Preparing for Flea and Tick Season
Crosspoint Veterinary Hospital, Covington, Louisiana
The warmer months are here, and so are fleas and ticks. These resilient vermin work their way into our lives every year and can spoil a day out with a single bite. Luckily, you do not have to move to a new house or avoid the outdoors to escape these pests. Before setting out on hikes, trips and outdoor adventures with your dog, spray up and follow this blog to help you and your pet survive flea and tick season.
What are ticks and fleas? The short answer is they are parasites who survive on other living things, stealing all the hard-earned nutrients for themselves. That alone is annoying, but when you add in the fact that they can carry dangerous infections and diseases it becomes more serious. Ticks, which are not insects but arachnids like spiders, carry Lyme disease in their stomachs. This nasty infection can give both humans and dogs flu-like symptoms, joint pain and arthritis, and can even prove fatal. The areas where Lyme disease is most prevalent in the U.S. are the Northeast, Upper Midwest and Pacific coast, but it is not unheard of in every state. Unfortunately, ticks can also give two- and four-legged victims other diseases like tick paralysis. The negative effects of fleas can range from mild skin irritation to the plague. There are 200 species of fleas that affect dogs, with the most common being the cat flea.
Luckily, there are tons of different options when it comes to preventative care for your pet. Pet parents should consistently apply a flea and tick preventative product to their dog. The different application methods include drops, chewable pills, collars, sprays and shampoos. Some contain strong chemicals while others use natural ingredients. Droplets are one of the best ways to prevent fleas and ticks. Once applied to an area, usually the base of the neck, the active ingredient spreads across the body, killing harmful pests on contact. Droplets are not for everybody, and many companies also offer a chewable pill that can be disguised in food. Unlike drops, the pills circulate the active ingredient around a dog’s bloodstream and a bite is the only way a flea or tick can be affected. Flea collars carry the active ingredient inside, radiating it over the dog’s body.
With all that being said, preventative care is the way to go to avoid fleas and ticks during these warmer months, so stop by Crosspoint Veterinary Hospital for all your preventative care or give us a call at 985-888-1566 with any other further questions.