Pets vs. Pests: The Game is On

By Dr. Steven Wolchinsky, Managing Veterinarian

The basketball season is at its peak, where the nations greatest are competing for the top spot. But did you know there’s an even bigger competition happening right in your home? That’s right, it’s the start of flea and tick season and these pesky parasites are vying for a spot on your pet. So as we watch our teams duke it out on the court, here is what to watch for on our pets.

Look out for the Double Team

With warmer temperatures coming our way, fleas and ticks are just waiting to jump on our pets. These pests hide in tall brush or grass where they can attach themselves to dogs and outdoor cats, and are particularly prominent in wooded areas. Fleas and ticks usually attach close to the head, neck, ears and feet, but can be found anywhere on the body. Fleas also lay eggs in fur, which can drop out around the house and find their way onto a new host (human or animal).

Watch the Personal Fouls

Think a flea or tick has fouled your animal? You can usually spot the pest on your pet with the naked eye, so thoroughly check their fur if you’re suspicious. The usual symptoms are skin irritation from pets excessively scratching, licking or biting the skin. You may also see hair loss in these areas. If you find any evidence of fleas or ticks, bring your pet into the vet for treatment options. If left untreated, your pet could face more serious issues such as Lyme disease, anemia and significant blood loss.

Set a Pick

When it comes to fleas and ticks, the best treatment is prevention. To block these pesky parasites, make sure you do at home fur checks, groom pets regularly and keep up your yard work. It’s also important to use monthly topical prevention treatments on all pets all year long and book regular check ups with your vet.

Have a great season and if you have any questions on flea and tick prevention, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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