Flea and Tick Prevention


Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks are two of the most common parasites to affect our animals, and whilst infestations are inconvenient, they are far from unusual. Most cats and dogs, and even some ferrets, will experience an episode of fleas or being bitten by a tick at least once during their lifetime. Both of these wingless parasites survive by drinking the blood of their host, but despite their small size, they are far from as harmless as they may look. Preventing your pet from suffering from a flea or tick problem should be a priority for any responsible pet owner.


Fleas: An Overview


Fleas are tiny, 6-legged creatures that are dark in color but nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye. They can live virtually anywhere, although they prefer dark, hidden places such as between floorboards and under furniture. They have immense jumping capabilities which let them pounce onto their hosts where they will bury deep within their host’s fur and start to feed on them. 


A single flea shouldn’t cause your pet to lose too much blood. However, fleas are almost never alone. This is because they have a very short and highly efficient life cycle that enables them to reproduce extremely quickly and in huge numbers. When you have an entire population of fleas, the effects that include itchiness, flea-allergy dermatitis and blood loss can be immense. Fleas also carry a variety of diseases, including typhus and tapeworms, and some of these diseases could potentially have severe consequences for your animal.  


Ticks: An Overview


Ticks are small, fairly oval in shape and quite small, although their bodies do grow larger the more blood they consume. They can be found across the country, but ticks generally prefer to live in locations that are humid and warm and as such, they are generally more prevalent in summer. Ticks move around by attaching themselves to animals who brush past them, sinking their mouthparts into its skin to take hold. Once attached, they will feed until they are sated and drop off so that they can begin the next stage in their life cycle.  


Ticks can also infectious diseases, putting your pet at risk of contracting them. The saliva of some ticks also contains a neurotoxin that targets your pet’s central nervous system, causing a range of unpleasant and debilitating symptoms which in some instances, can be life-threatening. 


Flea and Tick Prevention


Fortunately, there is a wide range of different products that are designed specifically to protect pets against these nuisances and potentially dangerous parasites. Whilst you can get some products that either protect against ticks or fleas, many contain the necessary blend of substances to protect against both.  These are available in a variety of different ways including:

  • Spot-on treatments

  • Shampoos

  • Dips

  • Collars

  • Oral medications


Your veterinarian will be able to recommend which is most suited to your pet based on their age and health. It is essential that these are administered exactly as prescribed to ensure that your pet remains fully protected against the parasites at all times. Being even just a few days late with a dose can put your pet at risk of being affected. 




If you would like more information about protecting your pet from fleas and ticks, please contact our experienced and knowledgeable veterinary team in Evansville, IN.