When the time has come to consider spaying or neutering your puppy or kitten, having a conversation with your pet about the birds and the bees may be awkward enough. What topic makes for an even more difficult discussion? Fleas and ticks!
Not only can fleas cause intense itching and significant dermatologic problems for pets with flea allergies, but a heavy infestation of blood-feeding fleas can cause fatal anemia (low red blood cells) in puppies, kittens and otherwise debilitated adult animals. Fleas can also carry infectious agents, including tapeworms, anemia-causing Mycoplasmosis (especially a concern in felines) and cat scratch fever, the last of which can pose health risks to humans. Are you psychosomatically scratching yourself yet?!
Many tick species also pose serious health concerns to our pets as well as to ourselves. Different ticks transmit various diseases such as tick paralysis, Lyme Disease (which causes painful joint disease and acute kidney failure and is transmissible to humans via tick bites), Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (also transmittable to humans), Ehrlichia and Anaplasma (which attack canine or feline blood cells), canine Babesia and Hepatozoon and feline Cytauxzoon (which is unfortunately deadly to many cats). The key to fighting these flea- and tick-borne diseases is preventing them from occurring in the first place with consistent, year-round prevention. (Yes, even during the winter months!)
Ask your veterinarian which product and mode of administration (oral or topical) is most appropriate for your individual pet. And be sure to discuss the Pro·Sense® line of over-the-counter flea and tick solutions to keep both your pets as well as your home environment protected. Pro·Sense® Flea & Tick Home Solutions quickly kills ticks, adult fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs and even dust mites around your home, providing residual action for seven months. This clear spray formula is odor free and non-staining and can be applied on carpet and upholstery as well as wooden baseboards and moldings. Need to cleanse your pet’s skin and coat while concurrently fighting fleas and ticks? Pro·Sense® Flea & Tick Shampoo kills fleas and ticks on contact without leaving a residue, and is marketed for adult dogs and cats as well as puppies and kittens over the age of 12 weeks, when used as directed.
As mentioned, consistent prevention is the key to warding off fleas and ticks before they become a bigger problem. Pro·Sense® 5 For Dogs is applied topically once per month and not only kills, but also repels ticks, fleas, mites and lice on contact. Although this product doesn’t replace your dog’s monthly heartworm preventative (which is only obtainable from your veterinarian), it does help by also killing and repelling mosquitoes. This preventative can be used on adult dogs and puppies over 12 weeks of age in a suitable weight range (packaged for canines 5-10 lb, 11-32 lb, 33-66 lb, or >66 lb). Want to up the ante by breaking the flea life cycle altogether, not only killing and repelling adult fleas, but also killing flea eggs and larvae (in addition to ticks, mites, lice and mosquitoes)? Enter Pro·Sense® 7 Advanced For Dogs! This topical product has a broader range of action and is also applied monthly to adult dogs and puppies over 12 weeks of age within an appropriate weight range (also sold for dogs weighing 5-10 lb, 11-32 lb, 33-66 lb, or >66 lb). Remember not to apply these canine-only products to cats, and ask your vet about how to safely protect your kitty from fleas and ticks. Though a serious one, the conversation about diseases caused by fleas and ticks doesn’t have to be a difficult one after all with the help of a proper pet preventative!
- Maranda Elswick, DVM – The Meowing Vet, LLC (www.themeowingvet.com)
Dr. Elswick was compensated by Pro·Sense® brand for writing this blog post.