Itchy and Scratchy
It's spring again and time for a young animal lover's thoughts to turn to the fear and loathing of trying to avoid seeing their favorite pet under the writhing spell of fleas and ticks.
These amazingly resilient little parasites can produce huge headaches and body aches for your canine and feline companions. They reproduce rapidly, are highly adaptable and increasingly resistant to the popular over the counter control agents you can get from your local home mart. All these wonderful traits alone should be enough to have you hiding under your favorite deck in fear, but wait, there is more.
Fleas can be responsible for stimulating a severe allergic skin reaction called, "flea bite allergic dermatitis" FBAD for short. FBAD in and of itself will make both you and your furry companion uncomfortable and irritable. Then allow for just a little too overzealous scratching on the part of your pet and you have created a secondary bacterial skin infection to exponentially raise the intensity of the irritation. This bacterial dermatitis can, if left untreated, lead to huge areas of skin damage and potentially life threatening complications.
Ticks have their own terrifying arsenal of deadly friends that they can carry with them like free samples. Our friendly neighborhood tick can carry a dizzying number of other pathogens (evil microscopic bugs), lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, hemobartonella, erlichiosis, and tick fever just to name a few. If they don't infect your pet with one of these deadly organisms then there is always the potential for the anti-blood clotting agents they have in their saliva to create ulcers and damage to surrounding healthy skin cells.
No matter what wonderful home remedies your favorite Aunt Flo can offer, you are best advised to seek the experience and extensive knowledge that only your local veterinarian can offer on eliminating or better yet preventing fleas and ticks. They have been trained to offer you the latest expertise and guidance on the proper treatments and repellents that are currently available. They have the latest effective treatments and the most advanced preventatives many of which are only available through licensed veterinarians.
Don't wait for your pet pal to start doing the itchy, scratchy twostep before you get a complete education on the dangers of fleas and ticks. Good help is only a phone call to your veterinarian away.
Source: Peter H. Eeg, DVM