As we all know, fleas and ticks are a common unwanted reality of owning a pet. Fleas and ticks are commonly referred to as ecto-parasites. Ecto-parasites are hitch-hikers and will catch a ride on your pet from infested outdoor areas, and other pets or animals. In addition to being hitch-hikers, they feed on your pet and can transmit disease; they can also jump off of your pet and onto you or into your home.
Ticks can carry a number of diseases including Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasmosis. Tick-borne disease can cause your pet to become very sick and painful. Most tick-borne disease causes lethargy, decreased appetite, increased liver values, and painful or stiff joints. Fleas can cause anemia in severe cases and if ingested can infect your pet with another parasite called tapeworm.
How do we keep our pets from becoming infested with these gross little critters? Topical flea and tick preventatives are the best way to keep your friend protected. Kingsbrook Animal Hospital recommends using Frontline. Frontline is available through a veterinarian and is very safe and easy to use. It is one of the best products on the market that kill fleas and the most common ticks. To use Frontline you simply apply to the skin, once a month. Frontline is waterproof, but works best if you can avoid applying it at least 2 days before or after a bath. It is most effective when applied correctly, the product works by absorbing into the lipid layers of the skin and doesn’t get absorbed systemically, which is why it is so safe.
With the upcoming cooler weather, it is a common misconception that it is ok to discontinue the use of flea and tick preventatives. Living in Frederick, MD we tend to have some mild days during our winters. It is best to use Frontline year around to ensure your pet is being protected from these problem causing parasites.