Flea and Tick Prevention: Vet Q&A
While flea and tick prevention measures should be taken year-round, the risk of bites and infestations increases in the warmer months. Depending on the climate where you live, you may be entering “flea and tick season” in late spring.
With that in mind, we talked to Dr. Zeitlin in West Palm Beach, Fl to get a vet’s answers to some common flea and tick questions.
Can indoor-only pets get fleas?
Yes, feral cats and wildlife such as raccoons and foxes can bring fleas into your untreated yard. Once established in the yard, they can easily be brought into the home by you or an untreated pet that is allowed outdoors.
Is flea and tick prevention necessary year-round?
Yes, flea and tick prevention should be administered year-round. Fleas can lay dormant over the winter in cold climates but if they are established inside your home where it is warm they can still cause infestations on pets. Many species of ticks are very hardy and can remain active during the winter months.
My pet is still scratching even though I used flea prevention as directed by the veterinarian. Why isn’t it working?
Many dogs and cats have flea bite sensitivity, an allergic-type response to the saliva of the flea. Although the fleas that were on the pet may have died the reaction can last sometimes up to 2 weeks. This excessive scratching in turn can lead to hair loss, scabbing and crusting of the skin, and secondary skin infections.
Can I use my dog's flea and tick prevention on my cat?
No, many insecticides that are in flea and tick prevention for dogs may not only make cats sick but in some cases cause death. It is important to only use cat-labeled preventions on cats. If the accidental topical application of dog flea and tick prevention occurs, immediately bathe the cat using dish soap and water and then seek immediate veterinary care. If your cat ingests oral dog flea and tick prevention seek immediate veterinary care.
Can I get sick if my pet has fleas or ticks?
Yes, both fleas and ticks have the potential to transmit diseases not only to your pet but potentially to you as well. Some examples of potential infections include Lyme disease, cat-scratch disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Make sure you take care of your pet accordingly this summer. Check out Spot’s Preventive Care coverage* options, which can reimburse pet parents for preventive measures for fleas and Lyme disease (which can be carried by ticks).