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Ticks and Fleas

Did you know that even if your dog or cat stays primarily indoors, that it can still acquire Lyme Disease and fleas?

How can your pet get Lyme Disease?  By being bitten by three of the four life stages of the Deer Tick. The life cycle of the Deer tick takes two years to mature to the tick that we are most familiar with.  The stage that is most dangerous to our pets and humans is the Nymph stage which is no larger than the tip of a ball point pin.  Most stages of the tick life cycle are searching for a host. As we or our pets move past them, they do their best to get on the newest potential host.  We and our pets can be bitten by the Nymph stage and not even realize it has been on our skin.  Transmission of Lyme Disease takes 24 hours.  Once infected,  pets cannot clear the infection due to special proteins on the Borrellia bacteria's body that continuously changes and allows it to hide out in the body-primarily in the joints. The bacteria can also travel to the kidneys, where it causes damage leading to kidney failure if  left untreated.

How can your pet get fleas when it never goes outside?  They can hitch a ride on your clothes from a friend's house, or even your yard!  An adult flea is capable of jumping 4 feet!  These pesky little creatures not only multiply quickly, and cause severe allergies, they also carry diseases such as Tapeworms, and a disease called Haemophilus felis that affects the red blood cells of cats leading to anemia. Pets ingest fleas as they groom, and then ingest the tapeworms, and disease as well.

Why do animals become so itchy when they get fleas?  Flea Allergy Dermatitis is caused by a reaction to flea saliva.  Every time a flea bites a pet to feed, if the animal is allergic to the saliva, it creates little welts or hives on the skin. Over time, these small hives create a severe allergic reaction which worsens with each bite. Even one flea can cause a severe allergic reaction in a flea allergic dog!

How can you protect your pets?

* We recommend a product called Bravecto which kills fleas and ticks for 12 weeks on your cats and dogs!  

*Treating your yard (areas where your pet hangs out) with appropriate materials to keep fleas and ticks controlled. There are four stages to the flea life cycle- The Flea, Egg, Larvae, and Pupae.  Once in the house, the Pupae stage can wait to hatch for 9-12 months! Very few products kill the Pupae stage.

*Treating bedding and the house with appropriate methods to control flea populations to the safest and fullest extent.

Ask us about our protocols today for flea and tick control- and keep your pet's skin and joints healthy!