Are Your Pets Ready for Flea and Tick Season?
As the weather warms up and we start to venture back outside, the annual outdoor dangers for your pets return. Flea and tick season can be a treacherous time for your pet, but if you’re prepared, you won’t have to worry about any threats.
Ticks and fleas are annoying pests that pet owners have to deal with. Fortunately, there are products to prevent or treat ticks and fleas.
The best way to choose the correct medication for ticks and fleas is to get the advice of your veterinarian. Your pet’s risk of disease is based on your pets lifestyle, the region in which you live, and your pets’ overall health. These factors will influence your veterinarian’s prescription for tick and flea medication.
The very best and safest products on the market to treat or prevent ticks and fleas are prescription products that are only available from your veterinarian or by prescription from your veterinarian.
Types of commercial products available for flea control include flea collars, shampoos, sprays, powders, and dips. Other, newer, products include oral and systemic spot on insecticides.
In the past, topical insecticide sprays, powders, and dips were the most popular. However, the effect was often temporary. Battling infestations requires attacking areas where the eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults all congregate. Because some stages of a flea’s life can persist for months, chemicals with residual action are needed and should be repeated periodically. Sprays or foggers, which required leaving the house for several hours, have been used twice in 2-week intervals and then every two months during the flea season.
Treating animals and their living areas thoroughly and at the same time is vital; otherwise some fleas will survive and re-infect your pet. You may even need to treat your yard or kennel with an insecticide, if the infestation is severe enough.
Ticks are irritating arthropods that prey on our pets. Their goal in life is to find a warm-blooded creature so that they can feed. Veterinarians and pet owners have been battling these tiny parasites for decades and the war continues.
Control and prevention of ticks is extremely important in reducing the risk of disease associated with ticks. This includes removing the ticks as soon as possible and trying to prevent attachment.
Tick avoidance requires avoiding environments that harbor them. Extra care should be taken in the woods and areas with tall grass or low brushes. When traveling, be aware that certain areas of the country have a much higher incidence of ticks (i.e. the northeast). In addition, since they can be carried unknowingly from one place to another on clothing or the body, it is always possible for an individual or animal to come into contact with a tick.
Ticks may be killed by spraying, dipping, bathing, powdering, or applying topical medications to affected individuals with appropriate tick-killing products. Tick collars or products applied topically may act to prevent attachment of new ticks and to promote detachment of ticks already attached.
There are many products on the market that control ticks. Some are over the counter; others are prescription, only available through your veterinarian. Whether one purchases an over the counter or prescription product, it is a good idea to consult your veterinarian first.
Why Preparing for Flea and Tick Season is So Important
If you have a dog or a cat, you are probably familiar with fleas. And you’re probably familiar with the many commercials and advertisements that encourage you to purchase products to get rid of fleas or prevent them from feeding on your pet. We place a lot of importance in preventing fleas in our pets because fleas are more than just blood-sucking insects; fleas are responsible for causing and transmitting diseases in cats.
Flea allergy dermatitis is a common ailment associated with flea bites. Though each bite from a flea can cause minor skin irritation, some animals can develop an allergy to the saliva of the flea. What this means is that just one flea bite can result in significant irritation, itchiness and aggravation. Flea allergy dermatitis is an itchy illness and animals will commonly scratch, resulting in hair loss. Typically, the hair at the base of the tail is usually affected, but small scabs and redness can occur all over the body. The primary treatment of flea allergy dermatitis is to remove the existing fleas and prevent future flea bites.
Resources for Flea and Tick Season
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