Flea and Tick Update and Prevention Recommendations

Fleas are attracted to motion and can hitch a ride into the home by a dog, cat, or a human.  Even indoor cats frequently contract a growing number of fleas from one flea that is accidently brought in the home by a human family member.  One flea will lay 40 eggs daily.  Fleas can bite dogs, cats and humans and even minor exposure can cause dramatic allergies with severe skin itching.  Your pets can contract tapeworms when they accidentally ingest a flea while grooming themselves or chewing an itchy area. Due to our mild climate, year-round flea prevention is recommended. It is important not to let fleas get established in your house.

Ticks can also infest a home and one engorged tick can release 7,000 eggs. Tick populations are increasing nationwide.  Many serious diseases have been discovered that can be transmitted to pets and people including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis, Babesiosis, Borrelia, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Colorado Tick Fever, Powassan disease, Rickettiosis, Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness, Tickborne Relapsing Fever, Tularemia, Lyme disease (a new Lyme disease has been discovered in Michigan) and Bartonella. Some of these diseases in a human are challenging to diagnose and can be a challenge to treat or resistant to treatment.  For example, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed in the US yearly but it is estimated that the actual incidence is 300,000 (difficult to diagnose & difficult to treat).  Comprehensive tick control is important for both you and your pet.    

It is time to take steps to prevent fleas and ticks. We often see fleas and ticks on our patients even in the winter. It is important to start your pet on tick prevention now. We have a detailed article on the products listed below, which you can reference by clicking the links at the end of this article. Below is a very simple write up on how to prevent fleas and ticks.


Cats must have two products applied each month to prevent heartworms, fleas, roundworms, ticks, hookworms, and ear mites.

Prevention of fleas on cats:

Revolution (topically) monthly.  The top choice because it also prevents heartworms and intestinal roundworms and hookworms.  Even indoor only cats can develop respiratory symptoms from heartworms (it only takes one mosquito).

Prevention of ticks on cats:

Frontline (topically) monthly. Apply each product on a different day.

Revolution requires a prescription. Frontline is an over-the-counter product. Cats must be on Revolution to prevent heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and to prevent fleas.  Frontline alone does not prevent heartworm disease or intestinal parasites and, in our experience, is not able to control fleas on most cats, but it does kill ticks.


Dogs – you should consider one of the following combinations:

Trifexis + Frontline: Trifexis (orally) for fleas, heartworms, intestinal hook, round and whipworms + Frontline (topically) for ticks (give or apply the medications on separate days)


Trifexis + Seresto Collar: Trifexis (orally) monthly for fleas, heartworms and intestinal hook, round and whipworms + Seresto collar for eight months of tick control (give the medication and then apply the collar on a different day)


Sentinel + Nexgard: Sentinel (oral chew) monthly for heartworms, intestinal hook, round and whipworms, and flea eggs + Nexgard (orally) monthly for adult fleas and adult ticks (give the medications on separate days)


Sentinel + Bravecto: Sentinel (oral chew) monthly (for heartworms, intestinal hook, round and whipworms and flea eggs) + Bravecto (oral chew) every 12 weeks for adult fleas and most ticks

Bravecto (oral chew) kills ticks (black-legged tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick) for 12 weeks and also kills lone star ticks for 8 weeks. (give the medications on separate days)

Any of the above combinations will do an excellent job of preventing heartworms, intestinal hook, round and whipworms, fleas, and ticks on your dog, but all except the Seresto Collar are prescription.  Some combinations are better for dogs with certain health conditions, so your veterinarian here at Animal Hospital of North Asheville will prescribe what is best for your dog and take into consideration your wishes and your pet’s environment in making a recommendation.

Helpful Hints:

  • Sentinel, Trifexis, and Bravecto must be given with a meal.
  • Give oral heartworm prevention (Trifexis and Sentinel) and flea and tick prevention (Nexgard and Bravecto) on separate days.
  • Do not allow your pet to swim and do not bathe your pet two days before or two days after administering topical Frontline Plus.
  • Need help remembering when to give your pet their heartworm, flea or tick medications? You can set up email alerts through your Animal Hospital of North Asheville Pet Portal under “Tools.

Click Here for more information from the American Heartworm Society    

Click here to learn more about ticks and the diseases they can pose to people and pets.

We have written up a detailed article of our recommendations which you can reference by clicking on one of the following links:

Our Recommendations for the Health Care of Your Cat

Our Recommendations for the Health Care of Your Dog