While preventing heartworms in dogs is vital, many dog owners are not aware of the importance of flea prevention or the diseases they can cause. Several heartworm preventative treatments now include medicine to control these pests too. To keep your pet safe, it is recommended to use a heartworm preventative treatment that includes flea control.
These insect pests are responsible for causing diseases in dogs and humans and were once responsible for transmitting the Bubonic plague from rats to humans. Today, fleas are more of an annoyance for your pet, but they can cause illnesses and discomfort in dogs.
Flea Prevention Will Protect Your Dog From These Problems
This is actually the most common problem affecting dogs that are not on a flea treatment program. Many dogs will have an allergic reaction to flea saliva. The saliva is left on the dog’s skin after the dog has been bitten. While some dogs may have a mild reaction, many dogs suffer with unbearable dermatitis.
An indication that your dog is allergic, is constant scratching and licking. Your dog may develop redness on the skin referred to as hot spots. The constant scratching and licking may cause open wounds that can become infected.
In severe allergic reactions a dog may suffer hair loss. The allergic reaction is uncomfortable for dogs and in many cases can be painful. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, you may want to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will prescribe an antibiotic and skin ointment. In addition, your veterinarian will recommend a product for effective flea prevention and control.
While fleas are tiny, they have a voracious appetite for blood. If a dog has a significant flea infestation, it can cause the dog to become anemic. Dogs that spend a great deal of time outdoors are prone to infestation and the resulting anemia. Unfortunately, this type of anemia is not only common, it is also difficult to detect. Many dogs will become weak and lethargic. In many cases, veterinarians will only discover the anemia through blood work. If your dog suffers from this, prescribing heartworm medications including a flea treatment and prevention element will resolve the problem.
Fleas are hosts to many parasites. While some of these parasites do not affect dogs, one of the most common parasites they carry inside their bodies are tapeworms. When a dog has fleas, the dog will scratch and lick to relieve the itching. As the dog licks, fleas stick to the dogs tongue. Once the dog ingests the fleas, the tapeworm eggs will hatch in the dog’s intestines. The tapeworms will attach to the intestines and will reproduce by laying eggs. The eggs will be released when the dog has bowel movements. This is a continuous process unless the dog is treated for tapeworms. The first sign of tapeworms is small, off-white eggs that look similar to spaghetti. Dogs infected with tapeworms may appear weak or tired. In addition, tapeworms may cause the dog to vomit frequently. Severe tapeworm infestations may cause weight loss.
It is important to treat your dog with a flea prevention and control product if he has an infestation, however, it is also important to treat the home to get rid of these parasites. Your veterinarian can recommend home treatment products that are safe for humans and dogs. In addition, you will want to wash all dog bedding and it may also be beneficial to contact a pest control professional to treat your outside yard area.
There are several monthly flea prevention treatment products available. The most prescribed treatment is a liquid dose that is placed on the back of the dog’s neck. However, since pet owners use monthly heartworm preventative treatment, it is far more convenient to buy a single product that combines the two treatments.
Revolution Heartworm Prevention Also Treats Fleas and Ticks
(to find out more about Revolution for dogs, please read our article)
While preventing heartworms in dogs is a top priority for pet owners, preventing fleas is also important to your dog’s health and quality of life. Left untreated, these pests will multiply rapidly in your home. Not only will your dog experience discomfort, you and your family may experience discomfort as well. Fleas do not usually infest humans; however, you will almost certainly be bitten. In homes with children, it becomes particularly important to get rid of an infestation.
Before choosing a remedy for the problem, visit your veterinarian for recommendations. Most dogs do not experience a reaction to monthly flea prevention treatments. However, if you begin a new treatment, it is important to monitor your dog for any signs of a possible reaction.