Perils in the Grass
Tiny Parasites that Cause Giant Health Risks
Fleas and ticks can do more than just irritate your pet. They are carriers of diseases that can make both your pet and human family members seriously ill.
Flea bites can cause allergic reactions leading to excessive scratching, fur loss or vomiting. Serious flea infestation in small kittens and puppies can cause blood loss resulting in anemia and, eventually, death.
Tapeworms, commonly passed to your pet through an infected flea, are another risk posed by these parasites. Cats and dogs commonly ingest the flea carrying the tapeworm larvae while grooming themselves. Tapeworms can be passed to humans as well.
Ticks also pose serious health risks. Lyme Disease is caused by bacteria carried by the deer tick. Symptoms include lameness, swollen joints and lymph nodes, appetite loss, and fever. Severe cases can result in heart conditions, kidney disease, or nervous system disorders.
Transmitted by the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever tick and the American dog tick, symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever include depression, joint pain, lameness, appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Severe cases can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure, liver damage, heart damage, and seizures.
Other tick-borne illnesses include Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis and Tick Paralysis. All of these conditions can be fatal if the condition progresses without treatment. Make a tick check part of your daily routine after your pet has been outdoors. The sooner ticks are removed, the less likely the chance of infection. If you have removed ticks from your dog or cat, let us know and we can give you a list of symptoms to watch for.
The health threats of fleas and ticks can best be avoided by providing flea and tick preventatives year-round. We are happy to discuss the best options for your pet and your lifestyle.
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