Fleas and Ticks
Summer fun comes with some uninvited guests. Flea and tick transmission increase in the warmer weather. It’s important to keep these pests under control for many reasons. They transmit diseases such as Hemobartonella and Ehrlichia. They can cause anemia in very small pets. Some dogs and cats are allergic to flea bites and develop severe dermatitis from relatively few fleas, usually around the tail- head area. Fleas and ticks on pets can be a source of bites for humans as well. Nearly all flea infestations are caused by one species of flea. Ticks are a little trickier to get rid of because there are multiple species of ticks that may have different susceptibilities to tick products. So, a broad spectrum tick killer is recommended.
Fortunately, there are some excellent products available to help take care of fleas and ticks. If your pet is on Trifexis or Advantage Multi for heartworm prevention then he or she is already on an excellent flea killer. Unfortunately, there are no heartworm preventions for dogs that take care of intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks, so another product must be used for tick prevention. Revolution is available for cats and will take care of intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks but only one species of tick. Fleas are very mobile, and all pets tend to be at risk for flea infestation. Ticks are not as mobile. You tend to have to go where they are to pick up a tick infestation. So, the need for tick prevention is a personal decision based on where you travel with your pet and whether you’ve ever had a tick problem near your residence in the past.
There are some newer oral products for fleas and ticks such as Bravecto, Nexguard, or Simparica. We carry Bravecto because it lasts for 3 months for fleas and most ticks. Nexguard and Simparica are taken monthly. Bravecto for cats is a topical spot-on instead of oral. These are prescription products.
There are some tick and flea collars that work well. Seresto is a flea and tick collar that lasts for 8 months. There is a version for dogs and cats. Seresto does not require a prescription. Some dogs and cats are sensitive to flea and tick collars and can develop dermatitis under the collar, so always watch closely for signs of irritation such as redness, hair loss, or scratching at the collar.
For families with both dogs and cats, we recommend that you avoid products toxic to cats, such as most pyrethrin products like Parastar Plus or Vectra 3D. Cats can be poisoned by grooming or contact with dogs who’ve had these products applied.