Parasites: More On Fleas And Ticks

Fleas and ticks are external parasites that cause annoyance and health problems on your pets. The following are two questions answered about fleas and ticks.

How Can I Keep My Dogs Free Of These Parasites?

Flea control products such as Prevention and Frontline works very well for most pets. In areas of heavy parasite concentration, constant supervision is necessary. When used according to instructions supplied by the veterinarian or product manufacturer, fine collars are fine to use in mild to moderate flea infestations.

Caution must be taken to use only those products designed for felines on your cats and to avoid wetting the flea control collar which, when moistened, release dangerous concentrations of poison too rapidly for the animal’s body to tolerate.

Houses with rugs and carpets should consider flea stoppers. These products, when applied to rugs and carpeted areas, will kill flea eggs and larvae for up to one year. Vacuum the carpet at least twice a week, focusing in areas where your pet frequents.

For ticks or very heavy flea infestation, more extreme methods such as routine dipping, spraying, or powdering may be necessary to keep the situation from getting out of hand. In areas where Rocky Mountain spotted fever is not widespread, individual ticks may be soaked with alcohol and removed with tweezers. However, spraying and dipping act not only to kill ticks present on the pet’s body but serve also to prevent another infestation for at least ten days following treatment.

Oral medications are also available that work internally to kill any flea or tick that bites your pet but these medications must be given under strict veterinary supervision. In fact, before using any flea control product, especially pesticide, it is wise to consult your vet for suggestions and instructions to ensure safety applications of these potentially dangerous products.

What About Fleas & Ticks In The House?

This can be quite a problem. Many products have been used to try to prevent fleas and ticks from nesting and breeding in human living quarters, doghouses, and shrubbery. However, there are strains of fleas and ticks resistant to commonly used chemicals. Consult your vet for the best flea prevention product to use for your home. When applying a flea prevention product, special care should be taken that all window casings, wall boards, and door sills be thoroughly treated.

Since many of these products are toxic to your pet, as well as the fleas, humans and all pets should be removed from the area for several hours after treatment. This is an ideal time to treat the animals themselves so that no parasites are reintroduced into the house when they return. Many clients and pet owners find it easier to hire a professional exterminator to rid their homes, kennels, shrubbery, or cattery of fleas and ticks.

Keeping your dog free of fleas and ticks this summer may not be the easiest or most enjoyable task to accomplish, however, because of the many problems related to infestation with external parasites, eradication of fleas and ticks is an important goal, both for your dog’s health and comfort, as well as your own. Your vet can provide specific information and resources on controlling particular parasites common in your area.