As temperatures begin to warm, pets will have more time to enjoy the great outdoors. However, the warm weather provides ideal conditions for ticks and fleas. Flea bites do not only irritate skin allergies in pets but can also pass on parasites and diseases, which can be transmitted to humans. Ticks are arachnids that feed on many types of mammals for extended periods. The deer tick is well known as the carrier of Lyme disease, which is one of many diseases passed on to pets and humans by ticks. In the United States, it is the highest vector-borne disease passed to humans.
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Topical Preventative Medication
One of the best ways to control fleas and ticks is with topical preventative medication, which comes in both over-the-counter and prescription-strength options. Topical forms include spot-on liquids. Fipronil is a time-release drug that attacks fleas and ticks’ nervous systems. Imidacloprid also kills fleas by disrupting the nervous system. It kills fleas at the larval stage as well as the adult stage. Products containing pyrethroids kill fleas, ticks, and mites but is not approved by the EPA to be used on cats, as pyrethroids are extremely toxic to felines and require caution with use on small dogs. Ask your veterinarian for help deciding which product is best for your pet.
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