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Fleas & ticks have been annoying animals from time immemorial -- but annoyance is hardly the worst thing you have to worry about when these blood-sucking pests latch onto your beloved pet. The bite of these insects can cause skin reactions, while the parasites and diseases transmitted through that bite can prove harmful or even fatal. Instead of merely removing these creatures when you see them, you need to have a strong preventative plan in place -- and that's exactly what we provide here at Animal Hospital of Onslow County in Jacksonville.
Both fleas and ticks are such tiny and common creatures that it's easy to underestimate the physical harm they can wreak on their prey. To get the blood they require for food, they must bite through the skin, creating a puncture wound. As unpleasant is this sensation is, the histamine-like chemicals in the pest's saliva make things even worse, provoking an allergic reaction that cause the itching, redness and swelling of dermatitis. The more your pet scratches, licks and chews at the source of inflammation, the more damage the skin sustains -- opening the door for bacteria to enter and cause serious infections. Large-scale flea or tick infestations can even cause fatal blood loss in small, young or infirm animals.
Flea and tick bites continue to wreak havoc through the tiny intruders they introduce into the pet's bloodstream. Fleas are known carriers or tapeworms, bubonic plague and a blood parasite called hemobartonella. Ticks transmit ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other diseases. These diseases can be transmitted long before you can even notice the bugs and have them removed.
Obviously, prevention is the wisest and healthiest solution for keeping your pet free of fleas and ticks -- and prevention starts with a visit to our Jacksonville veterinary clinic. Our veterinarian (Dr. David H Altman, Dr. Craig Corry or Dr. Kate Ianni) can present you with numerous options for preventative medications, most of which need to be given to your pet on a monthly basis to ensure ongoing protection. Some flea and tick preventatives even safeguard against other dangers such as heartworm. Popular options include topical products such as Bio Spot or Revolution, collar products such as Scalibor and a variety of oral or injectable medications.
In addition to preventative medication, we recommend that all owners maintain a scrupulous routine to keep their homes free of fleas, ticks and their eggs. Vacuuming frequently (with a fresh vacuum bag) and bathing your pet regularly can help, for example. Remember that even if your pets are on preventative medication, the humans in your home aren't!
Call us (910) 353-1722 to learn more about our flea & tick prevention options and schedule an appointment with our Jacksonville veterinarian. We can devise the ideal preventative care program to keep your favorite animal pest-free!
Dr. Corry has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets.
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