Dog and tick.

There’s a lot of ways to ruin a day, and chief among them definitely include a flea infestation or a tick bite. Both have the potential to cause serious problems in pets and people alike. As with most things in life where there is a clear and obvious solution, it is critical to address parasite prevention long before these bugs cause the unfortunate symptoms for which they are notorious.

Don’t Gamble On Pet Health

Opting out of year-round parasite prevention is a sizable bet. Allowing your pet’s medication to lapse during the colder months can actually increase their vulnerability, instead of promoting their protection. Your pet’s regular dose of parasite prevention medication does not allow for any breaks in the defense against fleas and ticks.

Parasite Prevention Methods

A monthly topical application specifically prescribed for your pet can kill fleas and ticks long before they cause health problems. However, it should only be used as directed. 

Why Fleas Are So Damaging

In a short time (about a month), a single flea can lay eggs that hatch into larvae, and grow into adult fleas when the life cycle begins all over again. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day! If an adult is separated from its food source, it will die within a couple days. Immature stages of the life cycle, like the larva and pupa stages, can live on surfaces like carpet and upholstery for a longer stretch of time waiting for a meal. 

Fleas are difficult to get rid of once they have a foothold in your home and on your pet. About 90% of a flea infestation does not occur on a pet. Exhaustive cleaning of bedding, carpeting, and upholstery typically precede professional extermination.

Fleas are vectors for bacterial and viral diseases and can spread other parasites, like tapeworms, to their hosts. Your pet’s parasite prevention medication is the best way to safeguard their health, your home, and your peace of mind. 

Ticks Just Won’t Stop

Depending on your pet’s lifestyle and current parasite prevention status, we may recommend testing for Lyme disease, Heartworm, Ehrlicia, and Anaplasmosis at their annual wellness exam. This is especially important if there has been a lapse in prevention methods,as we have to ascertain that they are disease-free before prescribing flea and tick medication. 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that does not typically cause symptoms right away. Over time, limping or lameness can occur, as well as behavioral changes. Luckily, in addition to preventing problems caused by ticks, there is a Lyme disease vaccination available for certain dogs. Another disease transmitted by ticks is Rocky Mountain spotted fever, an infection that causes fever and swelling. Without treatment, chronic illness can develop as a result and can even be fatal.

In contrast with fleas, ticks do not jump towards their host. Instead, they attach to grass, sticks, or shrubs and wait for their host to pass by them. Please check out this older blog on how to remove ticks

Parasite Prevention All Year Long

Please call us at  (916) 939-1705 with any questions about your pet’s parasite prevention. Our veterinarians and staff members are always happy to help at MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital