Fleas and Ticks; a big problem for dogs

Did you know that the majority of a flea’s life cycle is spent off of the pet, in the environment where your pet lives?

By Guest Blogger Dr. Dawn Bookmyer

Did you know that the majority of a flea’s life cycle is spent off of the pet, in the environment where your pet lives? Adult fleas live on your pet and their eggs fall off into the environment where they will then develop into a pupa, larva and then an adult.

The saliva from a flea bite causes an allergic reaction.  The skin becomes itchy resulting in self-trauma from biting or scratching, hair loss and secondary infection. Fleas can also carry tapeworms and other dangerous diseases.  Due to the flea’s life cycle, it is extremely important to treat the environment and your pet monthly if fleas are found for a minimum of 6 months. The eggs that are in the environment can lay dormant until the conditions are just right to hatch so don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve eliminated a flea problem after 1 or 2 applications of a flea product.

Ticks are a big problem this time of year.  They carry a variety of diseases including Lyme’s disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Some of these diseases affect people too so controlling ticks on our pets and in our environment is important.  The deer tick (carries Lyme disease) is so small that it may very well go unnoticed on you or your pet which makes control even more important.

There are a variety of flea, tick and combination flea and tick products available.  Flea and tick combinations are all topical whether it is a liquid applied to the skin or in the form of a collar. Newer flea/tick and tick only collars are available and work very well.  Tick collars (ex Preventic) last 3 months and can be used in combination with either a topical flea product or a combination heartworm/flea product (ex Trifexis or Revolution).

Discuss with your veterinarian what flea or tick product combination would best suit you and your pet’s lifestyle. But no matter what you choose, use it consistently as directed by your veterinarian and check your pet regularly.  To learn how to recognize fleas, how they live and how to get rid of them, click here.

Healthy Pets, Happy Hearts. That is the motto at the Animal Hospital of Shawnee Hills. Our goal is to keep your pet healthy so that he/she can continue to fill your heart with joy and unconditional love.  We recommend annual physical examinations (semi-annual for pets over 7), vaccinations based on your pet’s lifestyle, regular fecal checks for intestinal parasites that can adversely affect not only your pet’s health but yours as well; an annual blood parasite check-in dogs for heartworm disease and tick-borne diseases, a well balanced diet, regular grooming and year-round heartworm prevention for dogs and flea/tick control for dogs and cats.

Dr. Dawn Bookmyer (owner) graduated from The Ohio State University of Veterinary Medicine in 1994 after receiving her undergraduate degree in Animal

Nutrition from OSU in 1990. She owned and operated her first veterinary hospital for 17years until she sold it in 2011 to move closer to her home and family in Dublin.

She is a member of the OSU Alumni Association, the OSU Veterinary Alumni Association, a member and the treasurer of the Columbus Academy of Veterinary Medicine, a member of the Columbus Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and a member of the Shawnee Hills Chamber of Commerce. One of her dogs, Koda, is a certified therapy dog that she enjoys taking to nursing homes or school visits. Dr. Bookmyer is married to Ron and has two children who attend Dublin schools. They share their home currently with 3 dogs, 4 cats, and 2 guinea pigs.

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