Preventing fleas and ticks for your dogs is crucial to keeping them happy and healthy. These pests can carry diseases such as Lyme disease or tapeworm as well as bacterial diseases, some of which can transfer to humans as well. Bites from fleas can lead to flea allergy dermatitis, which can cause itching that lasts long after the fleas are gone.
Signs that Your Pet has Fleas or Ticks
Excessive scratching is the first and most obvious sign that your pet has fleas. If you have a light-colored pet or one with short fur, you can check for little brown flecks or small flat brown insects. If you see these spots, you will need to confirm that they are fleas. Scrape a few of these brown spots onto a paper towel with a few drops of water and smear them. If you see red dots or red smears, it is dried blood from the fleas.
More severe infestations would include signs such as a rash, raw red wet areas, bumps, and loss of hair around the base of your pet’s tail accompanied by an unpleasant odor. When it comes to ticks, they will attach to your pet to take a blood meal for hours or days. In some cases, you will find them attached to your pet with their head burrowed under their skin. In other cases, the tick may have already bitten your pet and detached itself, so it is common to miss tick bites.
Flea and Tick Prevention for Your Pet
In addition to administering a flea treatment prescribed by your vet, if your pet is affected by fleas, be sure to clean your home, vacuum all carpets and furniture to remove eggs, and wash all fabrics, bedding, and carpeting to remove flea larvae. Two flea and tick prevention methods we recommend here at the Animal Medical Center of Streetsboro include:
- Bravecto – This is an oral chew that will provide your pet with up to 12 weeks of flea and tick protection. Relief is provided to your pet in about two hours. This treatment will kill fleas and can control four different tick species. With Bravecto, you can eliminate current flea infestations and prevent new ones from beginning for 12 weeks.
- Frontline Plus – This treatment is for cats and dogs and works to completely control fleas and ticks. This is best used for puppies and kittens that are eight weeks of age or older. This treatment will kill up to 100% of adult pleas within 24 hours and also contains a special ingredient that will kill flea eggs and larvae. This prevents all stages of fleas from developing and affecting your pet.
- Activyl – This flea treatment kills adult fleas and also stops flea eggs and larvae from developing. This formula works to break the lifecycle of the flea, killing the infestation and preventing new ones from developing.
If you have any questions about these treatments or suspect your pet has fleas or ticks, please contact the Animal Medical Center of Streetsboro to learn more.