7Hills_iStock_000017177648_Double-resizeTalk about bad houseguests: Ctenocephalides felix, the cat flea, is a parasite found on both domestic and wild animals almost everywhere on earth. It’s hard to believe a creature smaller than the “a” on this page causes so much misery in animals and humans, but they do. Besides their “vampirism”, sustaining their life by drinking the host animal’s blood, the cat flea can carry everything from tapeworm to the plague.

Ditto for Dermacentor variabilis, the American dog tick or wood tick, which occurs in the USA and parts of Canada and Mexico. This species carries the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and canine tick paralysis. Normally found on dogs, it will also attack everything from cats to cattle, including humans.

No Fleas (or Ticks), Please

Almost every dog, cat, rabbit, ferret and human has provided an occasional flea meal. It’s when that flea finds somewhere warm to lay her eggs that things can go badly; a single pregnant flea can up to lay 50 eggs every day. Five to 15 days later, the little leaping beasties are everywhere, reproducing and making you and your pet’s life miserable. To combat an infestation, de-fleaing your home will require vacuuming, insecticides, fumigating, and (quite possibly) crying.

Ticks, while not as aggressive in the home, are arguably more disgusting. Anyone who has scratched their scalp or pet’s stomach to find an embedded tick knows the skin-crawling revulsion of that moment. Ticks, besides just being icky, are dangerous, tricky to remove, and carry a load of potentially deadly diseases.

Fleas and Ticks Bring Bad Beasties

Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tapeworms, tularemia, parasitic or allergic dermatitis, and other disastrous – and sometimes deadly – diseases rely on fleas or ticks as intermediary hosts. When they bite you or your pet, those diseases are passed on. An on and on.

This is all the more reason to get a handle on fleas and ticks early before they take over. But how?

Flee, Fleas!

Thankfully, preventing fleas and ticks from taking up residency on your pet has never been easier, provided you use the right preventative for your pet. If your pet isn’t currently on a parasite preventative regimen, now is the time to begin! Call us for an appointment and we can work with you to find the right prescription preventative for your pet.

While there are plenty of over-the-counter anti-flea and -tick products on the market, they are ineffective at best and dangerous at worst. For instance, using a preparation for dogs on cats, puppies, rabbits or other animals can cause your pet’s death. Additionally, many over-the-counter preparations have similar names but do very different things. Besides killing your cat if you use the wrong one, they may not even kill both adult and larval fleas or ticks.

Please don’t wait to find fleas or tick on your pet! Call us for an appointment and let’s get your pet protected before parasites become a problem. And, if you do see the little beasties on your beloved bestie, we can help with that, too!