Like most things we could talk about fleas and ticks for days, therefore we are going to focus on a few keys facts and hopefully debunk some myths. Because whether we like it or not, these nasty little buggers are here to stay.
-Fleas live in our environment- they’re everywhere outside, and they really want to come inside.
-The adult fleas that you see are only a small part of the problem. Those adults on your pets are only 5% of the infestation!
– One female flea will lay 40-50 eggs per day.
-Michigan winters don’t kill them anymore. They can survive inside our homes. They will come to life on those abnormally warm days.
-Fleas are the number one cause of pruritus (itching) in our dogs and cats.
-Many animals are allergic to the fleas, the severity of their allergy determines the severity of their reaction
-When left uncontrolled flea infestations can lead to hair loss, skin infections, increased anxiety, anemia (low red blood cells count).
-Fleas also carry the bacteria that causes Cat Scratch Disease. This bacteria is called Bartonella Henslae- this bacteria causes disease in dogs, cats, and humans.
-All flea preventatives break up the flea life cycle
-Treatment must be continued for multiple months to effectively eliminate an infestation.
-Treating a flea infestation can easily cost up to $200.
-All of these facts listed above are why YEAR-ROUND prevention is key to success
-If you ask me ticks are creepier than fleas. They are bigger, sneakier, carry nastier diseases. They’re also mysterious… they’re slowly but surely invading formerly tick-free areas like our own backyards!
-There are many different species of ticks, and not all of them carry the same disease-causing bacteria.
-Ticks also do not die during our Michigan winters.
-Ticks do not live in the trees but on the ground. Which means even if your dog doesn’t go into the woods or never leaves your yard- the ticks will still find them.
-The diseases they carry are what makes ticks so creepy
-Lyme disease is NOT the same disease as it is in humans
-There are many diseases, caused by a variety of bacteria that hide in a variety of ticks and they all have a variety of clinical signs.
-The blood tests we have available are not fool-proof ways of testing
-The longer the tick is attached, the more likely it is to spread its bacteria. However, we do not know how long it takes for the bacteria to spread the disease-causing bacteria
-Once again, prevention is KEY
-Preventatives work to kill the ticks before they are able to spread disease
-Prevention is much safer, less expensive and effective than treatment of disease
I hope this clears some things up! If not, don’t hesitate to ask me more! Believe it or not- I don’t like to deal with these little buggers anymore than the rest of you. And I REALLY don’t like to treat your sick pets when we have safe and effective ways of preventing them.
We have a March special!