Spring is on the doorstep – and with the warmer weather, so too come the biting, buzzing, and annoying nasties that love to nibble on our pets. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos pose an itchy threat to your pet – one that can turn fatal if left unprotected and untreated. If that weren’t enough – allergens like pollen can cause atopic dermatitis – an uncomfortable affliction that can distress and disturb your pet.
Remember, this summer prevention is the best protection for your pet! Contact us today for help protecting your pet from fleas, ticks, and heartworm.
Itchy skin – not always a harmless scratch!
What to watch out for
Itchy dogs will bite, lick or scratch with their legs. Common itchy spots include the ears (recurrent ear infections are common), base of the tail, flanks, the feet, in between the toes, the armpits, the groin and the anal glands. Cats are more likely to over-groom (constantly lick) certain areas, causing hair loss.
The consequences of itching
Itching quickly leads to self-inflicted trauma of the skin and this causes secondary infections. The result is an unhappy, uncomfortable and miserable pet.
What you need to know
Fleas are THE major cause of itchy skin and using regular flea treatment is easier than treating an itchy pet. NOW is the time to make sure your pet is up to date with flea prevention. We will be able to recommend the best product for your pet so ask us for more information.
Preventing tick paralysis
We’ve all heard of ticks, but why do they pose such a problem to our pets? Read on below to uncover why we always recommend tick prevention medication this time of year!
Why does the paralysis tick cause so much trouble? Once the tick attaches to a host (such as your pet) it engorges itself with blood and injects a toxin. As the tick slowly grows in size, it continues to inject the toxin over days to weeks so symptoms can be gradual in onset.
Signs to watch out for:
- A change in voice; the meow or bark becomes softer
- Weakness in the back legs
- Vomiting, especially if it happens several times in a day
- A moist cough and difficulties breathing
If the tick is not removed and an anti-serum administered to your pet, your pet can die due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles.
Thankfully there are lots of tick preventatives on the market. We recommend always providing your pets with the best chance to fight off the biting nasties in the form of a comprehensive parasite plan. It’s also important to recognise the signs of tick paralysis, and to physically check your pet for ticks throughout the warm seasons.
Mosquitos and heartworm
As the weather warms up – mosquitos will multiply! Far from being annoying for humans, one parasite spread by mosquitoes can be deadly for cats and dogs in Australia.
Heartworm, caused by the worm Dirofilaria immitis, is spread via mosquito bites in various locations across Australia. Untreated, heartworm can be deadly; causing blockages in major arteries, or by causing clots in the blood. Although it can be treated, treatment for heartworm disease is very expensive. Fortunately, preventative medications are available, including monthly or yearly treatments.
If you don’t know the heartworm status of your pet, and you don’t use preventatives, make an appointment with us to find out!