Flea and Tick Prevention

As we and our pets spend more time outdoors, especially in warmer weather, tiny, irritable creatures such as fleas and ticks find opportunities to infest our pets and invade our homes. Let’s delve into understanding these pests and how to prevent them effectively.

Why Fleas and Ticks Are Harmful

Adult fleas are diminutive, merely a few millimetres long, yet their impact is colossal! Fleas and ticks, beyond causing incessant itching and discomfort, can also transmit diseases between animals and humans, known as zoonoses.

Fleas can lead to conditions such as tapeworm infestations, anaemia, and flea allergy dermatitis, while ticks can transmit diseases like Anaplasmosis. While these tick-borne diseases can’t be directly transferred from pets to humans, the ticks that infest your pets can also bite humans, leading to disease transmission. Thus, prevention of flea and tick infestations is crucial for the well-being of your household.

Flea and Tick Prevention Techniques

Several effective parasite prevention methods range from collars to topical solutions to oral chews. The key is finding a product suitable for your pet and using it consistently.

  • Flea Collars: Flea collars like Seresto protect against fleas and ticks for up to 8 months. They are economical and efficient, especially for pet parents who may forget monthly flea and tick treatments. However, some collars may leave a high level of pesticide residue on your pet’s fur, posing a risk to other family members, particularly children.
  • Topical Solutions: Products like Frontline or Advantage are applied as a small amount of liquid between your pet’s shoulder blades, inaccessible to licking. The treatment stays in your pet’s oil glands, offering protection for 30 days. Ensure to wait until the application site is dry before touching your pet and at least two days before bathing or swimming.
  • Oral Preventatives: Monthly oral preventatives like NexGard or Bravecto are chewable treats that your dog will readily take. They offer an easy alternative to topical treatments and are great for dogs with full coats, multi-pet households, and families with children. They also permit bathing or swimming without a waiting period.

Remember that these preventatives are weight and age-dependent, so consult with your WonderVet veterinarian to select the most suitable product for your pet.

Prevention for Indoor Cats

Indoor cats aren’t immune to fleas or ticks. These pests can attach themselves to you or your dog and then find their way to your indoor cat. Thus, flea and tick prevention should include all pets.

However, avoid using products containing pyrethrins and pyrethroids on cats, as they’re highly sensitive to these substances and exposure can even prove to be fatal. Signs of toxicity include drooling, vomiting, tremors, seizures, or difficulty breathing. Opt for safer alternatives, like Seresto for Cats Collar and Revolution, a topical prescription medication that also prevents heartworm disease, controls intestinal parasites, and handles ear mites.

Further Steps

Beyond using preventatives, regularly check your pets after outdoor activities and ensure your backyard is less attractive to ticks. If you need more guidance on the right flea and tick preventative for your pet, consult your WonderVet veterinarian. They’re experts at spotting the difference between fleas and ticks, as well as vaccination schedules to keep your dog safe

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I administer flea & tick prevention to my pet?

The frequency varies with the type of product and local infestation levels, but generally, once a month is recommended, especially during warmer months. Some products may offer longer-lasting protection.

What is the safest flea and tick prevention for pets?

The safety of a product depends on multiple factors, including the pet’s health status. If you are uncertain, always consult with your veterinarian to choose the safest product for your pet.

Can I get flea meds without a vet’s prescription?

Some over-the-counter flea and tick prevention products are available, but many safe and effective ones require a veterinarian’s prescription. Always consult your vet to ensure the chosen product is appropriate and safe for your pet, considering potential interactions with other medications your pet may be taking.