Spring has sprung and summer is peeking around the corner! As the chilly winter fades, the lure of the great outdoors calls to us and our family pets. Unfortunately, it also rings in the full-blown season of fleas, ticks and mosquitos. Let’s talk about the benefits of protecting our pets against these pesky parasites.
Plethora of Products
Our choices in the products to use on our pets have grown exponentially over the years. You can work with your veterinarian to decide on the best regimen that will fit your pet, environment and schedule. The days of flea dipping are long gone! Choices now include oral, topical and even injectable medications that can fit into just about any busy lifestyle.
True Cost of Prevention
Our pets face increased risks of chronic skin problems and other potentially deadly diseases as the months turn warmer and the numbers of environmental parasites dramatically increase. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to the parasites that attack our pets. While some preventive products may seem like a costly investment, the costs pale by comparison with the veterinary bills associated with the dangerous and lengthy treatments for the preventable conditions caused by parasites.
Treatments for Heartworm Disease Can Be Deadly
Heartworm disease is hard to detect in its early stages because the signs and symptoms are minimal and easily overlooked or attributed to other causes. Treatment is lengthy and can be debilitating or even deadly for your dog. In addition, treatment for heartworm disease is quite costly; you can expect to spend up to a thousand dollars depending upon your veterinarian’s treatment protocol. There is no approved treatment for heartworm disease in cats.
Ticks, Ticks, Ticks. Tick bites are nasty – very nasty
They can cause infection, abscesses, paralysis and even death. In addition, ticks are the host of several debilitating diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis to name a few. These diseases can be very difficult to recognize and are easily misdiagnosed due to varied and vague symptoms. Treatments for tick-borne illnesses are lengthy and can be very costly.
Itching and scratching, redness, flaky skin, scabs, hotspots, hair loss. If your pet has an allergy to fleas, you can relate to all of these symptoms and more. The bite of one flea can send your pet into a whirlwind of scratching, biting and digging at their skin. Also, did you know that fleas are the most common cause of tapeworms--the worms that look like pieces of rice on your pet’s bottom or in their bedding? The first thing your pet will do when bitten by a flea is chew at the spot where he or she is bitten. Often, this results in your pet swallowing the flea. Fleas carry the larvae (babies) of the tapeworm and these larvae will mature into adult tapeworms inside your pet’s intestines.
Prevention is the perfect answer to these problems. You may not be able to control all of the parasites in your environment, but you can control protecting your pet year-‘round. There are many products available for both dogs and cats. Talk to your veterinarian and decide which prevention products will work best for your pet, environment, schedule and budget. You can also consider other types of preventative pet peace of mind by learning more about AKC Pet Insurance which offers a variety of plans that enable you to insure the health of your dog or cat just as you would any other family member.
For more information on keeping your dog safe from fleas and ticks, watch the video below.