Flea and Tick Prevention and Treatment
Flea and tick prevention and treatment are absolutely essential for the health of your dogs and cats. These parasites can cause a variety of primary health problems and transmit a number of serious diseases.
Treatment and Prevention
Animal Medical Care recommends that most dogs take either Triflexis or Interceptor, which also prevents heartworm and other intestinal parasites. Other products are also available that are tailored to individual needs. For cats, we recommend Revolution to prevent fleas, heartworms, ear mites, and intestinal parasites. These products are safe and effective when used properly and consistently.
Although very small, fleas can wreak havoc on your pets and your home. Fleas usually come from other flea-infested animals; either wildlife, like possums and raccoons, or stray dogs and cats. Female fleas lay eggs which then develop into adults and live and thrive in your yard or the environment where your dog or cat plays.
Once infested with these blood-sucking insects, your pet will suffer from itchiness and could even develop flea allergies. Fleas inject saliva into your pet’s skin, causing an allergic reaction which prompts the animal to scratch the bite. Tapeworm infections are also caused when your pet ingests a flea. Tapeworms live in the small intestine of the animal.
Your pet is susceptible to ticks when walking through the woods or high grass. Ticks can cause more than a dozen different diseases. The deer tick and black-legged tick can transmit Lyme disease, while the American dog ticket can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The most common ticks in Georgia are the lone star tick and the American dog tick.
Tips for Controlling Flea Infestation
If you haven’t been using an effective flea preventative on a year-round basis and you suddenly find your home or pet infested with fleas:
1) Go to your veterinarian and get a minimum of three to four months of prevention for each animal. It is ideal if your pet is treated year round, but expect to treat for a minimum of three months to get an infestation under control. Do not expect over-the-counter treatments to be effective. You get what you pay for when it comes to flea preventatives.
2) After making sure that you know how to apply the preventative correctly, treat each of your pets.
3) Get your house treated. You can either purchase area sprays and flea bombs or get the house treated by an exterminator. This step is extremely important. Around 90% of your infestation is not on your pet, but in the larval or egg form in your carpet or other areas of the house. If you don't treat your house multiple times you will have the egg and larval forms hatch out and you will be back to square one.
4) Repeat again for the next two months.
5) Once you have the infestation under control, prevent a recurrence of the problem by keeping your pets on year-round flea and tick prevention.