Flea and Tick Treament/Prevention

images, Flea and Tick Treatment/Prevention, THE BUGS ARE BACK! Ticks and fleas may be brought into your yard by many common carriers like feral cats, deer, raccoons, opossums, turkey and coyotes. Successful flea and tick control involves eliminating fleas and ticks from your dog or cat and their environment.  Some tick species can survive harsh winters and will even emerge to feed when temperatures are still as cold as 40 degrees.   Dogs and cats share the same types of fleas and ticks so they will travel from one pet to another. 

 Ticks can spread serious diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, canine anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and canine hepatozoonosis.  Visit us on https://www.pinterest.com/pin/455567318528903406/ to see a video of exactly how a tick feeds on your pet.

 Fleas are more difficult to treat so it helps to understand the flea life cycle. 

 Adult fleas jump on your cat or dog, take a blood meal and start to lay eggs – up to 40 eggs per flea, per day.  The eggs are laid on your pet’s skin but fall off into the environment, carpets, beds, furniture etc.  The eggs hatch within 14 -28 days.  High humidity and warm temperatures increase the hatching time.

 The eggs hatch into flea larvae and feed on organic debris in the environment. They prefer warm dark areas so they move deep into carpet fibers, under furniture, grass, and leaves.  Then mature into pupae.

 The pupae can lie dormant for up to nine months before the right conditions cause it to hatch into an adult flea.  Two days after a blood meal the flea starts laying eggs and the cycle starts over again

 In the egg and pupae state they are resistant to insecticides so it is important to treat your pet for at least several months.  One of the best products we use at Community Animal Hospital is Frontline Plus.

Flea and Tick Products

Frontline Plus, a monthly topical treatment for fleas and ticks, including Deer Ticks that carry Lyme disease, American Dog Tick, Brown Dog Tick and the Lone Star Tick.  Once Frontline Plus is applied to your dog or cat it starts killing fleas within four hours. It can be applied on puppies and kittens as young as eight weeks old.  Fleas do not have to bite a treated pet in order for Frontline Plus to work.  You will need to continue with monthly applications since by the time you find fleas there are already eggs and pupae in the environment that will be hatching and searching for a meal. 

 Frontline Plus contains an insect growth regulator which prohibits the new fleas from laying viable eggs to break the reproduction cycle.  That is why we treat for the entire flea season.

    Another product that is useful in killing fleas is Capstar.  We use this on cats and dogs with severe infestations.  Capstar is a tablet given orally to kill adult fleas on a pet.  Once the Capstar is out of the pet’s system it is no longer working.  So you will need to follow up with other flea control.

 Revolution is a monthly topical treatment that can be applied to puppies as young as six weeks old and kittens as young as eight weeks old.  Revolution is used to prevent fleas, the American Dog Tick, heartworm disease, ear mites and sarcoptic mange in dogs.  In cats it prevents heartworm disease, fleas, and controls ear mites, hookworms, roundworms.  Revolution also contains an insect growth regulator to help stop the reproduction of fleas. 

The newest addition to the flea and tick arsenal is NexGard.  It’s a chewable, beef flavored tablet administered monthly for dogs only. It also contains an insect growth regulator.  This is a good option for people who cannot use topical products.  However, it has a limited tick control capacity.

 Because of these different options for treatment you should discuss which of these products will work best for your pet’s lifestyle.

For more information visit:  https://www.communityanimalhosp.com/pet-resources/articles.html  and search fleas, ticks and flea allergy dermatitis.

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