Flea and Tick Infestation – Prevent, Treat and Control the Problem
Fleas and ticks to a pet are like lice is to a child… and neither situation is any fun what-so-ever. Here is some detailed information on how infestations happen, and what you can do to prevent and treat them.
Flea infestation, it only takes one! Flea infestation begins with one insect. One adult flea will feed continuously and lay eggs that will hatch and feed on your dog almost as often as it eats. A flea matures into an adult flee in only 15 days, at which point that flea begins to lay eggs and 15 days later those fleas begin to lay eggs and so on. As you can see this can get out of control quickly. Fleas thrive during the summer months so preventative treatments should take place in the spring.
Checking for fleas:
To check for fleas at home use a damp white cloth and rub it over your dog’s skin (against the hair) red or black spots are a sign of fleas. If your dog comes up with fleas, at that point you should consult a veterinarian and discuss different treatment options such as Frontline Plus for Dogs. This is by far the most popular treatment option, but should always be discussed with your veterinarian first.
A tick will latch on to your dog and like a flea, it will feed constantly laying eggs as it moves around. The offspring hatch and begin feeding right away. Ticks, despite popular belief, are not killed by the cold weather during winter and their numbers peak in the spring and fall.
Checking for ticks:
Ticks are large enough to see and can be removed by hand. Giving your dog a thorough inspection will consist of feeling your dog’s skin for bumps, sometimes ticks are easier to feel by going against the dog’s fur. After finding a tick make sure to remove it entirely by gripping it at the point of attachment on the dog. Never try to remove a tick by pulling its body as a tick’s head it easily detached and if the head is not removed the head will remain embedded in your dog’s skin and could cause infection.
Flea and Tick Prevention:
Prevention is highly recommended. There are treatments available to prevent ticks and fleas from reproducing while on your dog. Again, Frontline Plus for Dogs is a popular option. Limiting exposure to long grass or woodsy areas where these insects are abundant is always a good ideal as well. It is beneficial to check your pet regularly for ticks and fleas, even if you have given your dog a preventative treatment.
Controlling an Outbreak:
Controlling an outbreak of fleas or ticks can be tricky and in most cases involves more than just your pet. The eggs can be transferred from your dog to fabrics in your home like carpets and furniture. If your pet is diagnosed with ticks and fleas, it is recommended that you also treat your home and check other pets. Your veterinarian will be able to discuss further measures to take with you.
Frontline Plus for Dogs