External Parasites Can Make Your Cat Miserable

Your tabby cat Thomas has become a feline binge scratcher. For several days, Thomas has periodically launched into frantic scratching episodes lasting for several minutes. You think you’ve figured out what happened. Since Thomas occasionally roams through your backyard and a nearby field, he might have attracted external parasites who hopped on his coat. Poor Thomas is miserable, so you’ve asked your veterinarian from Pickerington to diagnose and treat your cat’s problem. Read more about external parasites that can bother cats.

Nasty Little Fleas

Fleas are infamous in the cat world. If Thomas has attracted a few – or many – fleas, he’ll itch like crazy and might even display skin reactions to flea bites. If Thomas has an extreme flea infestation, he can contract anemia from blood loss. Even worse, Thomas can contract tapeworms from accidentally eating an infected flea.

Also, these little blood suckers can hop between pets – and onto humans – and can live indoors and outdoors. Once fleas establish themselves in your home, you’ll have trouble getting them to leave.

Maddening Ear Mites

These microscopic parasites can cause major problems for Thomas. If ear mites burrow into Thomas’ ear canal, the mites’ activities will cause Thomas to desperately dig at his itchy ears; and he’ll also repeatedly shake his head with discomfort. If Thomas’ ears show flecks that resemble coffee grounds, they’re probably mite droppings. Fortunately, your vet can diagnose and treat this nasty parasite infestation.

Terribly Invasive Ticks

Thomas’ favorite stomping grounds are home to opportunistic ticks. Ticks thrive in grassy and wooded areas, and they can quickly hop on Thomas while he stalks mice and birds. Ticks’ bites don’t present the real problem, although the bites serve as a transmission vehicle for dangerous Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Your vet can prescribe a flea and tick preventive product that should keep Thomas’ tick problem at bay.

Ringworm Fungal Infection

Ringworm is really a fungus that feeds on Thomas’ hair, skin, and nail keratin. Ringworm symptoms can be subtle; as you might only see an ash-like residue in Thomas’ coat. Thomas might also exhibit round thickened patches of skin along with hair loss. Good thing the patches generally don’t itch.

If Thomas’ ringworm isn’t treated, it can weaken his immune system, making him prone to other feline diseases. Ringworm can also be transmitted to other cats and to humans. Your vet can treat Thomas’ ringworm problem with topical cream, ointment, or shampoo. The vet might also prescribe oral anti-fungal medications.

Remember, Thomas can have external parasite problems during any time of year. Watch for symptoms that might indicate an infestation, and get Thomas to your Pickerington vet for quick diagnosis and treatment.

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