Flea and Tick Treatment for Pets Begins With Prevention

CVVH-Flea and Tick

External parasites are more than an itchy nuisance–fleas and ticks carry diseases that jeopardize your pet’s health and longevity. In addition, many animals are allergic to the bites of these pests, causing severe and long-term inflammation and discomfort. The professionals at Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital recommend protection from external parasites through a high-quality preventive to eliminate the need for expensive and inconvenient treatments of your pets and your home.

Addressing Flea Infestations

Flea infestations are especially difficult to address, as they reproduce rapidly and can take over your entire home. When it spreads to the home, a flea infestation can cause family members to receive itchy bites. Fleas are very adaptable and may lay eggs in your carpet, upholstered furniture, and even bedding.

You may be able to spot these tiny, brown, wingless insects on your pet’s skin by parting the fur around the tail or on the belly. Careful observation will reveal these tiny creatures jumping from your pet to your furniture–or even to you!

If your pet has fleas, you may be tempted to use over-the-counter preparations. Most of these products are minimally effective and some flea dips can be quite toxic.

At your wellness visits, our veterinarians are happy to discuss safe and effective products to prevent fleas from making a home on your pet. If you do have an infestation, contact us at once for guidance in addressing this matter.

When Your Pet Has a Tick

Ticks can be found in almost any climate, but are most prevalent in wooded, damp, and grassy locations. As the tick latches on to the skin and engorges itself on blood, your pet will experience irritation. However, the greater issue is the diseases carried by ticks, such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These diseases can cause severe health problems and may be fatal.

If you find a tick, we recommend you remove it this way:

    1. Swab the area with alcohol to disinfect and help loosen the grip of the tick;
    2. With tweezers, grab the tick close to its head; and
    3. Slowly pull the tick out of the skin.

If a tick has bitten your pet, look for symptoms of illness such as lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, and labored breathing. At any sign of illness after a tick bite, contact our office at once.

We can recommend products that prevent ticks from latching onto your pet, eliminating the need for worry about disease and uncomfortable bites. Discuss any concerns about tick prevention with your veterinarian at the next wellness visit.

For more about flea and tick medications and treating these pests in dogs and cats, visit the Pet Health Center at WebMD.