Many people think that fleas and ticks are warm weather pests. And while we do commonly see them in the spring and summer months, we also will see a resurgence once the fall weather hits. This is because fleas hate cold weather and will do anything to try to get into a warm house to survive the winter. Ticks will also become more active in the cooler weather before the snow comes.
These past few weeks, we have started to see many of our patients with one or both of these buggers, so I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of the importance of year-round flea and tick preventation in this area.
For those of you who have never had a problem with fleas, I congratulate you as these are true pests. Even pets that live most or all of their life indoor are still considered at risk. I have certainly seen the indoor-only kitty come in with fleas. These buggers can come through your doors or open windows, or even jump on your pant leg to hitch a ride into your warm house. Along with the itchies, fleas can bring other problems for your pet, including tapeworms, Bartonellosis (commonly known as Cat Scratch Fever), Flea Anemia. And some of these conditions can become life-threatening to your pet!
This is why it is so important to have the appropriate medication and preventative to keep fleas out of your life. Unfortunately a flea problem is not a quick fix. We can talk to you about not only treating all of the pets in the home, but treating the home as well. It usually can take a few months to completely get rid of the problem, so be diligent and don’t give up!
Like fleas, ticks are skin parasites that feed on the blood of its host (dogs, cats, small mammals, and even people). The bite itself is not usually painful, but they can transmit disease and even cause something called tick paralysis in our pets. For this reason, prevention is so important for our furry family members. The most common disease that we hear about is Lyme Disease, but pets can also contract Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, and more. It does take several hours for a tick to transmit disease once it has attached itself, so you can usually prevent these diseases by frequently checking for and removing any ticks, as well as using a monthly prevenatitive. There are topical and oral preventatives available, and again the appropriate one may depend on your pet’s health and lifestyle.
Please don’t go through this Fall season without protecting your pet from fleas and ticks. The cost of prevention is much lighter than the cost of treatment for many of the diseases mentioned above as well as the benefit of keeping your pet happy and comfortable. Not every product on the market is appropriate for every dog or cat, so please call us before applying a new product or for any recommendations.