beasties that bite
Mosquitos, ticks and fleas — oh my! These creepy crawlers may be small, but they’re a big nuisance to our pets. Not only do they cause discomfort by way of itchy bites (especially pets with flea or mosquito allergies), but they can also transmit serious and even fatal diseases.
Pets infested with fleas not only scratch up a storm (particularly those sensitive to flea saliva), but they can develop secondary skin infections in response to just one bite. Fleas also transmit bacteria that can lead to illness, including:
- Anaplasmosis: Affects red blood cells and can cause symptoms similar to Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Actually occurs in the East Coast, Midwest and Plains regions of the United States
- Babesiosis: A red blood cell parasite that can cause anemia and severe disease in some cases
Finally, mosquitos are known for pestering us on warm summer nights, but it’s the heartworms they transmit that are the real concern for our pets. Heartworms are often deadly for dogs and cats. While there is treatment for heartworms in dogs, it can be hard on them and is very expensive. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for heartworm disease in cats.