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Fleas and Ticks on Cats
Those fleas! They are more than just a nuisance, as they also transmit tapeworms, some bacterial and viral infections, and are the culprits behind one of the most common allergic conditions affecting our pets-flea allergic dermatitis.
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Fleas and Ticks on Cats Transcript
Those fleas! They are more than just a nuisance, as they also transmit tapeworms, some bacterial and viral infections, and are the culprits behind one of the most common allergic conditions affecting our pets-flea allergic dermatitis. Fleas are blood suckers, and to survive, they are amazingly good at it. We have actually seen puppies and kittens, and even some adult dogs and cats, suffering from severe anemia because they were so flea infested.
Fleas seem to be everywhere, and in reality they are. The ones you will usually see on your pet's body are just the tip of the iceberg. These are adult fleas and spend about 90% of their lives on the pet, but they make up only 2 to 5 percent of the entire flea population. Fleas are talented little creatures and can hop a mile in an hour and jump right through your screen doors. They're tiny, but they are powerful menaces to your pet. You can even bring them into the house on your shoes or pants. Fleas are tenacious! It is estimated that a single female flea can lay up to 40 eggs a day! And, once they get in your house, if the conditions are right, the larva can live there for up to two years!
Ticks can be just as bad as fleas. These "bloodsuckers" are extremely prevalent in wooded areas and can easily crawl on and latch onto your four legged companion during a play day at the dog park or during a hike on a trail. They may also be living on bushes and shrubs in your own yards! As with fleas, ticks can pose serious health threats to your pets, but they can also transmit the diseases they carry to you and your family as well if they attach on to you. Ticks can transmit blood-borne parasites like ehrlichia, babesia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other ricketsial diseases as well, which can all be serious if left untreated. The good news is that these diseases are very treatable when diagnosed and caught early.
So, how do you control these pesky pests? Fortunately there are a number of great flea and tick control products available from your veterinarian ranging from premise products for the environment to topical solutions and oral medications for your pets. When identified, ticks can be removed from your pet's skin safely, but if you are not familiar with the techniques, make sure to have your veterinarian or veterinary staff member show you how. Touching the back of the tick with a lighted match, or smothering it with petroleum jelly or alcohol are not advisable. I highly recommend you speak to your veterinarian or a hospital staff member about what products and approach would work best for you and your pet, and that you avoid any over-the-counter chemicals and products.
Many of these otc-products are using older technology and may, in fact, be toxic to your pets. Also, some of the newer products unlawfully sold through over-the-counter sources may have come from illegitimate sources and may be ineffective. Additionally, these products not purchased from a veterinary hospital will not be guaranteed by the manufacturer. Be smart, and work with your veterinarian-the only true pet care professional. Together you can beat fleas and ticks!
If you need any more information on the problems associated with fleas or ticks, or about the best methods to control them, make sure to check with your veterinarian.