Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Flea, Tick and Mosquitos: Prevention and Diseases

Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes  are not only a nuisance but can cause some serious diseases in our canine and feline friends! At Family Vet Center we recommend staying on a flea and tick preventative seasonally and a heartworm preventative all year.
Not all preventatives are created equal. Our NO NO list includes (but is not exclusive to): ANY Hartz products, Sergeant, Top Spot, Pet Armor, Sentry Fiproguard and BioSpot. Many of these products contain permethrins that can cause severe tremors or even fatality in felines (even when they are labeled for cats)! Frontline has also made our NO NO list recently as we have had many complaints on lack of efficacy.
It is recommended you get all your medications from a veterinarian but if you choose an online pharmacy or store make sure to verify where they get their products from! We have been seeing many bootlegged products that can contain many harmful ingredients. Also, manufacturers will generally stand behind their products sold through a licensed vendor, but not products sold through online pharmacies.
On to our trusted products:
~Bravecto: prevents fleas and ticks, safe for use in dogs and cats 6 months and older, given orally for dogs and topically for cats every 12 weeks!
~Advantage II- fleas and lice only, applied topically monthly. Safe in dogs over 7 weeks and cats over 8 weeks.
~Advantix II- for dogs only! Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Applied topically monthly, safe in dogs over 7 weeks.
~Revolution: Fleas, intestinal parasites, ear mites and heartworm prevention. Safe in dogs over 6 weeks and cats over 8 weeks. Applied topically monthly.
~Seresto collar: fleas, ticks and lice. Safe on dogs over 7 weeks and cats over 10 weeks. This collar lasts 8 months! (remove for swimming or baths)
(Call for approved hearworm medications, this is available through prescription only)

Tick borne illnesses:
~Lyme disease: contracted by deer tick or black-legged tick. Symptoms include: acute lameness, fever, swollen joints, decreased/no appetite, "not acting themselves". Long term/left untreated can lead to damaged/painful joints or kidney disease. Vaccination is available- ask your Vet!
~Anaplasmosis: contracted by deer tick or black-legged tick. Symptoms include: low energy, fever, swollen/painful joints, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea. Long term/left untreated can cause low WBC or platelet count, chronic pain, and neurological symptoms.
~Ehrichiosis: contracted by brown dog tick. Symptoms include: decreased appetite, depression, fever, painful joints, pale gums, bloody nose. Long term/untreated: blindness, autoimmune diseases, bleeding complications.
All of the tick borne diseases are easily treated with antibiotics (doxycycline), full recovery of symptoms is expected when detected and treated early, but some remain positive through testing. (Other than Lyme disease we will treat depending on symptoms.)

Heartworm disease- mosquitoes transfer larvae through biting your dog and these larvae grow in the heart into adult heartworms. There are no immediate symptoms but will soon present with a mild, persistent cough, tiring easily, decreased appetite and weight loss. Immediate treatment is recommended since left untreated heartworm can cause heart failure, lung disease, and sudden death. Treatment can only be done through your veterinarian.

We recommend annual testing, we have an in-house test that checks for all of these diseases and you can get the results in 10 minutes!