Flea and tick prevention has been a huge topic lately. It’s clearly quite important to us since we want the best for our pets. I asked Ben, Sweep Tight contributor and vet tech at Southwest Animal Care Center, to share his experience. Yes, this is to scare you into using flea and tick prevention. It’s a real problem that needs prevention. This post is brought to you by K9 Advantix. All opinions are our own.
Real Flea and Tick Encounters
~ Written by Ben
I can’t count the times I’ve advised clients to use flea and tick prevention. I also can’t count the times that clients have said, “No thanks. He’s fine,” or, “He doesn’t go outside that often.” Let me just say now that not going outside “that often” is not the same as never going outside.
So what’s the worst that can happen if your animal isn’t on flea and tick prevention? A few ticks? You can just pull them off. A few fleas? No problem.
Fleas can infect your animal with tape worms. That’s bad in itself, but if you have children it’s even worse. Tape worms can be transmitted to people. How many times have we told our children to get their hands out of their mouths? There you go. All a child has to do is touch the family pet. If that fido has tape worms, the tape worm eggs which have shed through its stool can be on his fur. So when a child’s hand goes straight into his or her mouth… well, it’s not good.
Fleas can also cause allergic dermatitis. This is a condition in which your pet’s skin becomes red and inflamed due to an allergic reaction to the flea’s saliva. If it continues on unaddressed, it can lead to severe reactions causing flaking, greasy, smelly skin, and hot spots due to the animal chewing and scratching at the irritated area.
Ticks are no better. They transmit lyme disease. Lyme disease can be a painful proposition for pets. It causes severe joint pain, lethargy, inappetence, and listlessness. It’s not deadly, but it can certainly make your pet look like it’s dying.
Flea and tick control isn’t the cheapest thing in the world, but its definitely one of the more kind things you can do for your pet.
Flea and Tick Horror Story
We’ve all heard it – more than once. “Is your pet on flea and tick medication?” It’s a question that’s asked every time we take our animals to the vet. Well, as a veterinary assistant, I’m going to give you a real life example of why we always ask that question.
We have an adorable little Shih Tzu that comes to our clinic. He’s a nice dog, but his owner is, shall we say… less than diligent about giving him his flea and tick medication in a timely manner.
One day, said client brought in her dog and said that he was shaking and acting jumpy. She couldn’t figure out why, and she asked if there was anything we could do. We said yes, and the doctor came in to look him over. Without any exaggeration, within thirty seconds, both the doctor and I had fleas all over our arms and torso. That poor dog was quivering because he was so uncomfortable! His skin was red and inflamed. He was miserable.
After giving him an oral dose of a powerful flea killing medication, we counted around 100 fleas before we gave up on it. The dog had been infested for weeks, suffering from inflamed, itchy skin, and it was 100 percent preventable.
Please, give your pets flea and tick preventative. With topical prevention like K9 Advantix II, your dog can safely frolic around this summer without having to worry about flea and tick infestation. The monthly applications are easy to apply and well worth the peace of mind to know that your pet is protected.