Flea & Tick Prevention: Does your dog really need it?
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
They are unsettling, gross, and unwelcome! They also can be carrying harmful diseases. Fleas and ticks are not a topic to brush under the rug. Not only are they harmful for dogs, but can cause problems for humans as well. Fleas and ticks spread diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and many others.
What are fleas?
Fleas are the most common external parasite across the globe. They are also the most prevalent for animals (including dogs) that interact with each other. It is important to prevent them because their bite can cause a great deal of irritation and can then transmit diseases. As a flea bites, they inject saliva under the skin which leads to scratching, hair loss, and infections. If fleas go untreated or unnoticed, they can consume enough blood that a young animal or very small animal could pass away as a result of blood loss (flea anemia).
What is a tick?
Ticks are small arachnids (in the spider family), that suck blood from mammals. Most parts of the united states have them, and the most popular diseases from them are Lyme in humans, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which affects both animals and humans. Both of those diseases can be life-threatening!
But my dog isn’t out in the woods, can she still get ticks & fleas?
Even if your dog doesn’t frequently romp around in a yard or wooded area, doesn’t mean they (and you!) aren’t just as susceptible to them. These crawly creatures can make quite the leap from animal to animal or human to human without you even knowing. Your pet may not be outdoorsy, but that doesn’t mean when you walk them one can’t hop off of a human or dog onto them or you. That is why it so crucial to protect your pets (which can protect yourself) from these creepy crawly creatures. And just because you don’t think your pet can get them, doesn’t save them from other untreated animals.
It’s the wintertime, ticks are dead, do I still need to keep up with treatment?
Ticks might be dead during the winter but, fleas are not as well as many other microscopic parasites. That is why it is important to consistently treat your pet all year instead of just the warm months!
What does Woof's do in the presence of flea and ticks?
We hope that all animals that come to our facility are on flea & tick prevention! But in the event that an animal isn't, we remove them from contact with other animals, and give them an oral medication called CapStar! This kills the creatures for 24 hours, while we work on a plan with the owners on next steps.
Unfortunately protecting your pets from these parasites isn’t just a “one-size-fits-all.” There are many different factors that need to be considered when choosing which type of product, you want to use. It is recommended that you talk with your vet on which option will be the healthiest for your pet based on their age, species, breed, lifestyle, and their health status.
Other useful sites about the importance of flea & tick prevention