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Spring is Time for Parasites!
Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos!
As the warmer weather of spring brings the outdoors back to life with flowers and animals, the parasites that feed on those animals also make their presence known. Unfortunately, these parasites are numerous and would love to make your pet their new home. Spring and summer means that flea and tick season has arrived, and mosquitoes are also out and about and ready to pass on heartworm disease to dogs and cats. Other parasites, less well known but still important to protect your pets from, include roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.
Fortunately, the veterinary community now has a wide variety of products available to help protect your animal companions. Here’s a quick look at some of the parasites and what they mean for the health of your pet.
Mosquitoes are those annoying blood-sucking insects that come around on warm days. Actually mosquitos have been found to be active at temperatures as low as 34 degrees! They are especially important to dogs and cats because they transmit the heartworm larvae. Skin inflammation around the eyes, bridge of nose or ear flaps may occur with excessive exposure to mosquitoes.
It takes only a single bite from a mosquito carrying heartworm larvae to infect your pet. Every time they are bitten by an infected mosquito, more and more heartworm larvae will be transmitted to your pet. Your pet does not simply “have” heartworms. Repeated exposure worsens the disease, eventually leading to heart failure and death without treatment. Some animals. Especially cats, can have severe reactions to even a few heartworms leading to sudden death. Heartworm disease is easy to prevent. Call us to discuss option for prevention.
Ticks, a type of arachnid, are small external parasites that feed on the blood of a host, usually deer, small mammals or birds, and just as easily dogs, cats or humans. They are often found in wooded or forested areas, in tall grass, brush or woodpiles and are common along hiking or deer trails or even in your backyard. They move onto a host as it passes by and then attach to the skin by using the mouthparts to embed their head so they can feed on the host’s blood. Through this connection to the bloodstream they can pass diseases such as Lyme, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma.
While many modern flea control products can also kill ticks, they are difficult to manage because the majority of reproducing ticks are on their natural wildlife hosts so re-infestation easily occurs when pets spend time outside.
Fleas are insects, with the predominant species being the cat flea, and are parasitic, feeding on the blood of a host. They are spread from animals outside—other pets, feral cats, raccoons, opossums, etc.—which constantly re-infest yards, patios and porches. Once the flea gets on your pet and feeds on its blood, it begins laying eggs. The eggs fall off and contaminate rugs, carpets, and animal and human bedding, all of which must be cleaned and treated to eliminate the infestation. One flea can lay 50 eggs per day!
Symptoms of a flea infection are itchiness, scratching/chewing, hair loss and scabbing of the skin, and a visual inspection might turn up flea “dirt,” black or brown specks that are actually flea feces. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms and Bartonella (Cat Scratch Fever in humans) as well as cause flea allergy dermatitis (an allergic reaction to flea saliva), and anemia if the infestation is severe. Though small, they can be seen moving on the pet if the hair is parted, especially over the rump.
Our Resolution is to always do our best to provide excellence in wellness, illness and surgical care for patients; to build close, positive relationships with clients, and to provide education and empowerment to clients and staff in a calm, comfortable, healing environment.
Dr. Susan Murphy and Jenna
Four Paws Animal Clinic is a full-service animal hospital whose mission is to provide compassionate care and support for all our 4 and 2 legged friends. We provide complete medical, dental, surgical and imaging services, including ultrasound as well as deluxe cat boarding. Our staff is extremely well trained and are passionate about veterinary medicine , having worked with Dr. Murphy at Best Friends for many years. She calls them the "Dream Team".
At Four Paws Animal Clinic, you will walk into a calm, welcoming, and friendly environment every visit, so that the experience is as comfortable as possible for you and your pet. We strive to provide professional, affordable, and advanced veterinary services, including, but not limited to newer alternative therapies such as cold laser and stem cell therapy using your pets own stem cells found in their fat cells. click here to read about this new and exciting treatment for your pets arthritis .
We also have an in-house pharmacy, dental care products, carry some premium foods and have access to specialists, making our veterinary facility a one stop shop for your pet's health and medical needs. Please browse around our new website to learn about our facility and to read interesting pet articles. Click on the "email us" link below to ask us a question or to submit feedback. For directions to our office see our contact us page. To receive free monthly veterinary care articles, please subscribe to our newsletter.
Remember, at Four Paws Animal Clinic, your pets are our family!
Dr. Susan Murphy
Nevada City Veterinarian | Four Paws Animal Clinic | 530-265-3722
521A Searls Ave.
Nevada City, CA 95959
Dr. Susan Murphy and her staff of animal lovers are the best in this county. I have been taking my cats and dogs to her since I was blessed to find her 14 years ago. She is smart, honest , humble and has many years experience. Dr. Murphy even sheds a tear her self when she has to send one off to rainbow bridge. Your little loved one will be in good hands here.............. Marcie R.
Words cannot express my gratitude to the entire Four Paws staff. You are all truly a blessing; big shoutout to Jessica, Kevin, and Shelby for making this process so smooth for both of us....Brandon B
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