Unwanted Springtime Guests
How to keep fleas and ticks off your pet and out of your home.
As the weather continues to warm in the spring months, fleas and ticks become more prevalent outdoors. Although we think of these as mostly a nuisance for our pets, causing itching and scratching, they actually have the potential for some serious health risks.
For example, ticks are carriers of some serious illnesses like Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Although Lyme started out in the Northeast US, it has been moving into more southern territories and is now considered endemic to (regularly found in) Texas. Toxins from ticks can also cause paralysis in a pet’s legs and muscles. This usually dissipates once the tick is removed. Health risks for your pet from fleas include allergic reactions which can be extreme, anemia and low iron levels especially if your pet is small and has many fleas, and exposure to tapeworm infections.
While fleas will jump onto your pet from shady areas like shrubs and trees, ticks will generally crawl or brush onto them while walking in grassy areas. As a general preventative measure, you can maintain your pet’s areas by keeping grassed areas short and pruning and trimming shrubs, raking out debris from shady spots.
Continued vigilance and ongoing maintenance is needed to keep a flea and tick free environment. Check your pet for ticks on a regular basis when you return from walks, and check with our team at Longview Animal Hospital for recommendations on the most appropriate preventative treatments for your pets. Fleas tend to become resistant to treatments after a while, so it is good to change products periodically. An integrated approach to prevention can include grooming and baths, medications and sanitation for your home (a combination of vacuuming, laundry and cleaning).
If you are looking for guidance on prevention or treatment options for an existing infestation, please give us a call at (903) 758-2082 or email us at longviewanimalhospital@