Pulling tick off of a dog.

No one likes an unwelcome house guest, and external parasites like fleas and ticks are no exception. Volunteer Veterinary Hospital has the information you need to kick flea and tick issues to the curb, and keep your pet health habits up to par. 

Fleas and Your Pet

Fleas are not a good time, no matter who you are. These tiny, hopping parasites are always unwelcome and can be hard to control. They survive by feeding on your pet’s blood and can remain dormant in the environment for many months. They also love our balmy Tennessee temperatures.

Besides being irritating, the flea carries the potential to cause a lot of problems. Fleas can lead to:

  • Excessive itching or licking
  • Hair loss
  • Scabs or sores
  • Anemia from loss of blood
  • Tapeworms
  • Blood borne diseases

Fleas are also troublesome because of their rapid reproduction rate. By the time you see one, you can guarantee that there are at least 50 more that you haven’t seen. 

The Trouble with Ticks

Ticks are another external parasite we do battle with in the Knoxville area. They are most prevalent in the spring and fall, but you can run into these blood sucking parasites any time of year. They particularly like areas with tall brush or grass. 

A tick bite can be irritating and even lead to a local infection, but the main concern that our veterinarians have with these parasites is blood transmitted diseases such as:

  • Lyme disease
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Just a single bite can lead to infection.  

Effective Flea and Tick Prevention

Thankfully, we have some great options when it comes to protecting your pet against fleas and ticks. In fact, we think prevention is essential when it comes to optimal pet health.

Flea and tick prevention is very safe and very effective when used properly. Remember that over-the-counter options such as sprays, shampoos, or dips are generally not going to be very effective, and may even carry a high risk of side effects. Cheap isn’t always better. 

No matter what product you choose, consistent and proper administration is key. Tennessee is never completely parasite free. Contact us to discuss what the best option might be for your pet. We are happy to help keep your pet healthy and happy.