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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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9 Ailments Dogs Get From Fleas, Ticks & Mosquitoes

Prevention: The 1 surefire way to avoid 9 parasite-borne ailments

Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can bring more harm to your dog than annoying itching and scratching. Below are 9 common diseases and conditions that are spread by these tiny troublemakers. The good news is, there is one easy way to help make sure your dog doesn't experience any of them: Prevention!

Allergies

Flea bites are the #1 cause of skin allergies in dogs. Pets are often allergic to flea saliva, which results in itching, hot spots, hair loss and superficial wounds from excessive scratching. Help your pet avoid the misery of allergic reactions to flea bites by starting a safe, effective flea prevention regimen such as NexGard or Trifexis. If your dog is already experiencing allergies, ask your vet about Atopica or Apoquel.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are typically transmitted to dogs when they ingest fleas, which usually happens when dogs self-groom or chew at itchy flea bites. Tapeworms can grow to be six inches in length, invading the digestive tract. These parasites often have as many as 90 segments. Segments break off and can sometimes be seen in the stool or around the rectum of infected dogs. When infected, your dog may show signs of mild illness and weight loss. Remove tapeworms and restore your dog's digestive health with de-wormers such as these.

Heartworms

Transmitted by mosquitoes, heartworms are a deadly infection that is difficult and expensive to treat. It is vital that you protect your dog from these invasive parasites that can grow up to 12 inches in length and compromise your dog's heart and lung function. Protect your pet from heartworm disease consistently, never missing a dose.

Skin infections

When your dog scratches due to flea or mosquito bites, skin infections may result. Treat superficial skin irritations and infections with quality topical wound cleansing products such as Vetericyn VF Wound & Skin Care Spray and bathe irritated skin using 1-800-PetMeds Oatmeal and Aloe Vera Shampoo.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is an infection contracted from the bite of an infected tick. Antibiotics are required for treatment. Lethargy, loss of appetite, swollen joints, lameness and stiffness may result. Bleeding from the mouth, anus or urinary tract, as well as bruising of the skin are also signs of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Pneumonia and cardiac arrhythmias may result, as well. Many times, neurologic complications may also be seen. Prevent ticks from biting your pet and reduce the risk of infection with an effective flea & tick preventative.

Scratching misery

The scratching that results from flea and mosquito bites can make your dog miserable. Hair loss, painful skin irritation and possible infections make the situation even worse. Soothe your dog's sore, itchy skin with specially formulated shampoos, conditioners and topical sprays created to reduce redness and irritation. Supplementing your dog's diet with Omega 3 fatty acids can also help improve skin health.

Lyme disease

Ticks are carriers of Lyme disease, which can cause heart, kidney, and neurological problems. Protect your dog against Lyme disease by beginning a regimen of monthly flea and tick prevention.

Tick paralysis

Certain female ticks secrete a toxin that affects the nervous system of dogs, causing tick paralysis. Characterized as a loss of muscle tone and weakness, sometimes only the hind legs are affected. However, the front limbs as well as the muscles of respiration can also be affected. Protecting your dog against fleas and ticks is the best way to help your pet avoid contracting this disabling and frightening disease.

Ehrlichia

Ehrlichia is another tickborne disease that can threaten your dog's health. Symptoms include joint pain and stiffness, fever, lethargy, bruising and anemia. In some cases, chronic neurological symptoms can occur as well as inflammation of the eyes. Again, the best way to help your pet avoid the pain and discomfort of Ehrlichia is with a good flea & tick preventative given on a consistent basis.

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