Flea And Tick Season Has Arrived In Dubuque Ia

Flea and Tick Season Has Arrived!

Fleas and ticks and worms oh my!  No pet owner likes to find ticks or other creepy crawlies on their dog or in their house. Fortunately, fleas, ticks, and even GI parasites (worms) can be prevented easily!

Fleas and ticks pose significant risks to dogs and cats due to their potential to transmit diseases. Dogs are particularly susceptible to Lyme disease. Fleas can cause allergic reactions, skin infections, and even anemia (blood loss) in severe infestations. Fleas also carry tapeworms and give them to your dog or cat! Ticks on the other hand, carry Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and many more diseases which can cause serious health concerns for your pets.

Symptoms of tick-borne disease in dogs and cats include fever, loss of appetite, lameness, tiredness, lack of energy, swollen joints, and in severe cases, kidney failure and death.

Fleas can cause severe itching and skin infections as well as tapeworm infections. Some cats and dogs can become allergic to flea saliva and one flea bite can result in two or more weeks of extreme itching. Both fleas and ticks readily transfer to (bite) humans too!

Although there are some seasons of the year when fleas and ticks are more noticeable; they are around all year. Did you know that ticks come out anytime the temperature is over 30 degrees Fahrenheit? And fleas can live on any animal year-round! That’s why our vets recommend Heartgard and Nexgard or Nexgard Plus all year.

Here are some myths our veterinarians hear about fleas and ticks almost every day:

Myth: My pet cannot have fleas or ticks because he lives entirely indoors.
Fact: Ticks cling to fur and clothing and you can bring them in just from walking from your car after work! Fleas thrive particularly well in the well-regulated temperatures in the home. Especially in carpets and furniture. One flea produces 50 eggs a day and 2000 in her lifetime! That’s a lot of fleas on your pet and in your house. Veterinarians recommend monthly flea control such as Nexgard or Nexgard Plus for dogs and Nexgard Combo for cats.

Myth: My pet cannot have fleas or ticks because if there were any fleas or ticks they would be biting me and I would see them.
Fact: The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, can suck the blood of a wide variety of animals. However, this flea definitely does not prefer human blood and won’t eat it unless absolutely necessary. Humans tend not to be bitten unless flea population numbers are high. Ticks don’t seem to mind if they are on a human, a dog, or a cat but it is definitely easier to hide on a dog or cat. Our vets recommend Nexgard or Nexgard Plus once monthly to help prevent fleas and ticks.

Myth: We can’t have fleas because we only have hardwood floors.
Fact: Fleas love to develop in the cracks between the boards of hardwood floors and in rugs and furniture like couches and can survive in larval (baby) form for up to 9 months before hatching in your house! Using a monthly oral medication like Nexgard Plus will help keep any of those fleas from reinfecting your pet.

Myth: My pet cannot have fleas or ticks because I would see them.
Fact: You cannot expect to see fleas and ticks all the time because fleas move around QUICKLY on a cat or dog and both fleas and ticks are TINY (like the head of a pin). Typically, we see flea dirt (their poop) that looks like dark brown or black dander, and we don’t find ticks until they have already attached and filled with blood. Prevention is key. This can be accomplished by regularly checking your pets for fleas and ticks. Oral preventatives such as Nexgard Plus for dogs and Nexgard Combo for cats will provide monthly protection against fleas and ticks with the addition of intestinal parasites. Give it once a month and enjoy your summer!