Creature Feature
Your pet may be suffering now that flea and tick season is here

Dr. Dan Meakin
During the summer months overheating and dehydration are not the only problems your pets may face. Flea and tick season is upon us and your pets may be suffering.

Ticks can be an irritating for you and your pet. As pet owners it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of tick bites.

These symptoms can include:

• Localized irritations

• Anemia

If your pet is not protected, tick bites can result in the following diseases:

• Lyme disease

• Ehrlichiosis

• Rocky Mountain spotted fever

• Anaplasmosis

• Babesiosis

You can catch ticks before they become problematic by simply checking your pet for ticks and fleas after they have been outside.

Ticks and fleas can commonly be found inside the ears and underneath the abdomen and legs. There are many topical treatments available and these are often the least inexpensive way to prevent against both fleas and ticks.

Let’s not forget mosquitoes. It’s that time of year and mosquitoes aren’t just affecting humans. They are also wreaking havoc on your pets.

Heartworms are worms that live in the heart; they are transmitted through mosquitoes and can ultimately lead to congestive heart failure.

It’s not uncommon for us to see a lot of people neglecting their pet’s heartworm prevention. Many patients don’t realize that heartworms can be deadly. In many cases, heartworm positive dogs don’t show any symptoms until they become very ill and treatment will no longer help.

If caught early, heartworms can be treated but treatment at is very expensive. The cost of protecting your pet from fleas, ticks, and heartworms can start at $25 a month depending on the size of your pet. Heartworm treatment starts at around $500.

Protecting your dog from heartworms is very easy to do. There are several different preventatives medications on the market today and they are relatively inexpensive compared to treatment.

Let’s keep in mind that it’s also important to protect your cat. Cats are also susceptible to ticks, fleas, and heartworms. Preventative measures are a must because there is no treatment for feline heartworms.

Let’s recap:

If your pets are outside during the summer months, make sure they have plenty of shade and water.

Walk you pet early morning or late evening when the temperature is coolest.

Tick symptoms to be aware of:

• Localized irritations,

• Anemia

• Ehrlichia

Make sure your pet is on a preventative heartworm program.

Treat pets with fleas immediately with topical treatment.

Visit your veterinary professional if you’re not able to rid your animal of fleas or suspect illness due to ticks.

Dr. Dan Meakin is the owner of All Creatures Animal Hospital, 1894 Ohio Pike in Amelia. Call (513) 797-PETS.