Expert Vet Advice: Flea & Tick Season is Here
We can all agree, fleas are the worst. They seem to be everywhere, enjoying their blood-sucking lives, and in reality — they are. These talented little creatures can hop a mile in one single hour, and jump right through your screen doors. They’re so tiny that you can bring them into the house on your clothes without even noticing. And the ones you usually see on your pet’s body? Well, those are just the tip of the iceberg.
Do fleas do more than just bite?
Fleas are more than just a nuisance, they can also transmit quite a bit of harmful conditions like:
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Fleas Allergic Dermatitis
Flea Allergic Dermatitis is one of the most common allergic conditions affecting our pets, and the most common sign in dogs is itching. While fleas feed, they will inject their saliva into your pet’s skin, which causes the itchy response you see your pet struggling with.
How long will fleas stay on my pet?
Now listen, for an adult flea to reproduce, they have to bite and obtain blood for the animal they chose. This means you may not even realize your furry friend has fleas because they don’t typically stay on your pet for longer than an hour. They hop on, feast, and flee the scene.
The fleas you see on your pet are adult fleas, who spend about 90% of their lives on your pet, but they make up only 2 to 5 percent of the entire flea population. Fleas are tenacious! It is estimated that a single female flea can lay up to 40 eggs a day! And, once they get in your house, if the conditions are right, the larva can live there for up to two years!
Where should I watch out for ticks?
These bloodsuckers are extremely prevalent in wooded areas and can easily latch onto your four-legged companion during a play day at the dog park or during a hike on a trail. They may also be living on bushes and shrubs in your yard!
Do ticks pose health threats?
As with fleas, ticks can also transmit the diseases they carry to you and your family as well if they attach to you. Ticks can transmit blood-borne parasites like:
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Lyme Disease
All of these can be serious if left untreated. The good news is that these diseases are very treatable when diagnosed and caught early. So talk to your vet if you have any concerns about potentially catching one of them.
How do you remove a tick?
When identified, ticks can be removed from your pet’s skin safely, but if you’re not familiar with the techniques, make sure to have your veterinarian or veterinary staff member show you how, or get on a video chat with Airvet. It’s important that you speak to a veterinarian about what approach would work best for you and your pet.
How do you control fleas and pests?
You’re in luck, there are many great flea and tick control products available from your veterinarian, ranging from products for the environment to oral medications for your pets. Most of these products will protect as long as 30 days, and a few are effective for as much as 12 weeks.
You may want to avoid any over-the-counter chemicals and products. Many of these OTC-products use older technology and may be toxic to your pets. So if your product isn’t purchased from a veterinary hospital, or a reputable online pharmacy or pet retailer, it’s not guaranteed to work.
Be smart, and work with your veterinarian — the only true pet care professional. Together, you can get those fleas and ticks out of you and your pets’ life for good.
Pet owners everywhere have been looking for ways to visit a vet while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Thanks to the founding father-son duo, Brandon Werber and Dr. Jeff Werber of Airvet — you can do just that!
Through Airvet’s easy and accessible mobile app, pet parents all over the United States and Canada can have access to quality care from veterinarians within seconds. Got fleas? No problem. Airvet’s got your back.