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Fleas and ticks are more than just a nuisance. They can make your pet extremely uncomfortable and cause several different types of illnesses, like flea allergy dermatitis and tapeworm infestations. Southern Veterinary Hospital can evaluate your pet to determine the best type of flea prevention medication.

Pet Health Hazards Of Fleas And Ticks


Fleas and ticks carry diseases that can cause serious harm to your pet. The most common problem associated with fleas is flea allergy dermatitis, which causes excessive itching, skin inflammation, sores and hair loss.

 The second most common problem associated with fleas is tapeworms. According to the CDC, tapeworms are produced "by swallowing a flea infected with a tapeworm larvae. A dog or cat may swallow a flea while self-grooming. Once the flea is digested by the dog or cat, the larval tapeworm is able to develop into an adult tapeworm.

The adult tapeworm is made up of many small segments, called proglottids, each about the size of a grain of rice. Adult tapeworms may measure 4-28 inches in length. As the tapeworm matures inside the intestine, these segments (proglottids) break off and pass into the stool."

Ticks are known to carry many different types of bacteria that can cause rocky mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease.

 Lyme disease causes fever, lethargy, pain in your pets joints, decrease in appetite, and potentially kidney insufficiency.

Canine Ehrlichiosis is found worldwide. It is caused by several types of ticks: The Brown Dog Tick, Lone Star Tick, and American Dog Tick. Signs include fever, poor appetite, and low blood platelets (cells that help the clotting of blood), often noted by nose bleeding or other signs of bruising or anemia. Signs start about 1-3 weeks after the bite of an infected tick. Dogs diagnosed and treated promptly can have a good prognosis, but those who go on to the chronic phase have more difficulty recovering.

 Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause skin lesions, vomiting, or problems with your pet’s nervous system and depression.

For pets who are small or advanced in age, a severe flea infestation can cause anemia, which is characterized by rapid breathing, lack of appetite and excessive sleeping. If you suspect your pet has anemia due to fleas, it is an emergency situation.

Types Of Flea Prevention Medication Available

When it comes to preventing fleas and ticks, Southern Veterinary Hospital offers two different types of medications available, including oral tablets and topical treatments. Oral tablets are only available by prescription only. Southern Veterinary Hospital can help you decide which method is best for your pet, depending on his or her lifestyle.

  • Oral Tablets – Typically given once a month to control fleas and ticks. When the parasite bites your pet, it ingests the medication and dies.
  • Topical Treatments – Placed between your pet’s shoulder blades once a month. Kills fleas and ticks on contact.

Flea and Tick Prevention Help With Southern Veterinary Hospital

When it comes to controlling fleas and ticks, you can count on us to provide you with the right type of medication for your pet and advice on how to rid your home of flea infestations. If you are looking for a medication where the parasite does not need to bite your pet in order to be killed, we may recommend topical treatments. If you are looking for a no-hassle, quick and effective way to control fleas and ticks in your dog or cat, oral tablets may be the right solution. 


Heartworm disease can cause serious health risks to your pet and even be life threatening.

But this often fatal disease  CAN BE PREVENTED!!!!

  • Adult heartworms live in the lungs and the right side of the heart.
  • They are 6-14 inches long and several hundred may be present in the dog!
  • Heartworms impair blood circulation, resulting in damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Serious damage may occur, even before the owner detects outward clinical signs.
  • Heartworms are found throughout the United States and Canada.

Mosquitos spread heartworms:

After ingesting blood from an infected dog, the microfilaria (baby heartworm) is transmitted to another DOG or CAT when the mosquito bites it. Once the heartworms mature, they begin reproducing additional microfilaria. This microfilaria is not dangerous to the infected dog. A mosquito must ingest the microfilaria before they become infectious. The mosquito must then inject the heartworm larvae into the susceptible pet. It takes 3 to 6 months for adult heartworms to develop in a dog after an infected mosquito bites it. Heartworms occur in ALL breeds of dogs: large, small, short haired, long haired, inside or out! Heartworms can also affect cats.

Heartworms are diagnosed by simple blood tests and if detected early, treatment can be very successful. The adult heartworms are killed with a drug given in a series of 2-3 injections. A few days later, the worms begin to die, and are carried by way of the bloodstream to the lungs where they lodge in small blood vessels. They slowly decompose and are absorbed by the body over a period of several months.


We strongly recommend once a month preventatives, which also aid in the prevention of other intestinal parasites. These preventatives should be given all year long and routine testing once to every other year is suggested for all dogs!

For more information on our flea and tick prevention services or to schedule another type of service, like your pet’s yearly wellness examination, call us at (910) 642-3776 today.

Heart Worm Society: https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources