Flea and Tick Prevention with our Council Bluffs Veterinarian
Cats and dogs are prone to fleas, there's no way around it. Ticks are also a fact of life for pets. While fleas are probably one of the most common issues facing pet owners, it's important to take it seriously. It's common for pet owners to take a relaxed approach to fleas and ticks, especially with an outside pet, but this is a mistake and can lead to serious health issues for your dog or cat.
Why It's So Important To Treat and Prevent Flea Infestations
Fleas aren't just an irritation for pets and their owners, they are a health hazard. Aside from the unpleasant experience of having a flea infestation in your home, fleas carry parasites and disease. For example, tapeworms are carried by fleas. When cats ingest fleas, which is inevitable during an infestation, they may contract the parasite.
Tapeworm can result in weight loss and requires treatment. Fleas irritate the skin and can result in infection due to biting and scratching. Hot spots are a common malady for dogs that causes extreme discomfort and requires intervention. Once your pet has fleas, getting rid of them is a process, especially if they are in your home. A full-blown flea infestation takes time and money to eliminate, which is why prevention should be a priority.
Ticks are another problem and can cause serious health issues for both pets and humans alike. Both Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are borne by ticks and so it is vital that you examine your pet for ticks on a regular basis, as well as taking other preventative measures.
A Look at the Different Types of Flea and Tick Prevention
When it comes to preventing fleas and ticks, you have multiple options. Topical products are popular, as are oral medications that prevent fleas and ticks. Controlling these pests is far easier if your pet spends most of its time indoors. Your indoor cat isn't as at-risk as a dog who spends most of its time in the back yard. However, even indoor pets can get fleas, as it only takes one flea coming indoors to create an infestation.
Once an infestation has occurred, you'll need to thoroughly vacuum all surfaces, wash and dry all bedding and loose fabrics such as throw rugs, pillows and mats. Flea "bombs" and carpet powders are also helpful. You may have to repeat the process more than once.
Topical and oral flea and tick treatments also repel ticks, however you should still check your pet regularly and yourself if you live in an area with ticks and spend time outdoors. Other preventative tips include keeping your yard free of tall grasses and shrubs.
How Your Veterinarian Can Help
Flea collars, oral medications, drops, powders and baths are all commonly used, but which is best? While topical flea and tick treatments are effective, they aren't without risks and side effects. The best way to know what the right route to take is to consult your veterinarian in Council Bluffs IA.
Taking factors such as overall health, age, weight and lifestyle, your veterinarian will help determine the best course of treatment. If you would like to know more, contact The Animal Clinic of Council Bluffs at (712) 323-0598. The clinic offers comprehensive, friendly and experienced care for all stages of your pet's life. Call and schedule a visit today.