Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos can really bug our pets when the weather’s warm, but that doesn’t mean our pets don’t need flea and tick prevention when the mercury dips. At Bayside Animal Hospital, we believe in continuous defense when it comes to pests, and in this blog, we’ll explain why year-round flea and tick prevention is important for optimal pet health.
Understanding Pet Parasites
Fleas and ticks don’t make themselves scarce in the winter—they just move indoors where it’s warm! These little bugs can create big problems for pets and their people if year-round flea and tick prevention isn’t used.
Serious health risks to pets include:
Fleas: Besides making pets itchy, these wee parasites transmit tapeworms, which can cause weight loss, poor appetite, intestinal inflammation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Flea bites can also lead to skin infections.
Watch for excessive scratching and biting at the skin, flea dirt (black flecks at the base of your pet’s fur), and small red bumps on your pet’s skin.
Ticks: The most well-known tick-transmitted condition is Lyme disease, which not only causes fatigue, swollen joints, stiffness, and loss of appetite, but can also lead to kidney problems.
Most of the time, pet parents don’t notice ticks until they’ve already latched onto a pet and started to swell and resemble tiny, gray-blue grapes. Don’t yank the tick out of your pet’s skin. Contact us for ways to properly remove it.
Mosquitoes: Without continuous defense against mosquitoes, your pet is at risk of contracting heartworms—a potentially fatal condition, particularly for cats. When a mosquito bites an animal infected with heartworms, it transmits the tiny parasites to other animals it bites. An infestation of heartworms can cause damage to a pet’s heart and lungs.
Symptoms that your pet may have contracted heartworms include chronic coughing, loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, and lethargy.
Flea and Tick Prevention for All Seasons
We will discuss the need for year-round flea and tick prevention at your pet’s regular wellness exam and make recommendations for effective, appropriate products. In the meantime, here are reasons why protection 365 days a year is an important part of pet care:
- Parasites are not a summer phenomenon. Most pests can survive at near-freezing temperatures, and once they find a way indoors where it’s warm, they’ve hit breeding ground paydirt.
- It’s hard to beat fleas at a game of catch-up. The best way to take care of a flea infestation is to never allow one to begin with. If you spot a flea on your pet’s fur, chances are there are hundreds of eggs just waiting to hatch.
- Continuous defense against pet parasites disrupts the entire breeding cycle by targeting mature insects as well as eggs and larvae.
- Screens are no match for tiny pests. Even indoor-only pets need year-round flea and tick prevention to be fully protected against the diseases carried by fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
Protecting Against Pet Parasites 365 Days a Year
Most preventives against pet parasites are administered just once a month, and we are happy to help you choose the one that’s best for your pet. Please contact us to schedule your pet’s wellness visit or if you have questions about effective year-round flea and tick prevention.