TrueCare_iStock_000080496551_LargeWhile many of us know better than to think that winter is totally over, its grip on all of us is certainly waning. The softening soil and emerging buds are proof that life will soon resume – and along with all of spring’s wonders come fleas and ticks.

Parasite prevention for pets is fundamental all year long, but the arrival of warmer months makes it even more important. True Care Veterinary Hospital is here to help you make the right choices for your pet, and keep pests at paw’s length.

The Truth About Ticks

There are numerous types of ticks out there, but approximately half of all the deer ticks in New Jersey are infected with Lyme disease. Borrelia burgdorferi, or the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, is spread between infected animals, such as the white-footed mouse, through the bite of a tick.

Part of the arachnid family, ticks lay in wait on leaves or blades of grass to attach to prey moving by. For the easiest blood meal possible, ticks have barbed hooks on the front legs, a mouth with a serrated edge, and a straw-like tube that anchors to the host.

The risk of being bitten by an infected tick is highest during the summer when the great outdoors beckons us all.

What To Watch Out For

It can take anywhere between 48-72 hours for Lyme disease to be fully transmitted from an infected tick to it’s host. Please inspect your pet’s coat, skin, paws, and ears directly following time outside, and let us know if your pet has the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Limping
  • Loss of appetite

Depending on your dog’s lifestyle we may suggest that he or she receive the Lyme disease pet vaccine. Unfortunately, it’s not presently available for felines, but taking preventative measures in your yard and surrounding areas can help reduce the numbers of possible ticks.

Ticks can also infect your puppy or kitten or senior pet with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Oh, Geez: Fleas!

Fleas can be excessively irritating, and your pet’s skin can develop allergic dermatitis. Intense scratching, licking, and biting can result in raw, infected hotspots. Anemia, tapeworms, and a painful existence can also follow a flea infestation, making total prevention your pet’s best defense.

Some flea medications can be dangerous if administered incorrectly. Please let us help you find the right product for your pet’s breed, age, and weight.

Parasite Prevention For Pets

Wondering when the last time your pet received protection against fleas and ticks? Access your pet’s records to learn more.

Our veterinarians and staff are always happy to answer any of your questions related to parasite prevention for pets. Please give us a call to give your pet the best possible start to the warmer weather and fun-filled seasons ahead.