Fleas usually feed off the pet’s bloodstream around the head, neck and tail. After they are bitten, pets will usually scratch or bite themselves around those areas, which become red and inflamed as a result. As the pet chews at the affected area, they may swallow them. This may allow the pet to get tapeworms, an intestinal parasite. Pets that are allergic to flea saliva will have more pronounced symptoms. Because of the compulsive scratching and biting, pets may lose hair, get bald spots, exhibit “hot spots” due to extreme skin irritation and develop infections that result in odors emanating from the skin. In more extreme cases, pets may also suffer from anemia. Lastly, fleas can transmit a bacteria called Bartonella, which is a common disease in cats.
Like fleas, ticks can feed off an animal’s bloodstream and also deliver diseases through their mouths when biting through the animal’s skin. Pets that are bitten by ticks may exhibit changes in behavior or appetite. Tick bites may be hard to detect in pets, especially because the ticks usually start small and are not noticeable until a full blood meal has been taken. In addition, Long Island is one of the top areas for ticks in the United States.
“We urge all pet owners to keep their pets safe from fleas and ticks year round and especially during the spring season,” said Dr. Steven Fox, President/CEO, Central Veterinary Associates. “The warmer weather provides a great opportunity for your pets to go outside for a walk or to run around, but it also means that they will be exposed to these insects. It will be much easier and healthier for your pet to prevent these infestations from occurring than having to treat them.”
CVA keeps its hospital in Valley Stream open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all major holidays. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.
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About Central Veterinary Associates
Central Veterinary Associates is a 24-hour, full-service hospital that provides optimal small animal medicine, including exotic medicine. The main hospital is located in Valley Stream, which provides 24-hour care at its state-of-the-