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Flea & Tick Prevention: Keeping Your Cat Safe from Fleas & Ticks

What You Need to Know About Fleas and Ticks

If you are a pet owner, educating yourself on the risks that threaten your pet is your first line of defense in keeping your furry family members healthy. At TLC for Pets Veterinary Hospital, serving Reisterstown, and Owings Mills MD, we believe in educating our patients. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about fleas and ticks as pet owners.

Understanding Parasites

It is important to know that fleas and ticks are not just annoying pests, but rather they are actual parasites that feed on your pet. These parasites carry harmful diseases that can put your pet at real risk, which is why parasite prevention is so important.

Fleas

Fleas are parasitic insects that can be found in pretty much any environment. Although animals living in rural areas may have more exposure to fleas, fleas also flourish in urban areas. There are many different types of fleas, the one that most commonly affects dogs and cats is called the common cat flea. It is important to note that the common cat flea affects dogs just as much as cats.

Fleas pose many health risks to your pets but the most concerning would be FAD. FAD stands for flea allergy dermatitis. This condition results in a severe allergic reaction to the flea bites. The bites become very itchy and inflamed. Fleas can also transmit other parasites such as tapeworms.

Ticks

Many people do not realize that ticks are not insects at all, but rather are close cousins to the spider. There are many varieties of ticks, but it is the brown dog tick that is the most common, which can complete an entire life cycle on a dog’s body. These parasites can also infest homes.

Tick bites are both painful and transmit diseases, including Rocky Mountain Fever which can be deadly.

Flea and Tick Prevention

You should discuss with your veterinarian the best flea/tick prevention treatment method for your pet. Once you begin a flea/tick prevention program it is important to stick to it consistently.

In addition to parasite prevention treatments, make sure you are avoiding behaviors or areas where your pet might pick up more fleas or ticks.

If you would like to learn more about flea/tick prevention, please call our friendly veterinarian staff at TLC for Pets Veterinary Hospital serving Reisterstown and Owings Mills MD.