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.
Revolution (topically) monthly. Prevents against heartworms, ear mites, fleas, and intestinal roundworms and hookworms. Even indoor only cats can develop respiratory symptoms from heartworms (it only takes one mosquito). Revolution does carry a tick prevention like Revolution Plus dose.
Revolution Plus (topically) monthly. The top choice because it also prevents heartworms, ear mites, fleas, intestinal roundworms and hookworms, and now additionally ticks.
Revolution Plus has been approved for kittens over 8 weeks of age and weighing over 2.8 pounds. It is not approved in breeding, pregnant or lactating cats. Your veterinarian will use caution with cats with a history of neurologic disorders. Revolution Plus can be administered in conjunction with numerous cat medications and may be given to cats with adult heartworm infection. While there was a low incidence of side effects in clinical trials (drowsiness, temporary loss of appetite, hair loss at the application site, lethargy) it’s important to report to your veterinarian any unusual signs or activity in your cat or kitten after applying the product. To learn more about Revolution Plus, please visit: https://www.revolutionplus.com/faq.aspx
Dogs – you should consider one of the following combinations:
Our Veterinarian's Top Choice:
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).
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).
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.
- 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.