parasites in petsEctoparasites. It sounds like an alien monster in a grade B horror film on late night television. The truth is, these little characters are a nemesis that star in a reality show straight from your living room.

The Characters. Ectoparasites are any parasites that live on the outside of a host. The main star is the flea with their high jumping talents. The co-star of the show is the tick, who likes to hang around in bushes and grass waiting for victims. There are also mites and other supporting characters that look for chances to have a walk-on part.

Setting the Stage. The story opens when flea or tick saliva gets onto your pet via a bite. Your cat or dog will join the show as the host if he or she has an allergy to spit – and lots of pets do.

The Plot Thickens. Allergic reactions in pets follow a few plotlines. There may be the expected itching or scratching. You may also see red, dry, irritated skin, called dermatitis. There could be ‘hot spots’ that start out as a bite, but end up as a painful and potentially oozing lesions.

Enter the Hero. There are many treatments that will save the day for your pet. Simparica/Simparica Trio®, Trifexis®, and Vectra 3D® are typecast for their ability to eliminate pests. The roles of Cytopoint® and Apoquel® are to clean up the itch after the fact. Remember that each plot – and each pet – is different. We’ll give you the best options for your unique situation.

Curtain Call. If you’ve seen signs of a possible allergic reaction to ectoparasites, make an appointment to see us. We’ll treat the symptoms – but most of all we’ll address the underlying cause of the infestation. After all, we all want a “happy ever after” for you and for your pet.

PS Did you notice that flea shampoo isn’t in our movie? That’s because they totally failed the audition. While it might offer temporary relief, it has no staying power, because fleas will just jump right back on your pet.