flea and tick prevention on puppy.

There’s so much to love about summer, but the season can bring some unexpected risks for our pets. Warm weather and outdoor activities increase the likelihood of picking up parasites, for example. When we stay in front of fleas and ticks, and the variety of issues they cause, pets have a better chance of enjoying all that summer has to offer.

Why Prevention Matters

Keeping pets current with their year-round parasite prevention medication takes care of the myriad problems associated with ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and various internal parasites. Due to the different life cycles of parasites, habitat encroachment, climate change, and increased outdoor activities, summertime creates ideal conditions for these bugs. 

No Fleas, Please!

A single female flea can create an infestation of hundreds of fleas in no time. Time, money, and effort are required to resolve this situation.

What’s worse, fleas can cause anemia and spread disease including babesiosis, cat scratch fever, tularemia, and plague. Many pets are also allergic to flea saliva and end up suffering constant itching, scratching, and secondary skin infections. 

Tick Travesties

Ticks lie in wait for their prey to walk by and then stealthily attach themselves to the skin without much notice. It can take about 24 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease to their host, so immediate tick removal is crucial. 

  • Wearing gloves, apply smooth steady pressure to the tick with fine-tipped tweezers and gently pull the entire tick out. 
  • If you move too fast or twist the tweezers, the head can stay embedded beneath the skin causing inflammation and infection. 
  • Thoroughly disinfect the area, wash your hands, and store the tick in a zipped plastic baggie in case testing is required

Treatment of Lyme disease is effective, but must be caught early for best results. Prevention is the best approach and may include the Lyme disease vaccination for an active pet. 

If a pet is currently on parasite prevention medication, the transmission of tick-borne diseases is greatly reduced. 

Taking Control

In addition, pet owners can manage their surroundings as a way to prevent ticks and fleas:

  • Keep the yard tidy. Remove wood piles, compost heaps, overgrown shrubbery, and tall grass to reduce habitat for hosts of fleas and ticks.
  • Install a mulch or rock barrier around the grass area your dog likes to play in. 
  • Apply pet-safe insecticides to the yard and garden, but only allow your pet to access the yard after it is completely dry.
  • Inspect your pet every day for evidence of fleas and ticks.
  • Wash pet bedding and vacuum the house weekly or as needed.
  • Keep your pet on-leash in natural areas. 

If you need additional support this summer in the battle against fleas and ticks, please call us at (530) 533‑7513. Oroville Animal Health Center is always happy to help.