Tagged with " blood"

Don’t Let Those Bed Bugs Bite!

Aug 11, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

Is there anything more disgusting than bed bugs?  Just the thought of those diabolical creatures, crawling around in our beds and making meals of our blood while we’re asleep is enough to give anyone nightmares!

Bed bugs are very much in the public eye right now, and there are several parts of the country experiencing epidemic-level problems.  Those tiny nocturnal pests are difficult to eliminate, and people can unwittingly carry them into their homes through contaminated bedding materials or furnishings that are infested with the bugs.  Because they are so hard to identify, it can be relatively simple to carry bed bugs from location to location.  Hotels are, unfortunately, a perfect opportunity for these wily creatures to hitch a ride into new homes through luggage or clothing.

Bed bugs prefer human blood, but most species will feed on cats and other animals, which is of course a concern for us cat lovers!

Happily, though, this is one area where cats really have an advantage over us humans.  As a cat vet who is concerned about the level of protection our cats receive against parasites and heartworm disease, I always recommend that all cats receive monthly preventive treatments with anti-parasite products that have effectiveness against fleas, intestinal parasites and heartworm disease.  These topical products will also protect against bed bugs, so those furry companions in our beds—if they’re properly protected – should be safer than we are!

Bed bugs are exceedingly nasty but they don’t actually live on people or animals.  They are what are called periodic parasites, which means they make frequent trips to their hosts to feed but they actually live away from their hosts (in this case, bed bugs live in bedding, clothing, etc).  Another interesting—and possibly reassuring—fact about bed bugs is that even though they take many blood meals, it does not appear as though they transmit any diseases to people.  People frequently get reactions from bed bug bites, much like many of us do with mosquito bites, but those welts generally subside over time.

So…the best protection for your cat from the scourge of bed bugs is to protect your cat against fleas, intestinal parasites and heartworms.  It’s a win-win!

Dr Cathy Lund

Cathy Lund, DVM, owns and operates City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats, a cat practice located in Providence, RI. She is also the board president and founder of the Companion Animal Foundation, a statewide, veterinary-based nonprofit organization that helps low-income pet owners afford essential veterinary care. She lives in Providence, and serves on several architectural and preservation commissions in the city, and is on the board of directors of WRNI, RI’s own NPR station. But her favorite activity is to promote the countless virtues of the “purr-fect” pet, the cat!

City Kitty
18 Imperial Pl # 1B
Providence, RI 02903-4642

Phone: (401) 831-6369
Email: email@city-kitty.com

Website: http://www.city-kitty.com/
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