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Fleas And Ticks

Fleas And Ticks

Fleas:

Fleas are the most common skin parasite affecting pets. Often, it’s easy for an owner to underestimate a problem with fleas until it’s advanced.  While we may have a mental image of a pet scratching because of fleas, the fact is that itching and scratching only occur when the animal is allergic to the flea’s bite or saliva. If the animal isn’t allergic, there’s often no sign it is infested with fleas unless you happen to see a flea.  Controlling and eliminating fleas can be difficult because most evidence of fleas (eggs, larvae, and pupae) are not found on the animal but around the home.

The length of the flea’s life cycle varies depending on temperature, humidity level, and the availability of a host animal but can last up to several months. It begins when a flea lays its eggs in your pet’s hair coat.  The eggs develop into larvae that feed on the feces of adult fleas that came before.  Eggs that fall from the hair coat often land on and in carpets, floor cracks and crevices, baseboards, and furniture.  The larvae eventually spin cocoons and can remain dormant for many months.  Once the adult flea comes out of the pupa, it can survive for days without a host.  After attaching to a dog or cat, the adult flea begins feeding on the animal’s blood.  These bites are what cause allergic animals to scratch.  Adult fleas typically live on the host animal for less than 3 days, but that is plenty of time for the flea to lay eggs and start the cycle all over again.  One female flea can lay as many as 50 eggs a day, so a minor flea problem can quickly get out of hand.  Getting the fleas off your pet may not be enough.  Your home and yard may also need to be treated if they are heavily infested.  Keep in mind that sunlight kills fleas, so they are more likely to be found in shaded areas, such as under porches or decks, in carports, at the edges of woods, and especially in places where your pet lies down outdoors.

Ticks:

Female ticks lay eggs in secluded areas where vegetation is dense and several inches high.  Adult females of some tick species lay about 100 eggs at a time; others lay 3,000 to 6,000 eggs per batch.  Regardless of species, tick eggs hatch in about two weeks.  After hatching, the larvae move into grass or shrubs in search of their first blood meal.  When you or your pet pass by, they attach themselves and crawl upward in pursuit of an area of the skin that they can feed from.  Then they drop off the host, back into the environment.  After finding their first blood meal, the larvae molt into the nymph stage and begin searching for another host.  Nymphs are small in size and often go undetected, increasing the chance for disease transmission.  Once the nymph has had its blood meal, it molts into an adult.  Adult female ticks feed on a host.  In some cases, they will increase to 100 times their original weight while feeding. After feeding, the female will mate, fall off and lay her eggs in a secluded place, beginning the life cycle again. Ticks can carry numerous diseases including, Lyme disease, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

We recommend using a flea and tick preventative throughout the year in our area. If you have any other questions regarding fleas and ticks or would like to purchase flea and tick prevention, contact our office at 972-772-7777.

Advantage

  • For prevention and treatment of fleas. For dogs 7 weeks and older
  • For cats 8 weeks and older
  • Topical solution applied directly to the skin every 30 days. For dogs under 20 lbs.  It should be applied in one spot between the shoulder blades.  For dogs over 20 lbs. It should be applied evenly to 3 or 4 different spots on the top of the back from the shoulders to the base of the tail

Vectra 3D

  • To control fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, lice, sand flies and mites
  • For dogs 7 weeks and older
  • Topical solution applied directly to the skin every 30 days starting from the base of the tail along the center of the back all the way up to the shoulder blades
  • DO NOT use in cats

Capstar

  • For treatment of flea infestations on dogs and cats
  • For dogs and cats 4 weeks and older and 2 lbs. or greater
  • Oral tablet that can be given as often as once per day

Frontline Plus

  • To control fleas, ticks, and chewing lice
  • For dogs and cats 8 weeks and older
  • Topical solution applied directly to the skin every 30 days in a single spot between the shoulder blades
For additional specials and offers: Text DOGCAT to 96362