Anytime pets are outside, they are vulnerable to infestation by fleas or ticks. Fleas wait in the grass and will hop a ride on any passing animal. When fleas are brought into your home, they can live in your carpeting, furniture, and bedding for months. Ticks attach themselves to your pet, causing a variety of health problems, including Lyme disease. A variety of products are available to prevent flea and tick problems, and your Loves Park veterinarian can help you find the right one for your pet’s needs.

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Fleas and Ticks Can Undermine Pet Health

Many pets develop allergies to flea bites that can cause intense itching and resulting skin infections. Fleas can also cause anemia from constant biting and blood loss. Fleas sometimes also carry tapeworms, which are then transferred to your pet and can cause nutritional deficiency and weight loss. Ticks can carry:

  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis

Parasite prevention is the best way to protect your pets against illness and to prevent the need for expensive veterinary care.

Flea and Tick Prevention Options

Some of these methods should not be used on young puppies or kittens. Others should not be used on pregnant pets. In addition, products for dogs can’t be dangerous for use on cats. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best method for your individual pet.

Topical Treatments
A number of different topical treatments are available for flea and tick control.

  • Sprays will kill existing fleas and will help to prevent new infestations, but they must be used regularly to be effective.
  • Powders and dips are also available and can be used to kill existing fleas and prevent new infestations.
  • Collars are also available that are highly effective, but may be bulky and uncomfortable for some pets.
  • Spot-on treatments are applied to the pet’s coat once each month to repel fleas and tick and may also work against mosquitoes.

Oral Flea & Tick Control
More recently, oral medications that provide flea and tick prevention have become available. They are taken by mouth once a month for parasite prevention. Some medications only protect against fleas, while others protect against both fleas and ticks. In addition, the drugs also prevent internal parasites, such as hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. Some medications will also prevent heartworms. Oral medications can be a good choice for pet owners who have busy schedules and may not have time to give their pets a number of different parasite prevention products.