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Fleas and ticks are abundant when it's warm outside. However, even though fleas are not active in the cold and ticks are not prevalent in the winter with snow on the ground, that doesn't mean your pet is totally protected during the colder months. Fleas can survive and multiply inside your warm home and ticks can be active on bare ground in a span of warms days during the winter. That's why Yarmouth Veterinary Center recommends you use flea and tick preventative all year long.
Fleas and ticks are parasites that attach to and consume blood from your pet. Bites from fleas can cause itchiness, skin irritation, hair loss, and secondary infection if they are not controlled.
Your pet may never feel a tick biting him or her because the parasite doesn't always cause a site reaction when it bites, but tick bites can transmit diseases like Lyme, Anaplasma, or Ehrlichia. Although the effects of these infections aren't usually as severe as those in humans, your pet may develop a fever or symptoms such as joint pain, lethargy, or lack of appetite.
If your pet swallows a flea, it can enter into your pet's bloodstream and eventually make its way through the digestive tract. If an ingested flea is infected with tapeworm eggs or larvae, your pet can develop tapeworms in its intestines. This parasitic worm robs your pet of an extensive amount of nutrients, which could even cause malnutrition. It is also important to note that tapeworms can multiply.
In order to prevent fleas from infesting your home, you should get preventative flea and tick treatment from a veterinarian. The medication is given to the pet either orally or topically. In some cases, your vet will prescribe the preventative. The active ingredient in the treatments will kill fleas and ticks when they bite your pet. For example, products containing fipronil are applied to the skin, spread across the skin layer, and work to disrupt the central nervous system of biting parasites. Products containing derivatives of isoxazoline are given orally, work systemically (through blood circulation), and similarly, inhibit the nervous system of biting parasites. These ingredients are targeted to the parasites and are safe for your pet.
To prevent fleas and ticks from harming your pet, contact Yarmouth Veterinary Center, serving Yarmouth, ME and the surrounding area, by calling 207-846-6515 today.
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