Fleas and Ticks
What it is: These tiny insects cause major itching and discomfort that may give your pet skin problems, including hair loss. But the serious problem is the infectious diseases the insects carry and can pass to pet and humans.
Whom it affects: Cats and dogs.
Possible symptoms: If your pet has fleas, she may be scratching more than usual or biting at her coat. Ticks, on the other hand, attach themselves to the animal’s skin, where they suck blood. Always check dogs and cats after playing outside, particularly in warmer temperatures and in wooded, rural environments.
Treatment: Although problems caused by fleas and ticks vary in severity, both can typically be treated with topical products and treating or replacing carpets, bedding, and other surfaces your pet comes into contact with. If you do spot a tick on your pet, carefully remove it with tweezers while wearing gloves, and consult your veterinarian to rule out potentially dangerous infections.
Prevention: No flea or tick product is 100 percent preventative, but you can proactively treat your pet with a monthly flea-and-tick medication that prevents infestations. Keep grass, hedges, and underbrush on your property trimmed, and always check your pet’s skin and coat after playing outdoors to help minimize the chance of a tick infestation.