Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM
Fleas and ticks are everywhere. They can carry diseases that affect our dogs and cats. Today we are going to talk about what diseases fleas and ticks can carry and Pet Honesty’s Flea and Tick Defense chews.
Fleas are tiny, irritating little bugs. They are actually parasites that suck blood. Their bites can cause flea allergy dermatitis which can cause skin irritation, itching, and hair loss. Flea allergy dermatitis is a very common cause of itching in dogs. The flea saliva causes the dog’s immune system to have an allergic response.
Fleas can also carry diseases like tapeworms and Bartonella. Cats and dogs get tapeworms when they ingest a flea that is infected with tapeworms. The tapeworms attach themselves to the intestinal lining. Tapeworms can be seen around the hind end area of pets frequently stuck in their fur. They look like grains of rice. Cats (and possibly dogs) can get Bartonella from flea bites. Bartonella is better known as cat scratch disease. It’s zoonotic meaning it can be spread between animals and humans. Animals can be either asymptomatic or symptomatic. Cats can pass Bartonella to humans from a scratch or bite. These flea diseases would require visit to your veterinarian for exam, diagnosis, and treatment.
Ticks can carry many diseases. Some of the top tick borne diseases are Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. The diseases are caused by bites from different tick species. The tick borne diseases can have some of the same clinical signs. There are tests available from your veterinarian to diagnose these diseases. It is possible for dogs to have more than one of these diseases at a time such as Lyme and Anaplasma because they are found in the same geographic region and are transmitted by the same tick species. Consult with your veterinarian if you find a tick on your pet.
Pet Honesty’s Flea and Tick Defense is a natural repellant. It helps build up daily and long term resistance to seasonal pests with ingredients like brewer’s yeast and coconut oil. Flea and Tick Defense chews are not designed to replace other flea/tick solutions. Please consult with your veterinarian first before stopping any medication.
Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.