Patton Chapel Animal Clinic wants you to know that here in Hoover, flea control is a necessity for keeping your pets safe and comfortable.

We all know what a pain fleas can be, but they are more than just a nuisance. Fleas, along with ticks, can cause serious health problems in our companion animals. Not only do flea bites cause itchy skin, but many pets are allergic to them and can have severe reactions. Called flea allergy dermatitis, these allergic reactions are characterized by itchy, crusting skin, commonly at the base of the tail. It only takes one flea bite to trigger a reaction in an allergic animal and the resultant skin infection and inflammation can be quite serious.

Fleas can also be very dangerous for young puppies and kittens and small dogs. Smaller animals, without much blood volume, can become very anemic very quickly with a flea infestation. Flea anemia, it not treated, can be fatal.

Another unfortunate side effect of fleas is tape worm infection. Tape worms live part of their life cycle inside the body of a flea. If the flea is then ingested by your dog or cat while grooming itself, the tape worm will enter the animal’s gut. You will see small, rice-like segments pass in the stool. Tape worms can be very unhygienic, especially if your pet lives indoors, but they are easily prevented with proper flea control.

Ticks, like fleas, are a very common problem in the south and can be equally, if not more dangerous. Ticks carry many disease such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Erlichia, and can cause neurological problems such as paresis or paralysis.

Fleas and ticks, and the problems they cause, are easily prevented with any number of topical and oral products available at Patton Chapel Animal Clinic. If you live in or around Hoover flea control should be top priority.

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