Tag Archives: Flea and Tick Prevention

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Five Fun Facts About Preventatives

One of the most important things owners can do for their pets is giving or applying preventative medications. These “preventatives” help protect our pets from all sorts of yuckky things. Below is some information on preventatives.

  1. These are some of the parasites that can be avoided with the regular use of preventatives!

    Preventatives cover parasites inside and outside of the bodyFlea and tick preventatives like Nexgard also help prevent tapeworms (which are carried by fleas), and Interceptor also has a basic dewormer included to take care of hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. We see all 4 types of intestinal parasites here in Frederick! Worst of all, some of these are zoonotic parasites, which means they can be shared with people too.

  2. Cats need preventatives, too!  Feline friends who go outdoors, or who live with dogs with known flea problems, can really benefit from preventatives. Frontline will address the fleas and ticks, but Revolution (another topical medication) also prevents heartworms and certain mites.
  3. Preventatives need to be given monthly in order to do their job. This means once every 30 days! There is no “carryover,” which means once every 2 months isn’t protecting the pet for the second month. Most manufacturers of preventatives will guarantee their products, but ONLY if they are given monthly!
  4. Flea and tick prevention is just as important over the winter as it is during the summer. Ticks in Maryland do not die off in the cold, and in fact are searching harder for a warm furry body to live on. If the winter stays temperate, the fleas don’t die off either, and here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital we have indeed seen pets with fleas over the winter!

    KAH’s own Dr. Cook displays Nexgard, a safe and effective oral flea & tick preventative.

  5. Preventatives cost much less than treatment for parasites. Fourteen years’ worth of heartworm preventatives still cost less than one round of heartworm treatment, and usually dogs need 3 treatments. Unfortunately, heartworm disease in cats is fatal since they can’t tolerate the medication used in dogs. Fleas can take up to 6 months to be completely eradicated from the environment, which means washing all fabrics in the house several times and treating all pets (even indoor-only cats) who live there. 

Pesky Parasites in Frederick, MD

It is that time of year again- we are all looking forward for some warm days and sunny skies!  However with reward sometimes comes risk, and fleas and ticks pose a threat to our animals particularly during the warmer months, so it is time to continue our battle against the fleas and ticks, or ecto-parasites, which threaten the health of our beloved pets!  In order to best protect your pets it is helpful to know what you are protecting them from. Below outlines the common flea and tick species present in Frederick, MD.

While fleas have names that suggest they may prefer a specific species of animal, it is important to remember that these parasites are not host specific- meaning they are not picky about what they feed on!

Fleas:flea

  • Ctenocephalides felis– the cat flea
  • Ctenocephalides canis– the dog flea

While there are close to 2500 different species of fleas, above are the fleas commonly found in Frederick, MD, but close to 90% of dogs and cats are infested with the cat flea.  Female fleas can lay between 40-50 eggs in a day that fall of your beloved pet into their bedding, furniture, and the surrounding house.  Fleas suck the blood from our pets and cause anemia in severe cases.  If ingested, they can infect your pet with an intestinal parasite known as the tapeworm. When a flea bites a host, it injects a protein with an anticoagulant into the animal.  Some animals are intensely allergic to flea saliva and will cause them to be severely itchy, and can happen with as few as 6 fleas.

Ticks:tick

  • Dermacentor variabilis- the American dog tick
  • Rhipicephalus sanguineus- the brown dog tick/ the kennel tick
  • Ixodes scapularis- the deer tick/ the blacklegged tick
  • Amblyomma americanum- the lone star tick

There are over 800 different tick species, but above are the four most commonly found in Frederick, MD.  Ticks are particularly dangerous to our four legged friends due to all the different diseases that they can transmit to them: lyme disease, ehrlichia, anaplasmosis, rocky mountain spotted fever, among others.  Tick-borne diseases can skin irritation, fever, lethargy, stiff and painful joints, and decreased appetite to name a few.

If you have found fleas or ticks on your beloved pet(s), a visit to your favorite veterinarian here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital will help you determine the best treatment and course of action.  It is much easier to prevent these unwanted hitchhikers then it is to treat your animals for any of the diseases or the blood loss that can be caused by these ecto-parasites.  Talk with your veterinarian here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD to determine what the best prevention program is to keep your fur babies safe and protected.  Remember to keep your preventatives going not only during our peak flea and tick season, but throughout the year as well- those mild winter days can have the flea and tick population rebound in less time than you would think!  We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Pesky Parasite Prevention in Frederick, MD

Monthly prevention for fleas and ticks is important to avoid diseases transmitted by these pesky little bugs. Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends two products: Frontline and NexGard. frontline for dogs

 

Frontline is a topical medication that stays within the oil glands of the skin and does not get absorbed into the body. For this reason, we do not see as many adverse reactions to it. Frontline kills adult fleas, eggs, larvae, and all stages of ticks.

 

nexgard

 

If a topical medication makes you nervous, we also have NexGard available. NexGard is a beef-flavored chew given orally to dogs once per month. NexGard kills adult fleas (before they are able to lay eggs) and ticks. In a study, NexGard killed more than 99% of fleas within 8 hours of treatment and remains effective for a full month.

 

Year round prevention is recommended. It is difficult to know when the first flea or tick will emerge after winter and, if they do emerge early, it is best to have a preventative on board. Additionally, some tick species can survive even the harshest of winters and will emerge when temperatures are still as cold as 40-degrees. If you have any questions regarding flea and tick prevention, please call your veterinarian at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, Maryland.