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Flea and Tick Awareness Month at Assisi Veterinary Hospital
Date:3/16/2013

Malverne, NY (PRWEB) March 16, 2013

Fleas are small, biting, jumping insects that live in the fur of many different animals. Fleas are common and can cause many health problems for pets and their owners. Throughout the month of March, Assisi Veterinary Hospital is helping to educate their patients’ owners on proper treatment and prevention of fleas and ticks.

Fleas and ticks seem similar but are actually very different. Fleas will have fewer hosts, live more than 100 days, and only adults will feed on the host. Ticks however, have many more hosts and can live from a few weeks up to three years. Ticks’ larvae, nymphs and adults all feed on the host. Fleas lay about 20 to 40 eggs for several weeks and the eggs are shed wherever the host roams. When female ticks engorge, they leave the host to lay thousands of eggs at one time, but she then dies.

Flea clinical signs include flea droppings (black specks) in the fur, flea eggs (white specks) in the fur, excessive licking or scratching, and scabs or hot spots on the skin (allergic reaction). Owners can feel ticks on their animals’ skin. Signs of tick-borne diseases include loss of appetite, fever, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling or pain.

Ticks can be found anywhere, and each year they infect thousands of animals with serious diseases. It is important to get animals screened annually for vector-borne disease. Ticks must be removed as soon as possible when found on an animal, but the process is complicated and requires concentration. There are kits available for removal or a veterinary office can guide pet owners through the process. It is important to protect hands during the process as not to pass infections on to yourself or family.

Cat and dog fleas are the most likely fleas to affect humans, though rats and raccoons nesting in a home can also carry fleas. While their bites can cause severe itching and skin infections, they can also spread disea
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