All of us have seen the family pet scratching and chewing on themselves from one time to another. This is a sure sign that your pet has fleas. Just one flea can cause a lot of misery for your pet especially if they have flea allergies.
Flea allergies cause severe trauma to the skin and some areas of the skin will be dry and flaky and there may be redness and inflammation noticed in several areas on the skin.
The redness is caused from all of the chewing your dog or cat does. There may be even hair loss noticed in several spots on your pet’s body in a specific area that has the most severe trauma to it.
Even though fleas cause no fatal health risk for your pets they do cause distress for the animal when flea allergies are a concern.
If your pet does suffer from flea allergies your local vet may prescribe antihistamines which can be given orally.
Steroids such as prednisone may also be necessary to give orally if the allergies are at a severe state and inflammation is noticed. An injection of cortisone or prednisone may be necessary also.
Give your pet a soothing therapeutic bath using special shampoos and conditioners which contain Chlorphenarimine which is an antihistamine is a great way to give your pet some relief.
There are some conditioners that can be left on for several minutes and there are also some that do not need to be rinsed off.
If your pet does chew on himself or herself and there are fleas on them, if they eat a flea then tapeworms will occur. Tapeworms cause no health threat to animals but they just look nasty.
Segments of tapeworms can be seen in feces and around your dog’s or cat’s anus. They look just like a grain of white rice.
Your local vet can give you a tablet to give to your pet for tapeworms called Droncit. It is dosed out according to the animal’s weight. Animals can also get tapeworms from eating crickets and June bugs.
Summertime is here and with it comes those pesky mosquitoes zooming around everywhere searching for that perfect spot to land and eat.
We swat at them we squash and whatever else we can do keep those little buzzers away. Mosquitoes are what transmit heartworms to dogs and cats but it is most commonly seen in dogs.
A mosquito bites a dog that is infected with heartworms and then he bites another dog and if this dog is not protected against heartworms then he will contact heartworms also.
Symptoms of possible heartworms in a dog is difficulty in breathing, a deep dry hacking cough which sounds as if there is something caught in the dog’s throat that he cannot get out and loss of appetite.
Heartworms left untreated in dogs can be fatal. A once a month pill is all it takes to keep the family pet heartworm free.
There is a pill called Sentinel which is a combo of heartworm and flea control and there is Interceptor which is only a once a month heartworm pill and Heartgard which is also a monthly pill. Heartgard looks just like a piece of beef jerky.
These nasty looking critters thrive on blood. They attach themselves head first down into the skin and stay there and dine on your dog’s blood.
Ticks carry and transmit Lymes disease both to dogs and humans. Symptoms of Lymes disease is dogs may be respitory problems, lethargy and loss of appetite.
There is a collar called Advantix which seems to work well for my Mother’s dog and she lives out in the boonies. She changes the collar every three months and puts the collar on her dog beginning in early May and leaves the collar on through the last of September.
The Advantix collar does have an odor to it because of the solution that is on it that is to kill the ticks but it does work quite well.
If you do notice any ticks on your pet and you want to remove it what you can do is spray some flea spray on the tick and let it drop off by itself once it dies.
If you do not have flea spray you can soak a cotton ball in alcohol and squeeze the alcohol on to the tick and then take a pair of tweezers or use you fingers and make certain that you are right next to the skin by the head of the tick and then pull the tick off.
Check the area where the tick was removed and watch for any redness or swelling and if any is noticed this will tell you that the head of the tick was not removed.
If you only grab on to the body of the tick the head will not be removed. If you think that the head of a tick was not removed properly you can call your local vet and ask them for instructions on what to do.
Flea and tick dips can also be used to help control them. The shampoo needs to contain pyrethrins which is what kills the fleas and ticks.
Just be careful not to use any harsh shampoos and dips on any animal that is under the age of eight weeks. Ask your local vet what is the best to use for babies.
Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo and Conditioner is great to use on babies and the mommies too.
Everyone have a safe and fun summer!
I am not a licensed vet but I did work for one for many years and I learned a lot of useful and very valuable information.