There is nothing worse than seeing your pet scratching more than usual – that pang of fear you feel as you wonder, “Oh no…is it fleas?” This blog is to answer the most common questions (and clear up some misconceptions) about fleas and ticks.

What are fleas and ticks?

Flea is a common term for over 2000 different species of small flightless insects that survive as an external parasite of mammals and birds. They live by consuming blood and can transmit diseases to humans and animals. Ticks are arachnids, which means they are related to spiders.

Fleas and ticks are something that can and should be prevented . Prevention allows you to confidently keep you and your loved ones healthy.

Do you let your pet sleep in your bed? Or on the couch? If so, prevention is even more critical because those parasites can quickly spread to your bed, furniture, and carpet. Fleas and ticks do bite humans and can cause very itchy bumps–and they are much harder to get rid of than they are to prevent.

What are signs that my pet has fleas?

Some of the warning signs are:

  • scabs
  • hot spots on the skin
  • excessive licking
  • scratching
  • hair loss

Is it really that big of a deal?

Fleas can take up to 15 times their weight in blood. This means the more fleas your loved one has, the bigger risk of developing anemia. Anemia is when there is a dangerous drop of red blood cells. Puppies and kittens are at the most risk because they are so little.

Signs of anemia caused by fleas are pale gums and a lack of energy.

Fleas are also a common cause of skin disease in dogs and cats. The saliva from the flea gets injected into your pet’s skin when they bite, which can also cause an allergic reaction.

What are signs of ticks?

Ticks tend to be bigger than fleas, so they are easier to spot on you or your pet. Ticks typically have multiple hosts throughout their lifetime.

Do not scratch or rip off ticks. Please call us right away if your pets are infected.

Ticks can cause:

  • anemia
  • skin irritation
  • infection
  • tick paralysis
  • weak muscles
  • lyme disease
  • other diseases

Flea and tick prevention is so important because the potential health problems are life threatening, and your pet deserves to live an active, healthy life.

How can I prevent this?

Does all this sound like something you would do anything in your power to avoid? Do you still want to be able to enjoy time outdoors (for you and your pet)? Do you not want to worry about monthly, or even daily prevention? One comprehensive visit with our trained staff will ease your fears of fleas and ticks for a full year. If your pet has already had their Annual Wellness Exam , they might have already had their preventatives. Not sure? Contact us to check.

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About Us

Animal Family Veterinary Care offers an extensive range of services all in one place, so we can meet your pet’s needs in almost every situation. Our veterinarians in Davenport treat dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and a variety of other exotic species, because every pet is unique and important.