These pesky insects can mean trouble for your pet
- Fleas can cause bacterial infections including Bartonella
- Fleas carry parasites like tapeworm
- Heavy infestations of fleas can cause blood loss and anemia
- Fleas can cause severe skin irritation and flea allergic dermatitis
The flea life cycle consists of the egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages
- Eggs are laid in the hair coat and are designed to fall off your pet and into your home (imagine your pet is like a salt shaker dropping flea eggs all over your home)
- Larvae hatch from the eggs and develop in the environment by feeding on adult flea feces
- Larvae eventually spin cocoons, often within carpet fibers, for pupation
- Pupae are resistant to freezing, drying, and insecticides. They can also lie dormant for months
- Adult fleas hatch from pupae and can begin feeding within hours of finding a dog or cat
- The entire flea life cycle can be completed in as little as three weeks
These blood-sucking parasites carry a host of diseases that can compromise the health of your pet. The most common diseases include:
- Lyme disease – symptoms include joint pain, lethargy, lameness, decreased appetite, and fever
- Anaplasmosis or “dog fever” – symptoms are similar to those of Lyme disease and include vomiting and diarrhea
- Ehrlichiosis – symptoms are similar to those of Lyme disease and also include respiratory distress, runny eyes & nose, bloody nose, and enlarged lymph nodes
A tick will attach to its host and transmit these diseases through its saliva. The tick must be attached to the animal for a minimum of 24 hours to transmit an infectious pathogen.
How to remove a tick – Because ticks can carry infectious agents it is best to wear gloves. With tweezers, use steady pressure and pull the tick out using a straight motion. Do not twist or jerk the tick because you want to avoid leaving the tick’s mouthparts behind. Also, make sure not to squeeze or crush the tick. After removing the tick examine it to be sure the head and mouth parts were all removed.
MAH offers a variety of flea and tick products for both dogs and cats in oral, topical, and wearable forms
Topical medications include:
- Advantage II – Monthly treatment for control of Approved for dogs and cats 8 weeks of age or older.
- Advantage Multi Feline – Monthly treatment prevents heartworm and controls fleas, hookworms, roundworms, and ear mites. Approved for cats 9 weeks of age or older.
- Bravecto feline – 3 month treatment for control of fleas and Approved for cats
12 weeks of age or older.
Wearable products include:
- Seresto – An 8 month flea and tick collar. Approved for dogs 7 weeks of age or older and cats 10 weeks of age or older.
Oral medications include:
- Simparica – Monthly chewable tablet for control of fleas and ticks. Approved for dogs
6 months of age or older.
- Nexgard – Monthly chewable tablet for control of fleas and ticks. Approved for dogs
8 weeks of age or older.
- Comfortis (feline) – Monthly chewable tablet for control of fleas. Approved for use in cats
14 weeks of age or older.
Call us with any questions regarding the best protection for your pet!