What You Need To Know: Fleas, Ticks and Prevention

By April 6, 2016 Uncategorized

Image 1. Flea Life Cycle

Fleas and ticks are external parasites that suck your pet’s blood, and pose the risk of transmitting diseases to not just pets, but humans as well, through animals. These diseases are referred to as Zoonotic Diseases, which include Plague, Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonellosis and more. It is important that you seek proper care for your pets to protect them from these parasites.  

The first step: Visit your Veterinarian. 

AVMA recommends the following questions to ask your Veterinarian:

  • What parasites does this specific product protect against?
  • How often should I use/apply the product?
  • How long will it take for the product to work?
  • If I see a flea or tick, does that mean it’s not working?
  • What should I do if my pet has a reaction to the product?
  • Is there a need for more than one product?
  • How would I apply or use multiple products on my pet?


There are a variety of flea and tick preventatives offered that target pest control and the spread of zoonotic diseases.

  • It is important to note that parasite prevention is NOT  “one size fits all” : Factors such as age, breed, species, lifestyle and health status of the pet do influence the type and dose of the product to be used.
  • Know what kind of product you should provide your pet with, and how to use it
  • There are two kinds of preventative medications: 1) Topical– applied directly to the pet’s skin 2) Oral– tablets or chews that are given by mouth.
  • Medicine and pesticides must meet U.S. government required safety standards before they are sold- However, it is important that pet owners carefully read the label of flea and tick preventative medications before the pet is treated.
  • When using preventative medications, monitor your pet for symptoms or signs of an adverse reaction (anxiousness, excessive scratching/itching, skin redness/swelling, vomiting, and abnormal behavior) If any of these symptoms are present, please contact your veterinarian. 

Steps to protect your pets

  • If the product label indicates that the medication is to be used for DOGS ONLY, it is only to be used for dogs. NEVER cats, no matter the size or breed.
  • Read the entire label before you use the product- understand the medication and instructions- this means that you never apply more or less of what is recommended.
  • Ensure that the weight of the pet is noted. Look at the weight range provided on the label of the medication and make sure that your pet’s weight falls within that range. Dosage and weight go hand in hand. Giving a smaller dog a dose that is for larger dogs can harm the pet.

Always discuss the use of preventative medications with your veterinarian to ensure the most effective and safest choice for each pet.


The information provided may be found at:

Reference: American Veterinary Medical Association



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