Flea Tick Heartworm Prevention

What are Fleas?

Adult fleas are reddish-brown insects with bodies that are compressed, or flattened, from side to side.  While visible to the naked eye, they are so small you could line up about eight adult fleas, end-to-end, in one inch.  Because fleas are so small, they can be difficult to detect, much less eliminate from your home.

Fleas are wingless, but possess incredible jumping ability.  This enables them to jump easily from ground level to “ambush” a pet.

Treating for Fleas with Flea Tick Heartworm Prevention

It is important that all of your pets are treated for fleas, including indoor and outdoor cats, and that the environment is treated as well.

flea tick heartworm prevention jacksonville fl

Speak with your veterinarian about choosing the right flea treatment product.  Common options include a topical, liquid treatment applied to the back of the neck, shampoos, sprays and powders. Some products kill both adult fleas and their eggs, but they can vary in efficacy.  It is very important not to use products on your dog that are intended for cats (and vice versa).  Prescription products are generally more effective and safer than over-the-counter products.

Thoroughly clean your house, including rugs, bedding and upholstery.  (Remember to discard any vacuum bags.)  In severe cases, you might consider using a spray or fogger, which requires temporary evacuation of the home.

What are Ticks?

Ticks are small spiderlike creatures (arachnids) that bite into the skin and attach themselves to feed on blood.  Tick bites occur most often during early spring to late summer.  Two types of ticks commonly found in the United States and some parts of Canada are deer ticks and Western black-legged ticks, and both types may carry bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

Ticks can live in the fur of many animals and people are more likely to get a tick bite when they are in places where there are many wild animals.  It is important to remove a tick as soon as you discover one.  Removing the body of the tick will help people avoid diseases the tick may pass on during feeding.

What are Heartworms?

A heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and arteries of an infected animal and the preferred hosts are dogs.  The worms travel through the bloodstream—harming arteries and vital organs as they go—ultimately completing their journey to the vessels of the lung and the heart chamber about six months after the initial infection.  Several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years. Heartworm disease is very serious, and can be fatal.  Heartworm symptoms begin with a cough during or after running and playing and later becomes lethargic to include weight loss.  If pets reach this stage of heartworm disease, they are in grave danger.

Prevent heartworm disease in your pet today by having your pets checked for heartworms.  A common and effective way to prevent heartworm disease is by giving your dog a heartworm preventative medication every 4-6 weeks.

Dr. G


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