As an animal owner, it is essential to be mindful of the possible harm that fleas and ticks can inflict upon your pet — and perhaps you.
Fleas can carry diseases and parasites such as Murine typhus, tapeworms, Bartonella (Cat Scratch Fever), and more. Ticks are well-known for their transmittal of Lyme disease, but can also carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichia, tularemia, and others. Some of these can also be spread to humans.
Use the following information to protect yourself and your pets from fleas and ticks.
Start With Year-Round Protection
Unfortunately, the state of Oklahoma has been blessed with active ticks year-round, and this includes species
of ticks, which can spread disease such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichia. Likewise, fleas can be active in the winter months as well.
All pets should have year-round flea and tick prevention — even those who spend most of their time indoors. It’s not uncommon for other pets or wildlife to deposit parasites in the yard, where pets and humans alike may end up picking them up and bringing them into the house.
Possible Signs, Symptoms, and Complications of Fleas & Ticks
Fleas may cause:
- “Flea dirt” (droppings) in the animal’s fur
- Moderate to severe itching, biting at the skin, and licking
- Hair loss
- Secondary bacterial infections
- Allergic reactions (such as dermatitis)
- Hot spots and scabs
- Life-threatening anemia (blood loss) in severe infestations
Ticks may cause:
- Localized infections at the bite site
- Unexplained scabs
- Lots of head shaking (ticks like to burrow in ear canals)
- Severe anemia
- Tick bite paralysis
* If you notice a tick burrowed in your animal’s skin, take the necessary precautions when removing it. Follow the directions found here, then make an appointment with a veterinarian to check for the possibility of disease.
Find the Right Flea & Tick Prevention for Your Pet
There are a multitude of flea and tick prevention products on the market. Depending on your pet’s activity level and environment, certain products may work better than others for you.
In general, you have these prevention options to choose from:
- Topical treatment
- Flea and tick collars
- Shampoos and sprays
- Oral treatments
Contact Sunset Veterinary Clinic for More Information
If your pet has fleas or ticks or if you want to better protect your pet from flea- and tick-related diseases, contact Sunset Veterinary Clinic today. A veterinarian would be happy to visit with you and your pet to recommend the best course of action. To make an appointment, call us today at (405) 844-2888 or get in touch with us online.
“In the time since I graduated from veterinary school, we have made so many tremendous strides in the prevention of tick and flea infestations. Nowadays, there are several safe options to use choose from, safe for our pets as well as their humans. Long gone are the days of toxic tick/flea dips and collars covered in white smelly insecticides. Modern options keep coming to market. The push for new, safer, methods of parasite control is stronger than ever. Tick and fleas evolve, just as all other creatures do, and science has to stay ahead of the game.” – Danel Grimmett, DVM