Get straight up facts on fleas, ticks, heartworm and kennel cough
Brands such as Frontline flea and Advantage flea killers have nearly immediate results and long lasting protection. If you have this treatment available, your animal shouldn't suffer from flea discomfort. You just need to pick a good flea medicine for your pet's current situation.
Mites, or ticks as they are often called, are external parasites living off the blood of mammals, reptiles and birds. The American dog tick is arguably the best known of the five in North America.
The scary part is that ticks are only one step behind mosquitoes in transmitting diseases to people. Ticks can spread diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, equine encephalitis, and ehrlichiosis to humans. They also spread diseases amongst livestock, as well as our beloved pets.
Another common kind of mites are the wood ticks that live in the Rocky Mountains. Some common weapons to combat them are tick collars and anti-flea/tick shampoos. Warm weather means an increase in the tick population and the need to monitor your dog for these parasites. When a tick is found it should be completely removed. Please use extreme caution when removing a tick because if part of the tick is left in the animal the chance of infection increases.
Unlike diseases passed by ticks, heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, and the larva then live in the bloodstream of the animal bitten by the mosquito. The parasites go through several stages before becoming adults. Once adult, the heart worms travel to the heart to live off the blood supply. Symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing may ensure, and the end result is heart failure.
Effective disease treatments are available for your pet, but only if it is caught early enough. One treatment available for dogs that also takes care of hookworms and ascarid infections is Interceptor.
Another common infection is kennel cough. Dogs are very susceptible to this highly contagious form of bronchitis, hence the name, as it can spread in areas where dogs are kept in close proximity. Prevention is possible through vaccinating for canine adenovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, and bordetella and the infection itself treated with antibiotics.