keep a close watch on the bite area over the next couple of weeks. If at any point the area becomes red or inflamed, call us right away.
Fleas – There are a wide variety of flea treatment products on the market. If your pet winds up with fleas, give ZippiVet a call and we can help you choose the right treatment. Chances are good that some of the fleas have found a home right in your house, so you’ll need to give it a thorough cleaning as part of your flea removal procedure. Pay special attention to bedding, upholstery and rugs and be sure to throw away all vacuum bags.
Questions or concerns? Please don’t hesitate to give ZippiVet a call or drop by!