Fleas and Ticks

Dr. Hillary Segl

It’s the heart of summer in Virginia, and the pests are out and hungry! Don’t let your pet bring home “friends” that carry parasites and diseases. Any animal that sets foot outside on the ground can bring in fleas or ticks. Indoor-only cats that live with a dog can get external parasites from the dog, that have ridden in then jumped onto the cat. The season for these pests runs from early spring through late November.

Dogs can get intestinal parasites like tapeworms from fleas; heartworm parasites from mosquitos; and multiple bacterial diseases from tick bites (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and others). Cats get tapeworms too, and rarely heartworms. They seem to be resistant to tick borne diseases, but can give ticks a ride onto your bed or furniture, and thus onto you! Humans are very susceptible to Lyme disease and other tick borne badness.

For dogs you have many options; oral heartworm prevention like Heartgard or Sentinel, plus a flea and tick prevention like Nexgard or Simparica, can be very effective. For convenience and a broader spectrum of parasite protection, there are now “all in one” medications like Simparica TRIO, that prevent fleas, ticks and heartworms. You can combine oral heartworm meds with topicals for dogs, too-  some effective topical medicines for fleas and ticks in dogs are Frontline Plus, and Advantixx for dogs. Soresto collars are another option, but should be replaced every 6 months and may not work if not put on correctly.  New choices for “all in one” prevntion for dogs should be coming this year. Come talk to us about your options and the cost of each, and keep parasites our of your home.

For cats who are indoor only, you can use a topical like feline Frontline Plus, or Revolution, once a month. For cats that go outside, there is now an “all in one” topical called Nexgard Combo for cats- this kills fleas, ticks, tapeworms, and heartworm larva. It is very easy to apply, and is used once a month. We have it in stock and will be happy to discuss the advantages with you.