Flea and tick season is a season that can be deadly to our furry friends if we are not proactive in getting them vaccinated and treated for these little bugs.
When is flea and tick season?
Flea and Tick season usually starts around May and goes through until late fall. The worst time for Feas and Ticks is September, October, and November. So you want to start your treatment schedule early May, and you can stop the treatments once the ground starts to feeze and the tempurature is consistently below the freezing point.
Whats the differance between fleas and ticks?
Fleas– These are an agressive breeding external parasite that plauges our companion pets. Fleas are a wingless insect that can jump up to two feet high and feed on blood.
A flea infestation is swift and agressive. Fleas can live from as little as 13days to 12months, the scary thing about these insects is that during this time they can create millions of offspring.
All of this can sound disturbing and can be grose to think about, but as a pet owner myself I know how important it is to know as much as possible about what can harm your furry friends.
Good thing there are symptoms; there are things to look for when concered there may be an infestation brewing.
- These insects will be found close the the scalp, something to look for is droppings, it will look like dirt on the scalp.
- Fleas lay eggs, sometimes you can find traces of white eggs
- The dog will be irritated. You will see scratching, licking and possible biting of the skin. Your pup may start to loose their hair and they can also show signs of allergic reaction and rash on the skin.
There can be complications when fleas start to reproduce and settle into the host, your dog. The fleas can spread to other parts of your home, they can fall off or jump off the animal onto carpet and other upholstery, waiting until they find another host. Incase you don’t remember, fleas feed on the blood of the host. With the ability to eat 15 times more in blood then their own body weight you can see how this may become a problem for your pet if the infestation goes unnoticed and continues to grow. Significant blood loss can happen over time, young puppies can be in serious risk if enfected, inadequate red blood cells from blood loss could be life threatening to the pup. Keep in mind as well, most preventitive treatments have age limitations on them, leaving puppies at serious risk. Be proactive pet parents and take steps to make sure your babes are safe.
Ticks– These insects are alot more difficult. They fall under the arachnids category. They too feed on the blood of the host like fleas, however unlike the fleas the host may not even know they are there. And worst their bites can transmit many diseases. If you are concered about the kinds of diseases the ticks can transmit you will need to ask your vet, the diseases they can transmit can vary by region, your vet will be well versed with what to expect in your area.
Ticks transmit much like fleas, they come from outdoors in grass, wooded areas waiting for your dog to come in contact with them. They are a blood eater, they depend on it to survive. Once they come into contact with your dog the are usually the size of a pin head, once they inbed their heads into the skin of the host and start to gorge themsleves on blood they start to swell, when this starts to happen they can be fairly easy to see.
You may be wondering where to look… Really you should look everywhere, but for the most part you will find ticks close to the head. They like to hide in warmer spots like under the ears and in the neck. I have seen some serious cases of tick infestation and it can be agressive.
Just when you thought it cant get worse, it does. I mentioned the transmission of diseases, one of those diseases is Lyme disease.
Whats Lime disease?
- Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, this infection can not only infect your dog but it can also infect you.
- The deer tick is the most prevelant host for this disease.
- When the infection occurs you may see symptoms like depression, swelling of lymph nodes. Your pup may show a loss for appetite, and you may also notice fever, swollen and painful joints, or worse kidney failure.
- Treatment for lyme disease is most effectively done by antibiotics
- Some good news. Prompt and proper treatment should start to show some progress in your pet within 48hours
Flea and tick treatments for your dog
Flea and ticks require different course if treatments…
When you suspect a potential flea infestation take your dog to the vet to confirm. Because fleas can jump and hang out on carpets and other fabrics in the home, you will have to treat any other pets in the home along with the enviornment itself. Paying extra attention to the places the dogs spends most of his time, like his bed for example.
Once a vet has confirmed if your dog has fleas they will start a treatment plan with you. The treatment plan can include a number of differnet things. Treatments will be differnet depending on the severity of the infestation.
- On the lite side, treatments can cover topical creams, shampoo, powders, and spreys for your pet.
- There may be need for a thorough cleaning of the house. This may include carpets, couches, bedding, drappery and so on.
- If the infection is severe, a spray or a fogger may be required, this sort of treatment will mean that the home will have to be evacuated during the treatment. It will only be temperary, but it is necessary.
- If you are noticing your dog is constantly geting infected with ticks when they go outside, you may need to do lawn treatments as well.
When you find a tick on your pet you may feel the need to want to pull it out. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and take it slow. Removing a tick requires care. There is risk involved in removing a tick, coming into contact with the ticks blood can potentially pass on infection to your pet, you can also get infected yourself.
I found a 3 step process for removing ticks from your pet. If you are not comfortable with the removal, get your pet to the vet as soon as you can.
Step1: Prepare with gloves, protect yourself from having direct contact with the tick and the infected area on your pet. Have a container of some sort handy to put the tick in once it is removed. The tick wont die if you throw it in the garbage, or down the toilet. Another reason you will want to keep the tick is incase you need it for testing to be sure it isn’t a carrier for any diseases, if it is, the tick sample will help your vet know what to do for treatments. Oh and it is recommended that it is a screw top, and that you put some rubbing alcohol in it.
Step 2: Remove
- Get some tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible
- Using even pressure, holding steady, pull upwards to remove the tick
- Place the tick into the jar with the rubing alcohol inside
- Steady and even pressure, be sure not to twist or jerk the tick. Parts may break off and be left in the pet. Or worse the tick spits out the blood it is gorging on pushing potential infectiong into your pet.
- So no squeezing, no trying to forcefully break it off the skin…
Step 3: Disinfect and Monitor, even though you were wearing gloves you will want to wash your hands well with soap and water. Sterilize the tweezers you used with a flame or rubbing alcohol. Monitor the bite spot, keep an eye out for redness or swelling in the bite area. If traces of possible infection start to show, bring your dog and the jar with the tick for evaluation as soon as you can.
*** Again as a reminder, if you find a tick in your dog, yes it is important to move swiftly and have it removed, but if you are feeling unsure about doing it, be on the safe side and get your pet to the vet. ***
Prevention to protect and keep them safe
Some vets will recommend year around treatments for your dogs, it doesn’t hurt them and it makes sure they are covered. However if you only want to treat during peak season or when the threat is at its highest, then you will want to start treatments in May, and carry them through until the frost starts to set in, late November, early December.
There are a number of preventative treatments you can use to help keep the babes safe. There are a variety of different companies that offer a range or treatment types. From collars to pills to liquid drops on the back of the neck on the scalp. Lets go over a few that are considered to be in the top 5. It is always a recomendation to talk to your vet about any treatments you may want to give your pet. An informed decission is the best one. So lets get into some preventative options and then you will have a direction to take when talking to your vet…
| Frontline Plus for Dogs 45-88 lbs – PURPLE, 12 MONTH – $134.99
Frontline PLUS Purple for Dogs 45-88 lbs Recommended by veterinarians, Frontline PLUS Purple for Dogs 45-88 pounds is a powerful and easy-to-use formula designed to quickly and effectively kill fleas, ticks, and chewing lice. FRONTLINE Plus is specially formulated for dogs weighing 45-88 pounds. Available without a prescription, FRONTLINE Plus only needs to be applied once a month for thorough pest control. Flea life cycle. View larger . Tick life cycle. View larger . Quickly Kills Fleas, Ticks, and Chewing Lice This powerful formula kills up to 100 percent of existing fleas in the first 12 hours after application, and it continues to kill new fleas for at least one month afterward. FRONTLINE Plus prevents the development of new fleas by destroying flea eggs and larvae and by destroying adult fleas before they have a chance to lay eggs. FRONTLINE kills chewing lice and all four major ticks, including ticks that may carry Lyme disease, keeping both your pet and your family protected. Waterproof Formula Thanks to its waterproof formula, FRONTLINE Plus won’t rinse off when you give your dog a bath or when your dog goes for a swim. The active ingredient in FRONTLINE, fipronil, is stored in the natural oils in your dog’s coat, so your pet is sure to stay protected no matter how many puddles he or she tramps through. This FRONTLINE Plus product is EPA approved and registered, so it’s guaranteed to be the exact same product sold by your Veterinarian. Click here for more information on EPA-approved pet products. Package Contents Box includes three 2.68-milliliter tubes of FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs. Frontline PLUS Purple for Dogs 45-88 lbs Kills fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and chewing lice Fast-acting formula Includes 12 one-month applications Waterproof formula Easy-to-use applicator For dogs weighing 45-88 pounds Per Dose: $11.92 More Info Got Fleas? A product guide to flea and tick products. Flea Facts You Should Know Interesting flea facts to help your pets be pest free. Fleas: Understanding the Enemy All about fleas and prevention. Ticks Helpful information on ticks and your pets. FAQs about Fleas and Ticks FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs is Available In: Orange (0 – 22 pounds) Blue (23 – 44 pounds) Purple (45 – 88 pounds) Red (89 – 132 pounds) 3 month 6 month 12 month 3 month 6 month 12 month 3 month 6 month 12 month 3 month 6 month 12 month
|Flea Away for Cats & Dogs (100 Chewable Tablets) – $20.99
Flea Away is a vitamin complex that causes your pet to develop a natural repellent for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. This keeps fleas off your dog or cat before they bite and find chemicals, like other flea repellents. With Flea Away your pet produces an odor (undetectable by humans) that keeps fleas away. It even remains effective after bathing or swimming. This chewable tablet is liver flavored so your pet will love it. 100 Chewable Tablets Liver flavored Repels for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Repels before they bite
|Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Large Dogs – $54.99
Seresto® is an easy-to-use, odorless collar that kills and repels fleas and ticks for 8 continuous months. It also aids in the treatment and control of sarcoptic mange and kills lice. Whatever your dog brings home, it shouldn’t be fleas and ticks. Dogs will be dogs. Whether they get into the garbage can out back or dig up that old shoe in the yard, Seresto® for dogs can help keep them protected from fleas and ticks for 8 continuous months. The innovative Sustained Release Technology of Seresto® provides effective flea and tick protection in an easy-to-apply, non-greasy collar. Truly unique technology for your dog. Seresto® is a unique polymer matrix collar that offers a continuous supply of two active ingredients: imidacloprid and flumethrin for effective 8-month protection against fleas and ticks. That’s one convenient, non-greasy, odorless flea and tick collar instead of 8 monthly treatments. The active ingredients are stored within the collar. They are released in low concentrations and are distributed over your dog’s hair and skin surface for 8 months. As active ingredients wear off over time, Seresto® for dogs continuously replenishes the skin and coat with a new supply of active ingredients. Fleas and ticks are killed through contact with the active ingredients ? no biting required. For 8 months prevention and treatment of ticks, fleas and lice on large dogs and puppies 7 weeks of age and older and up to 18 lbs. (8kg): REPELS AND Kills fleas and ticks. Repels and kills ticks for 8 months, including Deer ticks (vector of Lyme disease and anaplasmosis), American dog ticks (vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis), Brown dog ticks (vector of ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, bartonellosis, canine hemoplasmosis, babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever), and Lone Star ticks (vector of ehrlichiosis). Prevents tick infestations within 48 hours after application. Re-infesting ticks are repelled and/or killed as quickly as 6 hours. Treatment with Seresto kills fleas that may vector tapeworm infections (dipylidium caninum), bartonellosis (Bartonella vinsonii, Bartonella spp.), and rickettsiosis (Rickettsia felis), which are types of canine vector borne diseases. Re-infesting fleas are killed within 2 hours with protection against further flea infestation lasting8 months. Kills and repels fleas before they lay eggs. Seresto aids in control of flea larvae in the dog’s surroundings following contact with a Seresto-treated dog. Kills chewing lice. Aids in the treatment and control of Sarcoptic mange on dogs. No need to remove collar when your pet goes swimming or gets bathed. Bayer Polymer Matrix ensures that both active ingredients are continuously released in low concentrations. Make sure to replace the collar after 8 months for year-round tick and flea prevention. Light reflector for added visibility in the evening and at night. *Seresto® is water-resistant and remains effective following a shampoo treatment, swimming or after exposure to rain or sunlight. Under normal conditions, effectiveness lasts for 8 months. In order to maintain an eight-month duration, dogs must not be bathed more than once per month. For dogs that swim once a month or more, the control duration is reduced to 5 months for flea control and reduced to 7 months for tick control
Frontline Flea Spray
|3 Pack Frontline Spray – 750 mL – $78.99
Frontline Spray for Dogs & Cats can be applied directly for both immediate and long-lasting control of fleas and ticks for up to 30 days. This effective spray contains fipronil to kill existing flea and tick infestations. It also kills fleas before they lay eggs, effectively preventing reinfestation. Safe for puppies and kittens 2 days of age or older, Frontline Spray helps reduce flea and tick infestations in multi-pet households, and is great for the initial treatment of flea allergy dermatitis. The spray bottle is easy to use, provides fast and even application and can be reapplied regularly. Fleas Kills Fleas Kills newly emerged adult fleas before they lay eggs Stops existing infestations and prevents establishment of new infestations Kills fleas which may cause flea allergy dermatitis Lice Rapidly eliminates chewing lice infestations Mites Aids in control of sarcaptic mange infestations in dogs Ticks Kills all life stages of ticks (larva, nymph and adult), including brown dog ticks (Rhipicepalus sanguineus), American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) and deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis). Kills ticks that may transmit Lyme disease, Rocky montain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, haemobartonellosis and other tick-borne diseases Frontline Spray is great for controlling emergency flea infestations as well as for regular use and along with with other monthly flea and tick medications like Frontline Top Spot , Frontline Plus , or Advantage . Frontline Sprays do not contain the potentially toxic insecticides found in most pet store sprays.