Fleas, blood-sucking insects that love to burrow inside the fur of cats and dogs, are of greatest concern during the summer months. If you live in an area that is warm and humid in the summertime, like North Texas, pay special attention to the information provided in this article so that fleas do not become a problem for which you need to seek treatment from a veterinarian.
Fleas and Pets
Fleas can move quickly through fur to get to the skin of a dog or a cat. Fleas can jump over 18 inches, so even pets who do not go into grassy areas can be affected. Also we can sometimes bring fleas into the house to our indoor only pets just by walking up our path to our home.
Fleas may be small, but they are capable of consuming sizable amounts of blood. Long-term exposure to a large number of fleas can lead to excessive blood loss and anemia. Fleas can also carry diseases, such as Bartonella, to our pets and to us. Kittens, puppies, and pets with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to life-threatening complications after flea encounters.
Signs of Fleas on Your Pet
- Hair loss
- Excessive scratching or licking of the skin
Treatment of Fleas
Veterinarian-prescribed flea products will kill fleas. Some will kill ticks and prevent the eggs from hatching too. Treatments vary on a case-by-case basis, based on your pets situation, needs and medical history, so it is important to see a veterinarian when fleas are bothering your pet.
Can Flea Infestations Be Prevented?
Yes. Oral flea preventatives such as Comfortis are available to kill fleas currently living on your pet and any fleas that come their way as long as they are on the medication. Special veterinarian-recommended shampoos, a clean living environment, and brushing your pet with a flea comb can also help keep fleas away.
If you live in an area where fleas thrive such as Dallas, it is especially important to take advantage of effective flea control medications. During the month of May, the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is offering a discount on a 12-month supply of Comfortis or Trifexis ( combination heartworm and flea preventive).
Call (972) 239-1309 in North Dallas or (972) 529-5033 in McKinney to find out more about this offer.
Meet “Jasmine”, “Atlas”, “Avery”, “Judah”, and “Aurora”! They are the five kittens being fostered at Preston Road Animal Hospital!
The “Fabulous Five!”
Three litters were brought into our Dallas clinic last week by one of our clients. The kittens were approximately 10, 6, and 3 weeks old and all had tested positive for ringworm.
Our client decided to keep the two adult moms and two of the oldest kittens. Seven kittens were brought to the humane society. Left were five 3 week old kittens that were set to be euthanized for various health issues.
At the last minute, Dr. Sue and Dr. Clint decided they would take on the medical needs of these kittens with the hope that they would beat the odds and overcome their health issues and go on to find a forever family.
So starts their journey with us!
Our gracious client decided to cover the cost of the kittens’ first round of vaccinations as well as their first Lyme Sulfur dip to help treat their ringworm.
Our Life Guardianship Fund will help cover some of the kittens’ ongoing treatment. Drs. Sue & Clint are providing their food, medical care, and all supplies needed to ensure they have the best chance of surviving their circumstances. Two of the kittens are showing signs of upper respiratory infection and will be looked at today by Dr. Sue.
The kittens are approximately four weeks old now and some are eating on their own. Our wonderful Preston Road staff has been rotating round-the-clock care to help bottle feed, keep warm, and provide plenty of love to this “Fabulous 5!”
We’ll keep you posted on their progress so be sure to check back!
Dirofilaria immitis , or heartworm, is a mosquito-transmitted parasite that can live in your pet for years without causing visible symptoms, but which can ultimately pose life-threatening damage to a dog’s heart, lungs, or liver. To learn more about heartworm and the dangers it poses to dogs, watch this educational video clip.
In it, you will learn why veterinarians who once recommended protecting pets against heartworm through the administration of oral preventives during mosquito season now recommend doing so year-round. You will also develop an understanding of why it is crucial to never skip a dosage, and to have your dog inspected annually for heartworm as an extra precaution.
Are you a Dallas-area pet owner who would like to have your dog tested for heartworm and start administering a preventive before the mosquitoes hit Dallas with full force this upcoming summer season?
If you call Chastain Veterinary Medical Group at (972) 239-1309 in North Dallas or (972) 529-5033 in Mckinney during the month of May, you can receive $10 off a 12-month supply of heart preventive.
Pesky mosquitoes may not pose much of a threat to humans living in Dallas, but they can infect dogs and cats living in the area with potentially life-threatening heartworms. Heartworm Disease, a condition spread by a parasitic worm-carrying mosquito, is expensive and complicated for veterinarians to treat and can be deadly. The transmission of heartworm from mosquito to your pet is, however, entirely preventable.
Nationwide Presence of Heartworm
According to the American Heartworm Society, cases of heartworm have been confirmed in all fifty states. This means that dogs and cats around the country are susceptible to heartworms, and that a monthly heartworm preventive should be administered to every dog and cat.
Ease of Prevention in Comparison to Treatment
Several FDA-approved compounds are available for prevention of heartworm in both dogs and cats, and your veterinarian can help you choose the option that is best for your pet. Treatment of heartworm disease, on the otherhand, is expensive and can have complications. Prevention requires nothing more than administering a tablet, or topical product to your pet once a month. For this reason, veterinarians and other pet care professionals recommend using a heartworm preventive every month year round.
Availability and Cost-Effectiveness of Heartworm Preventives
Obtaining a heartworm preventive for your pet is as simple as scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian to assess your pet’s current condition and decide which preventive is best for your pet. If your pet has not been on heartworm preventive a simple blood test may be necessary to assure there is not currently an infection prior to starting the monthly preventive. The availability of several different preventives has pushed down the price of the medication, making it more affordable for pet owners.
Differences between Heartworm in Dogs and Cats
Heartworm can cause damage to the heart, lungs, and liver of both dogs and cats. Heartworms are, however, easier to diagnose and treat in dogs than in cats. While professionals recommend preventives for all pet canines and felines, the difficulty of diagnosing and treating heartworm in cats means that cat owners should be especially proactive in protecting their pets against heartworm infections.
Are you looking for a North Dallas veterinarian who can provide your pet with a safe and effective heartworm preventive? Proudly serving the area for more than two decades, Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can diagnose, treat, or prescribe heartworm prevention for your pet. Call us at (972) 239-1309 in North Dallas or (972) 529-5033 in McKinney, to find out about our May promotional offer on heartworm preventive!
During the month of May, Chastain Veterinary Medical Group will donate $1.00 to our friends at Operation Kindness for every “Like” we get on our Facebook page.
Operation Kindness is a wonderful organization that has been providing shelter to homeless dogs and cats since 1976. It is the largest and oldest no-kill shelter in North Texas.
We encourage everyone to share our Facebook page with friends, family, and coworkers. ( http://www.facebook.com/chastainvets )
Help us make a difference!
The month is almost over! Spread the word to friends and family to “like” our page and we’ll donate $1.00 to help a homeless animal at Operation Kindness.
Heartworm and irritation from flea infestation are far more common in dogs and cats than they should be, considering the fact that both of these incidences are entirely preventable. If you would like to learn more about treatment and prevention options for heartworm and fleas, check out the following resources. To arrange a meeting with a Dallas-area veterinarian who can prescribe a safe and effective preventive for your pet, call Chastain Veterinary Medical Group today at (972) 239-1309 in North Dallas or (972) 529-5033 in McKinney .
- Learn more about the differences between the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heartworm in cats and dogs at The American Heartworm Society’s website.
- Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website for some advice on keeping fleas and ticks away from your pet this summer season.
- Are you trying to determine whether your dog has fleas? This information, provided by the American Kennel Club, should be able to help you out.
- Find out more about heartworm prevention with this consumer information update from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Learn more about fleas and what makes pets susceptible to infestation at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ website.
Look in pets ears periodically and keep plucked to avoid ear infections.
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