With summer in full swing, it’s likely you’ll be spending more time romping, walking and hiking with your four-legged family members. The more time your fluffy ones spend outdoors, the more likely they are to run into summer’s troublemaker pests – fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
Some pests pose health threats to your pets
Mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas can cause a range of serious, even life-threatening, diseases when they bite your tail-wagging buddies. From minor skin conditions to heartbreaking illnesses, prevent these pest-borne diseases from affecting your furry best friends.
- Allergies caused by fleas: Overall, the most common skin allergies in dogs are caused by flea bites. Allergic reactions often caused by flea saliva can result in hot spots, hair loss and excessive itching that can result in superficial wounds. Consult your vet to prescribe allergy medications for pets experiencing allergic reactions. Topical skin products are also available along with oatmeal and aloe vera shampoo. Supplementing your pet’s food with products containing Omega 3 fatty acids can help improve skin health and alleviate dry skin conditions.
- Heartworms: Mosquitoes carry the virus that transmits heartworms to dogs. Often deadly, heartworm infections are expensive and difficult to treat. Heartworms can grow up to a foot in your dog’s lungs and heart and compromise heart and lung functions. Heartworm medications are available in monthly pills or in a more costly injection form. It’s important to have your dog checked for heartworms regularly.
- Lyme disease: Deer ticks, also known as black-legged ticks, are known to carry Lyme disease transmitted to humans and dogs. Lyme disease symptoms include fatigue, fever, and If left untreated, Lyme disease can spread to joints, the heart, and the central nervous system.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever: Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is transmitted by Rocky Mountain wood ticks, American dog ticks, and brown dog ticks. RMSF can mimic other conditions. Typically, in dogs, symptoms include lack of appetite, fever, joint pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling in the face and legs, and depression. Your vet can perform blood tests to detect Rocky Mountain spotted fever in dogs. Flea, tick, and mosquito prevention products can help protect your pet from Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other tick-borne diseases, such as Ehrlichiosis.
- Ehrlichiosis: Actually, dogs can suffer from two types of Ehrlichiosis, canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME), caused by brown dog tick bites and canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis (CGE) transmitted through Lone Star tick Both forms cause similar symptoms, such as fever, lethargy, poor appetite, and neurological disorders, with swollen lymph nodes, abdominal bruising and chronic eye inflammation in CME cases, while lameness, diarrhea, and vomiting are common in CGE.
- Tick paralysis: A neurotoxin found in the saliva of female ticks can cause this frightening and debilitating disease. A loss of muscle tone and overall weakness characterize this disease that can sometimes only affect the hind legs in dogs but can also affect front legs and the muscles associated with respiration.
- Tapeworms: Typically transmitted to dogs by ingesting fleas when they chew at fleas and flea bites, tapeworms can negatively affect your dog’s digestive system. Evidence of tapeworms can be seen in your dog’s stool when some of these segments break off. Pets will exhibit weight loss and symptoms of a mild illness. Dewormers are available from pet stores and your vet’s office.
Flea, tick, and mosquito prevention products
With many tick, flea, and mosquito prevention products on the market, you should have no problem finding one that’s right for your pet. From flea collars and topical treatments to ingestible pills and tablets, most vets suggest using these products year-round, not just in the summer.
Inspect your surroundings
Take a close look at your yard for tall grass, piles of debris, and areas where water collects. These conditions all attract ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. Keep your lawn cut short and eliminate all clutter in your yard. Store anything that can collect water indoors, such as gardening equipment, dog bowls, and kids’ toys. Change the water in birdbaths every couple of days to prevent creating a mosquito breeding area and make sure the water in fountains and ponds is circulating. Keep a tight lid on trash receptacles to discourage rodents that carry ticks and fleas. Clean up all pet poop from your yard to avoid roaches and fly issues.
Inspect your pets
Brush pets’ coats when returning from outdoor activities. Check your pet’s skin for red itchy patches and ticks. Regularly bathe pets with flea and tick shampoos but don’t overdo it as some dogs and cats can suffer from dry skin conditions as a result. Long-hair breeds benefit from shortcuts that make pests and skin issues easier to detect and your pet will thank you for the cool, breezy summer cut. Regularly clean your pet’s bedding, toys, and collars and be sure to clean outdoor bedding and check resting areas for signs of pests.
At Hulett, a pet-friendly environment is an essential component of the Hulett Healthy Home approach. Our pest control program delivers the highest level of pest protection while keeping your family and pets’ health our priority. With our custom prescription treatments, we take charge of any existing pest control issues and prevent future pest activity. Contact us to schedule a free in-home evaluation. Prevent and protect your pets from pests all year long. Just call Hulett!