With warmer weather finally here, that means the creepy crawly bugs are here too! Fleas hang out on pets and wildlife and drop eggs into the environment waiting for the next host. Ticks thrive in wooded areas, areas with tall grass, or where wildlife like deer travel.
After our first frost, we see fewer fleas and ticks, but the risk of disease is still present. Ticks can be active with outdoor temperatures above 35 degrees. Outdoor/wild rabbits can keep their flea friends year-round!
Facts About Fleas
Fleas cause excessive licking, scratching, and biting in pets. You may see red, irritated skin and
hair loss. Flea “dirt” (feces) will look like brown to black specks in your pet’s hair coat. Fleas can cause anemia (decreased blood cells) and transmit tapeworms to your pet.
Truth About Ticks
Ticks spread diseases like Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and more. Over 50% of ticks carry at least one tick-borne disease! The symptoms of each disease can vary in presentation and severity. There may be a red/raised area where the tick was attached. You may not notice any changes to your pet in the early stages of the disease. Later some pets may show lameness, loss of appetite, or a fever.
We recommend screening your pet for tick-borne diseases at least once a year. Your technician can run a simple blood test that takes approximately 10 minutes, so you have the results before leaving our office.
If your pet has been bitten by a tick, we will run the test 6 weeks after the bite to screen for transmission of disease. If this in-clinic screen is positive, your veterinarian may recommend additional blood tests.
Protecting Pets from Fleas and Ticks
The best treatment for both flea- and tick-borne diseases is prevention. The oral chew, Bravecto, is designed to prevent fleas and ticks from transmitting disease. This flavored chew provides protection for 3 months!