Fleas and Ticks: What you Need to Know

fleas and ticksIs your little fur baby scratching himself more than usual lately? Is kitty grooming herself more often and with increased intensity? Have you noticed hair loss, scabs, or irritated areas on your furry friend? Your pet may have fleas and ticks.

Preventative and Control Products

Preventative and control products are generally easy to use and are given orally or by applying the medication directly on the animal’s skin. Once your pet has acquired an infestation, it can be very difficult to get rid of the pests. You may need to apply medication repeatedly, or even use more than one product for effective treatment. Prevention is the key to a healthy and happy pet. Please note that preventative products meant for dogs should never be used on cats, and vice versa.

Check your pet often for fleas and ticks, ideally once per day, but most importantly, right after your pet has been in a woody, grassy, or moist area where ticks are likely to abound. Tick removal tools and flea combs may be purchased at your local pet care store. Be sure to have them on hand before the need arises to ensure immediate removal and treatment.

Do you suspect your pet is already afflicted with these little parasites?

Many species of ticks can easily be seen or felt in the fur with close inspection. Smaller species of ticks and most fleas are more difficult to detect and may require the use of a flea comb to pull them out of the fur to confirm their presence. Also, carefully inspect your pet’s ears, head, and feet for any sign of infestation. Once you have confirmed the presence of fleas or ticks, speak to your vet for advice on the best products to use for treatment.

To recap:  Fleas and ticks can be an irritating problem for both you and your pet. Be sure to prepare for the outdoor season by using preventative products, keeping pet bedding clean, keeping the yard groomed and clear of debris, and checking your pet often for signs of infestation.

For further information on fleas and ticks or for treatment help, please contact the offices of veterinarian Dr. Jim Miller in Durham at (919) 620-7387, in North Churton at (919) 644-7387, or visit myhometownvet.com.

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