Why Is Flea and Tick Prevention Important?

Why Is Flea and Tick Prevention Important?

September 3, 2020

Flea and tick prevention is a critical part of pet care in Saint Francisville, LA. While the problem often becomes worse in summer, fleas and ticks are an issue for pets all year round. We see the scratching, but the effects of fleas and ticks go way beyond mere discomfort. This is why preventing an infestation in your home and on your pets is so important.

Effects of fleas and ticks

The most noticeable effect of fleas and ticks is scratching. We notice the itching and wish to relieve our pets of that discomfort. However, the health effects go beyond this sign.

Some pets are allergic to fleas. A single bite may cause swelling and soreness in addition to the itching. Fleas and ticks also carry deadly or disabling diseases that can affect your pet’s quality of life. Lyme disease spreads by ticks, and animals can catch it as well as humans.

Fleas and ticks also have an effect on the human members of your household. Besides incurring itchy bites, some people also have allergic symptoms. While infection is rare, some forms of typhus are spread by fleas.

Ticks are easier to find than fleas. While small, they expand to fingernail size when they feed. Species may range in color from pale white to dark brown, and they have teardrop-shaped bodies. Their mouth buries into the skin, which is why you need to be careful when removing them. Otherwise, you risk leaving their heads under your pet’s skin.

Fleas are tiny and hard to find. However, they leave behind “flea dirt,” which is actually their excrement. It appears as dark-colored flecks throughout your pet’s coat.


Your best course of action is preventative medications. Flea and tick collars, spot-on treatments, sprays, oral medication and shampoos control the infestation of fleas and ticks. Whichever method you choose, stay on schedule. Missing even a few days can leave pets vulnerable to parasites.

If you find a tick on your pet, use tweezers or a tick removal tool. Grab the tick firmly behind the head, being careful not to squeeze. The tick should be free after one gentle pull. If the head remains under the skin, keep an eye on that spot in case your pet’s immune system does not reject it in a few days. There is a chance of infection, especially if your pet has skin allergies.

Fleas are easy to prevent, but are exceedingly, difficult to kill if they are already infesting your pet and home. Shampoo your pet with a good flea shampoo, and also treat your home—use a flea bomb or call an exterminator. Even then, it could take months until your home is flea free, so stay current with preventatives so your pet is not miserable during this time.

St. Francisville Animal Hospital offers vet treatment and pet care in Saint Francisville, LA. If you need help controlling fleas and keeping your pet on a flea and tick prevention schedule, call us today to schedule an appointment. We also offer grooming and boarding services.

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