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Posted on 03-29-2016

Spring is upon us and with it comes increasing numbers of insects including fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Protecting your cat or dog (or both) from fleas and ticks is important not only for the comfort of your pet and family, but to prevent some potentially fatal diseases. Several diseases can be transmitted to your pet from a tick bite such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. Fleas also carry diseases such as Haemobartonellosis, and can transmit tapeworms or cause anemia. Mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease. All of these diseases are easier (and less expensive) to prevent than to treat later.

And don’t be fooled into thinking your indoor pets aren’t at risk. While there is no doubt that outdoor pets face much greater exposure, it is important to recognize that fleas can and do infest indoor-only animals. They hitchhike their way into homes on people’s clothes, other indoor-outdoor pets in the family and sometimes on pests like mice and rats that find their way into crawl spaces and basements. Some people also think that if you do not live in a wooded area, ticks aren’t a concern. While ticks do prefer areas with shrubs and tall brush, any grassy area will do. What often happens (in a behavior called questing) is that a tick will climb up a blade of grass or a shrub, and when your pet walks by and brushes against the grass or leaf, the tick reaches out and grabs them. Mosquitoes are also opportunistic, many times invading our homes so even completely indoor cats may be exposed. Also, they are present in such high numbers outdoors, that any dog walked outside to eliminate is at risk of being bitten. It only takes one bite to transmit heartworms.

 If your pet is not already on a safe and reliable flea, tick, and heartworm preventative then now is the time to get started! Call us and we can help you decide which of the many effective options we offer is right for your pet.

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