As the weather gets nicer, we are outside more often and notice the bugs that come with Iowa weather. Unfortunately for your pet, they notice too (and it’s not always just during the summer months)! Fleas and ticks can be found anywhere. Common areas are wooded areas, tall grass, under decks, and in leafy piles. They can even survive in the winter months by hiding in your pet’s (or other wild/stray animals) fur, your clothing, and your home. Both dogs and cats are susceptible to getting fleas and ticks if they go outside or if someone brings them in. This is why we recommend using a preventative for all your pets, all year round.
If you enjoy going for walks in wooded or grassy areas, be sure to check your pets regularly since these areas can have a heavy tick population. Pay extra close attention around the neck, eyes, behind the ears, base of the tail, and the belly. If you find a flea or tick on your pet, remove it immediately. Put on gloves and use tweezers to remove ticks. Grasp the tick by its head, close to the skin of your pet, and pull it straight up. Be careful not to twist or squeeze its belly. Wash your hands and your pet after removing the tick.
Fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance, they can cause disease as well. Fleas will latch on to your pets and can take 15 times their own weight in blood. If your pets lose too much blood, they can develop anemia, which is a dangerous drop in red blood cells. Fleas are also the most common cause of skin disease in dogs and cats and a common allergen.
Ticks can carry diseases that affect pets as well as humans. One tick-borne disease is Lyme Disease. It is usually carried by the deer tick and can cause serious kidney disease if not taken care of right away. Another common tick-borne disease is Ehrlichiosis, usually carried by the brown dog tick.
Signs of tick-borne diseases include loss of appetite, fever, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling or pain, anemia, skin irritation or infection, and tick paralysis.
As you can see, preventing fleas and ticks can help keep your pet happy and healthy. There are many different flea and tick preventatives available, and it may seem overwhelming when you look at all the options.
Give us a call to talk about your pet’s lifestyle and which product we would recommend for them.
Orange City Family Animal Care
(712) 707-CARE (2273)