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Unless protected, dogs and cats of all ages can be harmed by a variety of parasitic infections:

External Parasites - Fleas, Ticks, Mites

Intestinal Parasites - Hookworms, Roundworms, & Tapeworms

Heartworms - Parasitic worms that live in the Canine Heart (cases of Feline Heartworm are growing as well)

In this page, Luv My Pet will provide you will both basic and specific information regarding External Parasites: Fleas, Ticks, and Mites. .

I. Fleas

Basics

Fleas can infest dogs and cats, and in areas of moderate to severe infestation, people can be bitten by fleas. An infestation that is severe and not treated can cause death to a pet due to blood loss (anemia). Also, histamine-like compounds in flea saliva irritate the skin and allergies to fleas develop in both dogs and cats. There is no cure for flea allergy hypersensitivity, only management through flea control.

The latest products in the war on fleas are: Nexgard, Revolution (cats only, and includes heartworm prevention), Parastar Plus, Advantage, Easy Spot (cats only), Comfortis, Certifect (not available in California), Trifexis (includes heartworm prevention) & Capstar. These flea treatments will be discussed in the section on product information.

II. Ticks

Basics

Ticks can cause Lyme Disease and other illnesses. It is important to control and prevent ticks from infesting pets, homes & humans. Some flea products do not kill ticks. Tick treatments include: Nexgard, Parastar Plus, Easy Spot (cats only), Certifect (not available in California)



Specifics


There are numerous types of tick that can parasitize dogs and cats. Ticks feed only on the blood of their hosts, and are arthropods, closely related to spiders, scorpions and mites. Ticks can spread bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, rickettsiae, filarial nematodes and spirochetes.

Examples of diseases spread by ticks are: Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Borreliosis, and others.

III. Mites

There are numerous types of mites that affect pets, many of which can be transmitted to people.

A. Ear Mites


Basics

Luv My Pet does treat ear mites with Acarexx. Acarexx is usually a one-time treatment. However, if multiple pets in the household are infected, all will have to be treated in order to eliminate the infection. Kittens are more prone to earmites. All kitten owners should be questioned about the presence of black "coffee ground"-like substance in their kitten’s ears. The veterinary assistant should remind the veterinarian to check all kittens for ear mites. IF present, the ear should be cleaned out with a swab & peroxide, and the Acarexx is applied for ear mite treatment. The pet should be rechecked in 1 month to see if the infection was cleared.


B. Mange Mites


Basics

Luv My Pet does not diagnose or treat mange, but it should be noted that mites can be a cause of skin problems. Dogs that arrive at our clinics and are bald, or have sever hair loss may have mange. Employees should be sure to disinfect the table and their hands after handling animals with hair loss.

Specifics

Mange in animals can be caused by one of two different mites: Sarcoptic or Demodectic.

Sarcoptic mange mites can be spread to other animals and to people, while Demodectic mange mites cannot. Both types of mange cause hair loss and itching.

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